SixThirty, a financial services technology accelerator program by Square co-founder Jim McKelvey, launched this week in St. Louis.
The accelerator will make four $100,000 investments each fall and spring in financial-based startups. These companies will then take part in a four-month program that provides hands-on training, mentoring and networking with local financial services companies. Edward Jones, Scottrade, Stifel Financial, Wells Fargo Advisors and US Bancorp CDC all have a substantial presence in the St. Louis area.
The first four companies selected will start the four-month program at the beginning of October in the T-REx startup co-working space in downtown St. Louis. SixThirty takes its name from the 630-foot height of the St. Louis Gateway Arch.
The other members of the SixThirty team are Hal Gentry, a general partner at Capital Innovators and 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," McKelvey said in an Aug. 14 press release. "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."
St. Louis is growing in popularity as a testing ground for new financial technology. It is the 15th-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with almost 3 million people.
Y Combintor also runs a technology accelerator program in the financial services space.