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Launched across the U.S., VilCap Communities is a partnership between Village Capital, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Sorenson Impact Center and the Rise of the Rest initiative, led by Steve Case. Earlier this month, they announced the inaugural class of VilCap Pioneering Communities to which SixThirty was invited.
VilCap Pioneer Communities consists of individuals and organizations from 16 cities. Each community represents an ecosystem that provides a competitive advantage to startups navigating areas of health, education, water and energy, food and agriculture, financial technology, and minority and female entrepreneurship.
“Communities across America should build on what makes them unique,” said Ross Baird, Executive Director of Village Capital, in a press release. “We’re working with a strong group of leaders who know what makes their region great, and are building the next generation of entrepreneurs as a result.”
With Village Capital, Atul Kamra, Managing Partner of SixThirty, sees an opportunity to further strengthen the FinTech startup scene in St.Louis, by connecting entrepreneurs to a national network of investors, mentors and talent to strengthen their business models.
“We have a dual bottom line: building successful fintech businesses and driving economic activity”, said Kamra. “The recognition from Village Capital and Kauffman Foundation builds on the momentum we have in SixThirty and St. Louis to attract and grow some of the most promising FinTech ideas from across the globe.”
Last month, the 16 VilCap Communities gathered in Salt Lake City, along with investors, to unlock the capital for entrepreneurs that are driving the transformation in their communities.
“This is a big milestone for SixThirty and St.Louis”, added Joe Reagan, CEO of St. Louis Regional Chamber. “The recognition from national leaders in the field of entrepreneurship and economic development validates our approach of focusing on industry clusters, like Financial Services, in which we are authentically strong and have global opportunity for growth.”