St. Louis’ Six Thirty Accelerator Announces Inaugural Class

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The new fintech startup accelerator in St. Louis, backed by Cultivation Capital and Square’s Jim McKelvey, held an event on Wednesday evening to announce their first startup cohort. McKelvey is joined by Hal Gentry, serial entrepreneur and general partner at Capital Innovators, and Joe Reagan CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber, as co-founders for the accelerator called Six Thirty which takes its name from the height and width of the St. Louis Arch.

They received over 100+ applications from all over the world from startups with a financial element. They successfully weeded out the group to just four. Here are the companies in the first session, which officially starts Monday.

Hedgeable, Matthew Kane and Michael Kane
Hedgeable is a next generation Vanguard, providing low cost, risk managed investment products in response to the Financial Crisis.

MiiCard, James Varga
Through a patented process, miiCard leverages access to online financial accounts to verify an individual’s identity beyond a photo ID through a simple process that occurs completely online in five to ten minutes.

Upside, Tom Kimberly
Upside uses innovative financial science and beautiful user interface to provide goal-based investment management to mass affluent young professionals.

XYverify, Elliot Klein
XYverify enables consumers, merchants and financial institutions to reduce costs and prevent fraud via a mobile authentication platform.

McKelvey is also spearheading another new startup related effort in St. Louis called Launch Code.


St. Louis Gets New Financial Startup Accelerator SixThirty, Named After The Gateway Arch

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The infamous St. Louis gateway arch is both 630 feet high and 630 feet wide. That’s where Cultivation Capital and The St. Louis Regional Chamber came up with the name for a new startup accelerator aimed at financial services startups.

The new SixThirty accelerator will invest $100,000 into four financial services startups twice a year (8 total). Those startups selected will go through a four month accelerator program from St. Louis’ proven leaders in the startup acceleration space. In addition to the typical startup accelerator training, Six Thirty will focus on offering mentors and a curriculum focused around the things financial services startups needs.

St. Louis is rich in financial services companies. Edward Jones, Scottrade, Stifel Financial, Wells Fargo Advisors, and US Bancorp CDC all call St. Louis home. The St. Louis financial services sector currently employs approximately 85,000 people—and is growing rapidly.  Employment in financial investment services expanded by an incredible 84% between January 2007 to September 2012 in St. Louis, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article.  During the same period the four largest financial services metros lost employment, according to data cited from Moody’s Analytics.

The founding team of the SixThirty accelerators is made up of three individuals with deep ties to the St. Louis startup scene:

  • 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,” Jim McKelvey said in a statement.  “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.  Reagan, 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.”

You can find out more about Six Thirty or apply to their first cohort here at