Join the Future of Fintech at the University of Utah
The Stena Center for Financial Technology at the University of Utah unites education and industry to accelerate financial innovation and inclusion. It is a collaborative effort of the David Eccles School of Business and the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering. Organized as an interdisciplinary effort, the center provides workshops, labs, research, an annual conference, and other projects and programs for students, faculty, and industry partners. The center collaborates with university faculty to bring together fintech learning, scholarship, innovation, entrepreneurship, and knowledge sharing. It fosters an intersection of education and industry to accelerate advances in fintech in the areas of research, commercialization, applied learning, and incubation of new ideas and businesses. The center was launched with vision and support from the Stena Foundation, which was founded by University of Utah alumni Steve and Jana Smith to help people thrive by solving big problems.
To bring together education and industry to accelerate financial and technological innovation that supports students, research, and industry to expand and strengthen the fintech ecosystem.
The annual Utah FinTech Xchange Summit is presented to convene fintech leaders from across the country. The conference features discussions, thought leadership, and cutting-edge research on fintech. Through an open exchange of ideas, expertise, and standards, the conference helps drive fintech innovation and growth for all. Attendees represent company leaders, decision-makers, regulators, and lawmakers. Attendees learn about the newest developments in fintech with the chance for extensive networking and collaboration.
Programs & Activities
All University of Utah undergraduate students (with a GPA of 3.0 or higher) are welcome to enroll in financial technology study options. Students can choose from electives, a minor, or a finance major with a fintech emphasis to learn the range of business models and technologies disrupting financial services and gain the advanced knowledge and skills to succeed in the future, build a career, and improve the world. The programs were developed jointly by the David Eccles School of Business and the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering. Students join a rapidly growing industry, fueled by the rising demand for digital financial services, including mobile banking, e-commerce, and digital wallets, amongst others, and supported by advances in artificial intelligence, distributed-ledger technologies, and cloud-based services. To start the journey into the digital future of financial services, students start with an introductory course (FINAN 2140: Introduction to FinTech).
The Stena Center offers experiential opportunities and a one-of-a-kind educational experience in the form of industry-led and funded labs. These capstone labs will convene research faculty and students around industry use-cases and sector issues like cybersecurity, data for good, cryptocurrency, regulatory technology, and more. Students will approach problems from a design thinking and problem-solving approach and work with community partners and stakeholders to structure viable solutions. These labs will continue to evolve as new issues come to the forefront of the fintech ecosystem.
Types of Labs
Stena fintechXstudio is a student incubator within the Stena Center for Financial Technology and will launch an annual cohort of 10-12 selected student entrepreneurs that propel digital and data innovation in the fintech space. The studio will provide students with access to faculty, industry mentors, a curated curriculum, prototyping tools and technology, physical space, and venture funding. The University of Utah is renowned for its entrepreneurship programs, and students participating in the Stena fintechXstudio will become part of an ecosystem that includes centers, institutes, and programs like the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, Sorenson Impact Center, Doman Innovation Studio, Master of Business Creation, and the Kahlert Initiative on Technology. Stena fintechXstudio is a scalable incubator platform that can plug into the University of Utah’s global programs and start to incubate financial technologies in Africa, Europe, and Asia as it grows. The first cohort will launch in the spring semester of 2023, and physical space is being planned.
To support student entrepreneurs and provide a complete ecosystem, the Stena Foundation will establish at least one venture fund and partner with existing university-affiliated funds to provide direct access to capital for our student founders working in the fields of technology and finance. The Stena Foundation will establish an initial $8 million venture fund that will invest at least $100,000 annually in 10-12 student-led fintech companies. A portion of the returns from these investments will be reinvested into the center and the university to continue growth in programming and student support. Additionally, existing university-affiliated venture funds like the Fenton Fund and UVF II may also provide funding sources for student companies and fintech innovations. The timing of Stena fintechXstudio Fund I will coincide with the start of the first fintechXstudio cohort in spring of 2023.
“Education has the ability to lift communities and to lift individuals into a very different socioeconomic status. It is the one thing that we have in society that is proven to change social mobility. If you can get someone an education that they can use for the rest of their life, it changes families for generations to come.”
– Taylor Randall, President, University of Utah
News & Announcements
How the Stena Center is Driving Fintech Growth in Utah
At the recent Utah FinTech Xchange Summit, the University of Utah announced the Stena Center...
The State of Fintech in Utah
Utah has become a leader in the technology and financial industries, making the state an...
Video: University of Utah Announces Fintech Center
Watch this video to learn about the new Stena Center for Financial Technology at the...
Highlights From the FintechXchange Summit 2023
On Jan. 30-31, 2023, leaders in the financial technology industry met at the 2023 fintechXchange...