What is SixThirty?
SixThirty provides financial technology (fintech) startups with up to $100K in funding, mentorship, and introductions to potential customers, decision makers, and influencers within some of the top financial services companies in the country.
SixThirty is now accepting applications for its Fall 2015 Cohort. Startups can apply to the program through July 10th— https://www.f6s.com/
What are your target companies?
SixThirty invests in fintech companies that have working products, a great team, and that are starting to gain customer traction. SixThirty typically looks for fintech startups that are providing web or mobile software in the following areas: payments / processing; security / fraud solutions; regulatory / compliance solutions; big data and analytics; lending; and asset / wealth management.
Why did you build SixThirty? What problem are you taking on?
Nationally, all fintech companies have similar problems. With a normal tech startup, if you have a great idea, a great team and sufficient funds, you have a good chance of succeeding. In financial technology, those three things are not enough. You need connections, access to the ecosystem. That can be insurance, that can be money transfer licenses or banking licenses. If you have a great idea and it involves money, you’ll likely need other things.
How is SixThirty different from other accelerators?
The startups that come through SixThirty’s program are typically later seed stage. They have working products, a great team, and are starting to gain customer traction. During the program, SixThirty provides companies with mentoring and money, but more importantly, we plug them into the ecosystem of financial institutions. If they need trading licenses on Wall Street or commodity licenses, we’ve got ScottTrade and Stifel. If they’re in the credit cards and payments business, we’ve got MasterCard. We have this ecosystem in St. Louis of successful and reputable financial service companies. Without those relationships, a lot of financial tech startups just won’t make it.
Tell us your founding story. Was there an “ah ha” moment?
Most people don’t realize it, but St. Louis is one of the largest financial services hubs outside of New York. Three of the 10 largest U.S. financial advisory firms are based in the area and St. Louis is the 3rd most concentrated market for investment advisors, behind New York City and Boston. SixThirty was founded to leverage St. Louis’ leadership in financial services and help build successful companies in the fintech space.
Tell us about your founding team and their backgrounds.
SixThirty is led by a team of seasoned serial entrepreneurs, angel investors, and startup champions.
Atul Kamra- Managing Partner
Atul has 25 years of experience in financial services. Most recently, he was Head of Advice for Wells Fargo Advisors, where he oversaw investments and advice quality. In previous roles, he was president of Wells Fargo’s clearing business, First Clearing, and partner with Booz&Co.
Jim McKelvey- General Partner
Jim co-founded Square in 2009 and sits on the board of directors. Jim is a General Partner at Cultivation Capital and an advisor to several financial technology startups including Kabbage.
Hal Gentry- General Partner
Hal has nearly 30 years of experience in the software industry as a CEO and angel investor. He founded and sold two successful software businesses, Gentry Systems and GridLogix.
Barry Sandweiss- General Partner
Barry has over 20 years of real estate and real estate finance experience. He is a co-founder and COO of Lenders One, the 4th largest U.S. retail mortgage platform.
Timothy Stern- General Partner
Tim has over 25 years of real estate and real estate finance experience. He served as the Co-Founder/President of Lenders One, the 4th largest U.S. retail mortgage platform.
Brian Matthews- General Partner
Brian Matthews is a General Partner at Cultivation Capital and a founder of River City Internet Group. Brian is a serial entrepreneur having co-founded and assisted in the sale of numerous technology companies.
Jay DeLong- General Partner
Jay is currently founding partner of Active Capital and serves the STL startup community as a mentor, cheerleader, and investor. Jay works in collaboration with area venture capital firms in identifying and maturing promising startup technology companies internally and from other markets, as well as working to recruit additional venture capital funding to the Midwest region.
Len Reynolds- General Partner
Len directs The Chamber’s efforts to facilitate equity and venture capital, and to foster emerging tech companies in the St. Louis region.
Doug Wilber- Senior Advisor
Doug has over 15 years of experience concepting, building, and launching products in the FinTech space and is currently the Chief Revenue Officer of PYMNTS.com. Prior to PYMNTS.com, Doug led numerous product and business development efforts for Discover Financial Services.
Where can people find out more?
SixThirty is now accepting applications for its Fall 2015 Cohort. Click here to apply by July 10th— https://www.f6s.com/