This week SixThirty, a financial services tech accelerator program led by Square co-founder Jim McKelvey, launched in St. Louis, Missouri. Backed by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and local investment firm Cultivation Capital, SixThirty will make four $100,000 investments each fall and spring in financial-based technology startup companies, for a total of eight investments per year. Those companies selected to take part in the four-month accelerator program will receive hands-on training, mentoring, and networking opportunities with the top financial services companies in the region. St. Louis is home to Edward Jones, Scottrade, Stifel Financial, Wells Fargo Advisors and US Bancorp CDC, as well as many other leading financial services, banking, insurance and venture capital companies.
The first four companies selected for the inaugural class will start the four-month program at the beginning of October and will be housed in the T-REx startup co-working space in downtown St. Louis. 630 feet is both the height and width of the Gateway Arch, and was selected as the name of the accelerator to highlight the strength of the financial services industry in St. Louis.
Members of the founding SixThirty team include:
- Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square, and general partner at Cultivation Capital
- Hal Gentry, serial entrepreneur, and general partner at Capital Innovators
- Joe Reagan, president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber
“We saw a real opportunity to leverage our regional strengths as a financial hub,” said Jim McKelvey. “Between the growth capital, the experience of our founding team, and the connections with the financial services community, SixThirty will be a welcome addition to the St. Louis startup scene.”
“This is a particularly important initiative, considering the local strength of the financial services industry in St. Louis and how they strive to constantly improve their services,” said Daniel Ludeman, CEO of Wells Fargo Advisors and Chair of the St Louis Regional Chamber, and founding co-chair of the Chamber’s Financial Forum. The Greater St. Louis Financial Forum is charged with accelerating economic development throughout the region in the financial and information services sector.
The Chamber is making a three-year financial commitment to SixThirty. Joe Reagan, President and CEO of the Chamber, referencing the recent launch of the Regional Entrepreneurship Initiative, said “We were inspired by the Initiative’s call to action and thought this was a great way to make an impact in a hurry.”
SixThirty is now accepting applications for its Fall 2013 inaugural class. Applications are due online by September 6, 2013. For more information on SixThirty or to apply, please visit http://www.sixthirty.co.