Westpac adds FUELD to fintech fire

Fintech innovation hub Stone & Chalk and Westpac have partnered to launch FUELD, a data accelerator designed to connect early-stage startup teams to a range of powerful data-sets.

The innovation uses Data Republic’s data-sharing platform and teams can apply to join the intensive, three-month program to create new products or materially enhance existing products to solve a range of customer problems.

The successful startup teams will have access to the full variety of rich data sets available on the platform, including access to Westpac’s anonymous, aggregated transactional data.

Westpac’s venture capital firm Reinventure will be providing their commercial expertise and mentorship, with Amazon Web Services providing infrastructure and support as part of their Activate initiative. Murray Hurps, former CEO of Fishburners, will run the FUELD program.

Westpac’s co-head of business development, Macgregor Duncan, said FUELD was the first accelerator of its kind to enable large data-sets to be used to create new data products designed to solve specific problems for industry and the public sector.

“FUELD is an Australian-first, giving entrepreneurs access to the scale and depth of Westpac data, as well as the support and mentorship of established organisations,” he said.

“We anticipate the outcomes of FUELD will offer customers tailored solutions, as well as offering data innovation which can be applied more broadly to a wide range of customers and industries.”

'Mature approach'

Stone & Chalk CEO, Alex Scandurra, said that startups and corporates stood to greatly benefit by partnering with one another.

“Westpac are one of the Founding Partners of Stone & Chalk and it’s great to see a large Australian bank take such an open and mature approach to innovation. We are delighted to be partnering together on what is going to be such a game changing opportunity for startups and scaleups,” he said.

““Never before have startups had the opportunity to work closely with a large potential corporate customer and have access to such rich data sets with which to rapidly develop, test and commercially launch a new product.

“The exciting prospect of FUELD is, once problem statements are defined, they can be solved in a matter of months, executed back into the business, and commercialised to ensure the future success of the startup.”

Reinventure co-founder and managing director, Danny Gilligan, added that FUELD was not a traditional accelerator.

“It’s unique to have this much infrastructure built and ready to go, offering entrepreneurs the ability to produce amazing data-driven innovation very quickly and cheaply, with access to unique data, and customers with an identified need,” he said.

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