Building on over a year of “unprecedented” collaboration among Massachusetts’ financial professionals, Fintech entrepreneurs, investors, government executives, elected officials, and members of the academic community, the Massachusetts Fintech Working Group, a network of 27 leaders representing key industries, have introduced the Mass Fintech Hub, a public-private partnership “dedicated to making the Commonwealth a global leader in Fintech,” according to a release shared with CI.
Co-chaired by Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, and Mike Fanning, Head of MassMutual U.S., the Fintech Working Group established the Mass Fintech Hub, a Massachusetts-headquartered and -led project that will aim to “strengthen the Commonwealth’s Fintech ecosystem and drive continued success and growth for the industry.”
The Mass Fintech Hub is well-positioned to “capitalize” on Massachusetts’ natural advantages in areas like depth of talent and its innovation economy to support Fintech initiatives.
In addition to building on those strengths, the Mass Fintech Hub will “assist in addressing key challenges, which include increasing access to capital, and enhancing collaboration among the state’s largest financial institutions, startups, investors, nonprofits and academia,” the announcement noted while adding that The Mass Fintech Hub will be “operated by FinTech Sandbox, a Boston-based nonprofit and member of the Fintech Working Group.”
Secretary Kennealy stated:
“The Mass Fintech Hub will serve as the central platform for Massachusetts to embrace bold thinking, drive innovation, and provide necessary support to build a strong, stable foundation in Massachusetts for this key industry for the long term. Throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis, our Fintech community stepped up, providing new tools that allowed consumers to continue interacting with businesses as safely as possible, which in turn, went a long way to support our local economy. I look forward to Mass Fintech Hub’s efforts to harness that potential and to sustain growth in the Fintech ecosystem, attract more talent to our state, as well as the new ideas that will follow.”
A 2020 study commissioned by the Fintech Working Group, carried out by Ernst & Young, outlined 16 recommendations “to support the sustainability and growth of the Fintech and financial services industries in Massachusetts.”
Based on the findings from “Now, Next and Beyond: Analysis of the FinTech Ecosystem in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” the Mass Fintech Hub was established “to serve as the principal vehicle to meet the state’s challenges and execute on the vision of its leaders.”
As stated in the release:
“The new initiative is innovative in terms of public-private sector collaboration that supports entrepreneurial growth. Compared to peer Fintech hubs around the world, it uniquely relies on the strength of a variety of key stakeholders from academia to venture capital and financial services.”
Leveraging resources from the Mass Fintech Hub, startups will be able “to reduce ‘time-to-market’ through education sessions with policymakers and finance leaders on emerging innovations; have early access to academic research; leverage relationships with financial institutions and the investor community to acquire resources such as financial support; and participate in pilots to help drive scalability.”
The initiative will also be “focused on encouraging diversity and retaining talent in the Fintech ecosystem through these programs.”
As confirmed in the announcement:
“The Mass Fintech Hub will provide numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs to accelerate the growth of their companies. Beyond direct access to preeminent stakeholders, career fairs and project-based learning opportunities will also be part of this effort.”
In the coming months, the Mass Fintech Hub will aim to offer more structure to its programs and events that are “designed to connect entrepreneurs to the larger Fintech community, students to job opportunities, state initiatives to economic opportunities, regulators to the financial services industry and more.”