Catalyst Belfast Fintech Hub extends partnership between Danske Bank and Catalyst Inc

Belfast’s first dedicated fintech co-working space has opened for business. Catalyst Belfast Fintech Hub is located on the ground floor of Danske Bank’s city centre headquarters in a specially designed space next to the bank’s flagship branch in Donegall Square West.

The Catalyst Fintech Hub is dedicated to the growing cluster of local early stage technology companies operating in the finance space who are ambitious to scale and expand into new markets.

Catalyst Inc and Danske Bank have announced Finmondo, a fintech company run by Conor Logue and Conor Houston, as the first member company to join the new start-up hub and said it expects to confirm more new members the comings weeks.

The space offers 24/7 access for members and features dedicated office suites, permanent desks, hotdesking space, a break out coffee area and a unique event space inside a former safe that can seat up to 50 people for meet-ups and workshops. It also provides members access to a dedicated Growth Adviser and Community Manager, as well as the networks of both organisations.

The Catalyst Fintech Hub is the first time Catalyst Inc has had a presence Belfast’s city centre. Members will also be able to access Catalyst Inc’s other sites in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, Derry/Londonderry, Letterkenny and Ballymena.

Steve Orr, Director of Connect at Catalyst Inc said:

“We are delighted that the Catalyst Belfast Fintech Hub is now open as it allows us to showcase this fantastic working space in the heart of the city centre. This is an exciting opportunity for Belfast and the wider region to grow our existing fintech sector by nurturing, supporting and encouraging fintech entrepreneurs and innovators.

We are delighted to be partnering with Danske Bank, and harnessing the experience, knowledge and networks from both organisations we believe will unlock many opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators across the sector.”

The project to convert the ground floor of its headquarters in Belfast into a new co-working space follows a major refurbishment of the bank’s flagship branch, which sits alongside it.

Vicky Davies, MD of Strategy & Corporate Development at Danske Bank, said:

“The potential of the fintech sector in Northern Ireland is yet to be fully realised, but we believe there is a real opportunity for local start-ups and financial institutions to work together to put it on the global map. To grow any part of the tech sector it is important for early stage companies in the field to feel like they have a community.

“This space will support innovation, helping high potential start-ups in the fintech sector who are reaching the point in their lifecycle where they need to scale up but don’t yet need their own office. I hope the fantastic environment we have created will give those in the fintech sector the impetus they need to grow their businesses by providing the opportunity to collaborate and expand their networks.

As part of a leading European banking network, we plan to help plug them into our own network of fintech hubs and partner banks around the world.”

Conor Logue founded Finmondo in January 2018 and met Conor Houston via the Co-Founders programme run by Connect at Catalyst Inc.

Finmondo is a financial intelligence platform that harnesses relevant data to provide SMEs with the same level of insights and analytics that a large corporate has access to, but that an SME wouldn’t necessarily have the time, expertise and resources to produce themselves.

Conor Houston said:

“We were supported from the very start by the team at Catalyst Inc who brought Conor and I together. The Catalyst Belfast Fintech Hub is the perfect home for Finmondo. It’s the first dedicated space for fintech start-ups - the facilities are incredible and the ecosystem is brilliantly supportive.

Finmondo wants to play its role in putting Belfast on the global map as the home for fintech companies – Catalyst Belfast Fintech Hub, right in the city centre, is the perfect launch pad for us to do that.”