When the downtown St. Louis Macy’s closed its doors on August 1, it was the end of an era. There had been a department store in that spot for more than 100 years, and it was a fixture in the St. Louis business landscape. But the end of one era signaled the beginning of another.
On the same day, in the same building where Macy’s shut its doors, 12 floors up, SixThirty Financial Services Tech accelerator was opening up for business.
The Railway Exchange building in downtown St. Louis, home to a new startup accelerator and T-REx.
SixThirty is the brainchild of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Cultivation Capital. The goal is to bring new financial tech companies to St. Louis.
Over the past few years, St. Louis has established itself as a powerhouse community for startups. But long before that, it was a center for financial services companies.
St. Louis is one of the largest financial centers outside of New York City. SixThirty leverages the strengths of both the financial and startup communities in St. Louis.
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. They also receive $100,000 each to build their businesses in St. Louis. At the end of the program, these companies will present to a forum of financial services leaders, investors, and stakeholders. The program gives them unparalleled access and opportunities to take their business to the next level.
But getting this program off the ground wasn’t easy. The SixThirty launch process was an amazing feat. Within a matter of weeks, the SixThirty team drafted a business plan, found sponsorship, funding, launched a website, press campaign, and has already secured dozens of applicants.
Washington University students were at the heart of the action. Olin second-year MBA Kasey Joyce drafted a large portion of the business plan and headed up the outreach program for applicants and media. Several Olin students helped find and vet new companies to contact for the program, including Sebastian Mathalkunnel, Harry Bolson, Mark Gillis, Kyle Tabor, and Sahil Lalwani.
St. Louis continues to receive national and international attention for the startup community building in the heart of the city; and I am confident we will continue to see Olin students and alums at the center of it all. If you or someone you know would be a good fit for SixThirty, check out the website, sixthirty.co and apply by September 6.