SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A new center at the University of Utah will seek to help the school’s entrepreneurial spirit with a focus on financial technology, or fintech, and students.
A 10-year, $65 million investment from the Stena Foundation will create the Stena Center for Financial Technology, industry-sponsored labs, a start-up incubator, venture funds, and fintech-focused degrees and certificates.
The Stena Center for Financial Technology will serve as a hub for the university’s new fintech programs. According to the university, a minor emphasizing fintech is one of the newest offerings for students to pursue and there are plans to offer undergraduate and master’s degrees in fintech within the next four years.
The fintechXstudio, a start-up incubator for qualified students, will be one of the main features of the center. Using venture capital funds, qualifying students working in the fintech industry will have the investments needed to build innovation in their field.
The studio will start with an annual group of 10 student entrepreneurs and businesses. The students will have access to experts, office spaces, mentors within the industry, and technology solutions partners. They will be able to use prototyping tools and technology, curated courses, and the venture capital fund to fulfill their work.
“The Stena Center will blend Utah’s broad fintech industry experience with U students’ energy and creativity,” said Stena Center’s executive director Ryan Christiansen. “This unique partnership will connect financial technology leaders’ workforce skills and experience with students’ passion and ideas – accelerating innovation to place Utah at the forefront of global fintech excellence.”
The University of Utah said the center will collaborate significantly with many academic colleges on campus, including the David Eccles School of Business, the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering and the S.J. Quinney College of Law. Through these collaborations, the university will develop new programs and degrees for students.
The Stena Center for Financial Technology is the latest hub for student entrepreneurs. Other programs at the U include the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, the Sorensen Impact Center, the Doman Innovation Studio and the Kahlert Initiative on Technology.