- A Chinese billionaire named Bruno Wu is building out a nearly $300 million crypto innovation hub in an unlikely place – Hartford, Connecticut.
- Part of the plan includes a fintech college, according to documents reviewed by Business Insider.
- Seven Stars Cloud
A little-known financial technology company is making a big splash in Connecticut’s state capital with a plan for a nearly $300 million crypto innovation hub.
Seven Stars Cloud, a company led by China-born media-mogul-turned-tech-entrepreneur billionaire Bruno Wu, announced plans in July to build out what is being dubbed Fintech Village, a hub for the firm and others to collaborate on robotics, machine-learning, and crypto-related initiatives, in Hartford, Connecticut.
It’s also looking to launch a fintech college at the Hartford campus, according to documents obtained by Business Insider.
To that end, SSC is looking to seek out partnerships with nearby colleges to create an accredited entity specializing in fintech. It would offer courses in artificial intelligence and blockchain, according to documents.
Wu said he selected Hartford as the location for his new venture because of its proximity to top colleges. Yale University is in nearby New Haven, and other local colleges include the University of Connecticut, University of Hartford, and University of New Haven.
The move points to a spike in demand for talent with backgrounds in financial technology skills.
Elsewhere, Fordham University in New York launched a fintech secondary concentration for its business students. New York University also offers a number of fintech courses, including one in cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
The number of blockchain or cryptocurrency job postings on LinkedIn increased at least four-fold in 2017.
Still such talent is in short supply, according to Miha Grcar, the head of business development for Bitstamp, a crypto exchange. He said the talent shortage is a bigger headache than bitcoin’s volatility.
“Globally, the pool of talent – people with experience in blockchain and distributed-ledger technology – is somewhat limited,” Grcar said. “This is a big challenge.”
As for SSC, the firm secured $23 million from Changan Investment Group, as well as a $10 million loan from the Connecticut state government.