Jim McKelvey | St. Louis Public Radio

Jim McKelvey

The Post-Dispatch headquarters has been on North Tucker Boulevard in downtown St. Louis for decades.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Square has announced that some employees can work from home permanently, even after their offices reopen across the country.

The move will affect many of the mobile payments tech firm's 500 St. Louis-based employees, who normally work at the company's office in the Cortex district. Square, headquartered in San Francisco, has operated remotely since March, when state and local governments began to restrict office capacity to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Jim McKelvey is the co-founder of LaunchCode, a St. Louis-based company celebrating its fifth anniversary this October.
LaunchCode

The mobile payment company Square was a game-changer. It slashed the costs of taking credit card payments — allowing small businesses and artisans to get into the game without having to pay sizable percentages of their transactions to processors. In retrospect, it seems like a no-brainer.

But in 2009, it was just an idea — one born of frustration when St. Louis glass blower Jim McKelvey lost a sale after being unable to take a credit card payment. After McKelvey shared his idea of a better way with his former intern, Square was born. (It helped, of course, that the intern in question was Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.) 

How Square went from an inkling to an industry disrupter is the subject of McKelvey’s compulsively readable new book, “The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time.”    

The Post-Dispatch headquarters has been on North Tucker Boulevard in downtown St. Louis for decades.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The owners of the old St. Louis Post-Dispatch building are pushing big plans to bring more jobs downtown.

Along with a pending move to 900 North Tucker Blvd. by mobile-payments company Square, the StarWood Group is creating the NoW Innovation District, according to managing partner John Berglund.

"Basically, it is north of Washington. It runs out to 14th Street, up to Cole Street, and then down past the convention center," he said.

The Post-Dispatch headquarters has been on North Tucker Boulevard in downtown St. Louis for decades.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 2:30 p.m., July 30 with comment from StarLake Holdings Managing Partner John Berglund — Mobile payment technology company Square will move its 500 St. Louis employees from the Cortex Innovation Community to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch building downtown over the next few years.

The newspaper is moving around the corner next month, to 901 North 10th Street.

Square signed a lease on the newspaper’s longtime home last week. The building has space for 1,400 employees, giving Square the option to expand its St. Louis presence.

Taken on 06-10-19 at The Magic House on Delmar
Corinne Ruff | St. Louis Public Radio

Through the doors of the Magic House at MADE, kids are testing rocket launchers, designing video game characters and learning how to use 3D printers.

This new satellite location on Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis is a recent expansion from the children’s museum’s flagship in Kirkwood. What’s different is the focus on entrepreneurship.

“MADE stands for makers, artists, designers and entrepreneurs, so we’ve divided our space into those four areas,” says Beth Fitzgerald, president of The Magic House.

Jim McKelvey speaking with MBA students during an entrepreneurship summit in 2013.
Washington University in St. Louis

Jim McKelvey earned degrees in computer science and economics from Washington University in the late ‘80s, but he said the engineering skills he learned at Wash U have proven more crucial to his career as an entrepreneur.

“It wasn’t my choice in high school to study engineering, but it’s literally changed my life,” the Square co-founder said, “and I want that opportunity to be available to as many people as possible.”

Nov. 16, 2018 MADE makerspace opens on Delmar with Jim McKelvey leading effort.
Melody Walker | St. Louis Public Radio

Jim McKelvey has come to the rescue of the St. Louis maker movement.

Today, the serial entrepreneur officially opened MADE, a 32,000-square-foot building at 5127 Delmar Blvd., with tools and machines for makers, artists, designers and entrepreneurs.

Square plans to hire engineers at its St. Louis office

Oct 18, 2018
Square launches new payment processing device.
Square Inc.

Square, the startup that revolutionized credit card payments for small businesses, plans to start adding engineers to its workforce in St. Louis. The company this year pledged to create 300 jobs here over the next five years.

Founded by St. Louis natives Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey in 2009, the San Francisco-based company launched the latest version of its credit card and mobile payment processing system, called Square Terminal, on Thursday.

Jim McKelvey is the co-founder of LaunchCode, a St. Louis-based company celebrating its fifth anniversary this October.
LaunchCode

LaunchCode, an organization headquartered in St. Louis, celebrates its five-year anniversary this week. The nonprofit helps people enter the tech field by providing education and job placement services.

“We’ve got over 1,400 careers that we’ve launched so far in the five years that LaunchCode has been [in St. Louis], but that doesn’t count the people who have taken our training and gotten placed elsewhere,” explained entrepreneur and investor Jim McKelvey.

Along with fellow St. Louisan Jack Dorsey, McKelvey is the co-founder of Square and founder of LaunchCode, a company McKelvey started because St. Louis lacked a skilled workforce adept at programming.

Cortex,
TechShop

The same day TechShop announced it was filing for bankruptcy and closing all locations, a St. Louis native decided to step in to save the local makerspace.

Jim McKelvey, the co-founder of Square and Third Degree Glass Factory, as well as the founder of LaunchCode, made a couple of phone calls.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at LaunchCode alongside Jim McKelvey, founder of Square and co-founder of LaunchCode, on Friday morning.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Vice President Joe Biden says he’s well aware that the last eight years haven’t been easy for the nation’s workforce.

In remarks on Friday at a roundtable discussion at LanchCode in St. Louis, Biden says the economic downturn in the late 2000s  “clobbered” the middle class. And that had tangible consequences for struggling cities.

Jim McKelvey, Co-founder, Square
Scott Pham|KBIA

It has been a big year for an emerging technology company with St. Louis roots.

Square went public on the New York Stock Exchange a few weeks ago. It also opened a St. Louis office, which is expected to employ more than 200 in five years.

CoderGirl offers free weekly meetings that are meant to bring women with an interest in computer programming together with female mentors who can guide them.
Courtesy of LaunchCode

President Barack Obama on Monday announced an initiative called TechHire that will train and connect workers to tech jobs.

In unveiling the $100 million program at the National League of Cities conference in Washington, D.C., the president highlighted LaunchCode, a St. Louis nonprofit started in 2013.

Looking Ahead At 2014, What Can St. Louis Expect?

Jan 2, 2014
(via Flickr / davewing68, year added by St. Louis Public Radio)

As much as we like to think of the New Year as a clean slate, the issues and developments of the years before carry over. With that in mind, today on St. Louis on the Air we took a look at what the trends of the past 12 months can tell us about what the St. Louis region can expect in 2014.

The conversation focused on politics and the economy, with a special focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and diversity.

Guests in studio today were:

St. Louis Public Radio's Tim Lloyd reports for Marketplace on LaunchCode, the newest project from Square co-founder and St. Louis native Jim McKelvey.

Jim McKelvey, founder of Square
Provided by Mr. McKelvey

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When entrepreneur Jim McKelvey met software developer Chris Oliver a month ago, he was stunned to hear how many of Oliver’s talented friends in the field were out of work.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 20, 2013 - When entrepreneur Jim McKelvey met software developer Chris Oliver a month ago, he was stunned to hear how many of Oliver’s talented friends in the field were out of work.

“My jaw hit the ground,” said McKelvey, a native St. Louisan and founder of Square, a mobile device payment system. “I’m on the opposite side of the equation. I know a bunch of companies that are trying to hire programmers and can’t find them.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 21, 2012 - It was just one lost sale, but for glassblower Jim McKelvey it was one too many.

“I was trying to sell a piece of glass to a lady who couldn’t pay me because I couldn’t take her credit card,” recalled the 47-year-old Ladue High School grad. “That was a real eye-opener and I decided this problem needed to be fixed.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 15, 2012 - Robert Hedges has been involved in businesses from the ground up before. He just needs to run across someone with the right idea.

Fortunately, he knows where he might look.

"It's a chance to possibly get in on something from the beginning and in more general terms get back into the energy and mindset of startups and see what's going on in St. Louis," said the 46-year-old electrical engineer.