UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) announced a strategic partnership with SixThirty, a St. Louis-based venture fund and accelerator that invests in financial technology (fintech) startups. The partnership will allow UMB to invest – alongside SixThirty – in fintech startups that participate in the accelerator program.
Backed by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and venture capital firm Cultivation Capital, SixThirty is a business development accelerator that invests up to $100,000 in a handful of fintech startup companies each year. The companies selected to take part in the accelerator program participate in a 14-week program that focuses on hands-on training, mentoring and networking opportunities with the top financial services companies in the region.
“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.”
As part of the partnership, managing director of UMB’s capital markets division Andre Trudell will join SixThirty’s Investment Committee, which reviews and selects startups for the accelerator program. Trudell along with UMB Bank’s St. Louis region manager for business banking, Dave Bauer, will serve as lead business mentors to the startups in the accelerator program.
“We have a dual bottom line: building successful fintech businesses and driving regional economic activity,” said Atul Kamra, managing partner of SixThirty. “The partnership with UMB is a vote of confidence in our investment process and acceleration program. 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.”
UMB will be investing with SixThirty through UMB Capital Corporation, a Small Business Investment Corporation (SBIC). A SBIC is a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) program that partners with private investors to capitalize professionally-managed funds (known as SBICs) to finance small businesses.
“UMB’s move blazes the trail for other organizations to become involved,” said Joe Reagan, President & CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber. “This partnership, and others like it, will continue to benefit the financial services industry in our region and eventually throughout the country.”