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In May, Atul Kamra, managing partner of fintech business accelerator SixThirty, predicted that the big players in St. Louis’ sizable financial community were about to focus more of their attention on young and innovative companies. Last week’s announcement of SixThirty’s partnership with UMB Financial Corporation proved his inkling was correct.
“The partnership with UMB is a vote of confidence in our investment process and acceleration program,” Kamra said in a statement. “It is a shot in the arm for SixThirty and St. Louis to attract and grow some of the most promising ideas in the fintech space.”
Kansas City-based UMB will invest alongside SixThirty in a handful of later seed-stage financial technology startups. Upon acceptance into SixThirty’s accelerator program, each company selected receives $100,000 (in exchange for a negotiated percentage of equity, usually between two and 10 percent) and participates in a 14-week accelerator program focusing on hands-on training, mentoring and networking with regional financial services companies.
“Outside of New York, St. Louis, is one of the nation’s largest financial centers, and we believe there is real opportunity here to create, innovate and accelerate businesses in the fintech sector,” said Tom Chulick, chairman of UMB Bank St. Louis. “UMB is proud to invest in the local community and in our entrepreneurs. When we have home-grown startups that are transforming the way the financial and technology industries are doing business, everyone benefits.”
Managing director of UMB’s capital markets division, Andre Trudell, and UMB Bank’s St. Louis region manager for business banking, Dave Bauer, will act as business mentors for SixThirty companies. Trudell will also join SixThirty’s Investment Committee, reviewing and selecting startups for the accelerator program.
“UMB’s move blazes the trail for other organizations to become involved,” said Joe Reagan, President & CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber in a statement. “This partnership, and others like it, will continue to benefit the financial services industry in our region and eventually throughout the country.”