Rutgers-Newark and Fiserv Celebrate Opening of Inclusive Innovation Hub to Drive Diversity in Fintech Industry

From left, Fiserv Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility Neil Wilcox, Fiserv + Rutgers-Newark scholar Chinonye Uzowuru, Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor

Rutgers-Newark and Fiserv, a leading global provider of payments and financial technology with a flagship Innovation Center in New Jersey, celebrated the grand opening of the Rutgers-Newark Fiserv Innovation Hub (iHub). The Innovation Hub is part of the Rutgers-Newark Fiserv Inclusive Innovation Program, a multi-faceted initiative designed to leverage diversity to drive innovation in the financial technology industry through research, internships, and local entrepreneurship. 

Located on Washington Street, the Innovation Hub is designed to foster collaboration and research among faculty, students, and local businesses. It will serve as a central resource for inclusive innovation among Fiserv + Rutgers-Newark scholars focused on finance and information technology, including military-affiliated students.  In the future, the space will host hackathons, TEDx talks, and fintech ecosystem collaborations.

 “We envisioned the Innovation Hub as a physical nerve center to build and broaden pathways to business and tech careers for students from our increasingly diverse local communities,” said Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “It’s designed to be a place where university researchers, current professionals, and professionals of tomorrow can share diverse perspectives to create better, smarter fintech solutions.”

"The Innovation Hub represents how corporations can invest in the future workforce and the future of financial technology,” said Rutgers-Newark Provost Jeffrey Robinson. “I am very excited that Fiserv has invested in our students through scholarships and experiential opportunities, and now through the development of a world-class space for our inclusive innovation activities.’’

Since the Inclusive Innovation Program launched last year, research collaborations between Rutgers-Newark students and faculty on projects that involve technology and commerce, such as cybersecurity and legal and ethical topics, are underway. Fiserv + Rutgers-Newark scholars also have begun learning about the fintech industry and how to prepare for careers in the field. 

“The creation of the Innovation Hub is opening a lot of doors for students and the growing local businesses in the city,” said student and Fiserv + Rutgers-Newark scholar Chinonye Uzowuru. “This investment from Fiserv in the Newark community will help bridge the gap between marginalized communities and the financial technology industry. I’m excited to be part of this program and to see this initiative come to life.”

“Diversity of perspective is a key factor in successful innovation,” said Neil Wilcox, EVP and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Fiserv and a greater Newark native. “By providing access to leading technology and the space to research, create and collaborate at the Innovation Hub, Rutgers-Newark and Fiserv are equipping the next generation of technology leaders in our community.”

Also part of the Rutgers-Newark Fiserv Inclusive Innovation Program is Rutgers Business School’s Entrepreneurship Pioneer Initiative (EPI), which helps New Jersey residents, who are the first in their families to own businesses, develop their companies.