Financial tech hub at the University of Delaware to blend academics, business

An artist’s conception drawing shows the $36 million FinTech hub building planned for the University of Delaware’s STAR Campus in Newark. (Courtesy of the University of Delaware)

An artist’s conception drawing shows the $36 million FinTech hub building planned for the University of Delaware’s STAR Campus in Newark. (Courtesy of the University of Delaware)

The University of Delaware will build a six-story, 100,000-square-foot financial technology (Fintech) building at its growing Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus, school officials announced Thursday. The project is a partnership between Discover Bank and the Delaware Technology Park (DTP).

UD will lease half of the building from DTP to house the College of Business and College of Engineering. The remaining space will be filled by startups in the Fintech industry and Discover. 

“We’re very excited about this,” said UD president Dennis Assanis. “This is one of the fastest-growing areas for a business major, for somebody who is interested in banking, for someone who is employed currently in the banking world.”

About 10% of Delaware’s working population is employed in the finance industry. Assanis hopes this Fintech hub can continue the state’s legacy as an employment center for financial firms. 

“These are the jobs of the future,” Assanis said.

The project is the latest addition to UD’s STAR Campus, south of the university’s main campus. Since Assanis arrived at UD in 2016, the university has added one million square feet of building space at the STAR Campus.

 “It is the place where the university meets the world to do good service,” Assanis said. “We bring our academics and our research to advance industry and job creation, to be an engine of economic growth and development for Delaware, and at the same time, do good for the community that we serve.”

Delaware Technology Park hopes to use the facility to add to its roster of 75 startups that have been created since its inception as a nonprofit — with UD, the state and the private sector as partners — in the early 90s.

“Delaware Technology Park is excited to launch a new building project on STAR Campus in conjunction with the University of Delaware and funded by Discover Bank,” said Mike Bowman, President and CEO of DTP. “It will contain faculty, students and entrepreneurs with outstanding data science knowledge and digital management competencies, as well as support resources for business development and community education.”

Discover Bank President James J. Roszkowski said the company is still exploring how it will partner with UD on the bank’s financial tech needs. “The development at STAR helps us realize our vision of creating brighter financial futures for consumers as well as creating new opportunities for the business community,” Roszkowski said in a statement. 

The $38-million building is expected to open in 2021.

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