N.J. eyes creation of Fintech Innovation Center

Already a leader in sector, EDA puts out RFI for thoughts, suggestions on how center would operate

New Jersey already has established itself as a hub for the rapidly growing fintech industry. But, does the state need to do more by establishing an official Fintech Innovation Center?

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is aiming to figure that out. On Monday, it issued a Request for Information seeking insight from qualified entities with perspectives on the creation of a physical innovation center dedicated to financial technology.

EDA officials said the RFI seeks to collect information on whether a fintech strategic innovation center would create a unique opportunity for further economic development, sustain job growth and job creation, and catalyze innovation in the state.

The RFI can be found here. Responses are due by June 6.

N.J. and fintech: Perfect together?

Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan said New Jersey is well on track to become the nation’s central location for the fintech industry, considering many of the world’s leading financial services companies have already located their back-office data and technology support operations in the state.

New Jersey offers:

  • A densely populated and transit-connected Northeast Corridor;
  • Best-in-class digital infrastructure;
  • Highly educated, skilled and diverse workforce;
  • An international gateway with easy access to employees, clients and customers across the globe.

EDA CEO Tim Sullivan said the state not only wants to get comments, questions and recommendations into the potential value in creating a center for fintech activity in New Jersey, but that the RFI seeks to help the state better understand the opportunities and challenges associated with establishing a Fintech Innovation Center, including:

  • Market need and gaps, potential sites and logistical considerations;
  • Information on potential projects or solutions that present the best return on investment and opportunity for sustainability;
  • National and international models that should be considered when developing a Fintech Innovation Center.

“Gathering insights into how a Fintech Innovation Center could contribute to the economic vitality and quality of life in the state will help us identify best practices and innovative ideas for developing a successful center that makes sense for New Jersey in terms of its long-term economic competitiveness,” Sullivan said.

The NJEDA is seeking responses from qualified entities including, but not limited to, finance and insurance companies; information technology companies; suppliers within the financial services and technology supply chains (e.g., product and technology development); post-secondary educational institutions; relevant industry or trade groups; policy and academic researchers; real estate developers; business leaders, employers and entrepreneurs; technical assistance providers; and municipal or county governments.