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Hartford Courant: How Seven Stars Cloud Plans To Spend $283M In West Hartford

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Sam Belden

Sam Belden

Chain Valley, a $283 million financial technology hub planned in West Hartford, will be home to upwards of 50 companies, along with a research institute and training center, according to the businessman behind the project.

Chinese billionaire Bruno Wu announced the planned hub at a news conference with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy last week, but shared few details about how he planned to invest hundreds of millions of dollars. He provided new information to The Courant in response to criticism of the project from Republican state Senate leader Len Fasano.

“There’s a lot of misinformation. It’s early stage and information is yet to come,” Wu said. “We have the clients, we have the technology, we have the team, so we’re going to relocate to Connecticut.

“[Fasano] is right — across the board, [blockchain] is volatile,” Wu added. “But not us.”

The hub is being planned at UConn’s former West Hartford campus by Seven Stars Cloud, an early-stage financial technology — or fintech — company with a corporate headquarters in New York City’s financial district.

SSC will be just one of several companies locating its technology and innovation operations in West Hartford, Wu said. They’ll each be developing and selling business services around artificial intelligence and blockchain, a tool for building secure, digital ledgers and the accounting technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

About 15 of the businesses moving to the hub belong to the same parent company as SSC, called Sun Seven Stars Investment Group. That Chinese conglomerate is also founded and controlled by Wu. He says the hub will also add 10 to 20 startups in the next two years, and 12 to 15 manufacturing companies down the road, starting with three to four by the end of 2018.

Of the 330 jobs SSC has promised to create there over five years, some will be transferred from other locations but about 60 to 70 percent will be new hires, he said.

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