Aon joins with York Butter Factory in search of fintech start-up opportunities

Aon joins with York Butter Factory in search of fintech start-up opportunities

Global risk management consultancy and insurance broker Aon has partnered with Melbourne co-working space York Butter Factory, as part of a move from the industry incumbent to keep up with start-up disrupters.

The partnership is one of about 10 corporate deals the York Butter Factory (YBF) has secured with major businesses such as ANZ, EY, IBM and Qantas.

Aon Australia chief executive Lambros Lambrou said the company intends to tap into YBF’s ecosystem of entrepreneurs.

“This partnership provides Aon with a unique opportunity to explore new opportunities with the insurance and tech markets in mind. We hope this partnership will encourage collaboration between the fintech start-up industry and Aon,” he said.

“Tech start-ups don’t face historical challenges and, as a result, are transforming and upending the way the world does business. These businesses are disrupting the traditional value chain and we encourage that – we want to add value to that.”

It is the first partnership of its kind for Aon and it means YBF start-ups will receive free insurance and risk assessments, as well as some masterclasses. Aon does not intend to make investments in the startups at this time.

Open platform

However YBF co-founder Stuart Richardson said he hoped the partnership would lead to commercial and joint-venture opportunities for the early stage businesses.

“We’ve created an open innovation platform so that corporates can immerse themselves in the start-up ecosystem. We’ve got more than 200 events a year … and companies like Aon can come into the space to help the start-ups … and even more so see how start-ups today are creating new companies and new ventures and see if there are any partnership opportunities with them,” he said.

“Through those discussions and relationships, new ventures can be born as a result.”

YBF has been open for about five years and since then a number of successful start-ups have come about as a result of partnerships with corporates.

Property technology start-up Equiem, which counts Aconex founder Leigh Jasper and Rob Philpott as investors, and personal investment platform, have both been created from teams of entrepreneurs and corporates within YBF.

Mr Richardson said YBF had more corporate partnerships in the pipeline and he hoped these would help it to keep on creating Aussie tech success stories.


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