Stone and Chalk’s inaugural CEO Alex Scandurra will step down next week to pursue “new opportunities”, just months after the organisation merged with federal government growth centre AustCyber.
Stone and Chalk, which launched as a fintech co-working space in Sydney in 2015 and now bills itself as a “national commercialisation and innovation network”, announced on Wednesday that Mr Scandurra had told the board that he would be standing down as CEO as of 19 August.
Mr Scandurra has led the organisation since its launch six years ago and has guided its rapid growth, with it now having more than 1000 residents across a range of sectors in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
Stone and Chalk also acquired government-funded industry growth centre AustCyber earlier this year, expanding its presence to 11 locations around the country along with its base in Washington D.C. in the US.
It’s yet to be revealed where Mr Scandurra will land next, but he said he’s looking forward to “pursuing opportunities” as “an advisor, investor and leader in the Australian emerging technology sector”.
“I am incredibly proud of the organisation we have built and the milestones we have accomplished since 2015. I want to thank our Board, our dedicated staff, our resident founders, alumni and partners for the opportunity to lead and grow this organisation,” Mr Scandurra said in a statement.
“I have been privileged to play a role in building the infrastructure to support the new economy in Australia. I have every faith in the leadership and team at Stone and Chalk Group, and I look forward to seeing them flourish as they embark on the next stage of their existing journey.”
Mr Scandurra is also a non-executive director of Australian cancer charity Redkite, an advisory board member at the NSW Data Analytics Centre and a member of the ASIC Digital Advisory Council.
Stone and Chalk non-executive director Richard Umbers, a former CEO of Myers, will be serving as interim CEO, with the organisation now recruiting for its next leader.
“Alex has done a terrific job building Stone and Chalk to the globally recognised organisation it is today,” Stone and Chalk group board chair Leona Murphy said.
“In 2015 we began as an independent, not-for-profit entity to foster and accelerate the development of world-class Australian fintech startups. We have supported the growth of that ecosystem, which has since produced some of Australia’s leading scale-ups.”
In February this year, it was announced that AustCyber would be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stone and Chalk, but the deal was a merger due to the not-for-profit nature of the deal. Both organisations are still operating under their existing brands, and run effectively separate accounting, but the staff are integrated.
“A strategic integration of the peak body for the cybersecurity industries with the leading commercialisation network for all emerging tech will ensure that our emerging technologies are secure and can increase the security of their customers and partners,” Mr Scandurra and AustCyber CEO Michelle Price wrote in an op-ed for InnovationAus in February.
“In a world where critical and emerging tech are becoming central to economic growth, resilience and security of national economies, a body like the one we are creating with this merger is no longer optional.”
Stone and Chalk also acquired Ribit, a digital student job and internship matchmaking service set up by CSIRO staff, last year.
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