Four financial tech startups from outside the region will each receive $100,000 in funding and mentoring as part of the first class of SixThirty, a new St. Louis-based accelerator program.
Entrepreneur Jim McKelvey, who’s also the co-founder of mobile payments company Square, is managing director of SixThirty, which gets its name from the height and width in feet of the Gateway Arch.
McKelvey launched SixThirty this year to help grow and foster one of St. Louis’ largest industries — financial services. Financial technology companies in the early stages of funding and development were invited to apply for four slots in the first class, which includes a 16-week program beginning Sunday at the T-REx incubator in downtown St. Louis.
Eight more companies will be selected next year.
Funding for the accelerator comes from St. Louis-based investment firm Cultivation Capital and the St. Louis Regional Chamber. Seventy percent of nearly 100 applicants came from outside the St. Louis region. The companies that were selected are:
• Hedgeable, described as a “next generation Vanguard” that provides low-cost, risk-managed investment products. Led by Matthew Kane and Michael Kane, the company is based in New York.
• miiCard, a digital passport used to verify a person’s identity for access to online financial accounts. MiiCard is based in Scotland and led by James Varga.
• Upside, a San Francisco-based firm led by Tom Kimberly and Juney Ham that provides investment management services to affluent young professionals.
• XYverify, a mobile authentication company based in New York and led by Elliot Klein that uses geolocation technology.
McKelvey said St. Louis has a big advantage over other cities due to the large number of financial companies based here, including Wells Fargo Advisors, Edward Jones and Scottrade.
“It’s a game where the cards are stacked in our favor,” he said at an event downtown Wednesday revealing the selected companies.