Innovation and Developing STEM Professionals

Jim McKelvey
American Technology Entrepreneur
Co-Founder of Square, Venture Capitalist, Successful Entrepreneur, Glass Blower

Jim McKelvey is the co-founder of Square, a successful entrepreneur and an accomplished glass blower. Jim shows how a combination of technological, social and information changes are invalidating old ideas and creating new opportunities. Innovation and a passion for educating future STEM professionals are just two drivers for Jim. Listen as Jim shares his views on technology and how all of us can contribute to STEM initiatives within our communities and across the country.


Jim McKelvey might be best known for co-founding Square, the mobile payment system, but his entrepreneurial spirit goes beyond inventing new technology. A 1987 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, McKelvey is also a master glass artist and author, having written the world's most widely read text on the subject, The Art of Fire. 

McKelvey co-founded Square in 2009 with Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, to enable small businesses to run their storefronts on a mobile device. Square has since grown to more than 2500 employees and a $25 billion valuation. 

McKelvey's other endeavors include LaunchCode, a non-profit creating a pathway for people seeking careers in technology, Third Degree Glass Factory, one of the nation's main centers for glassblowing arts, and Mira Digital Publishing, an early digital technology startup, where Jack Dorsey interned before launching his own tech career and founding Twitter.

McKelvey's newest project, Invisibly, addresses the world's need for quality content through an attention economy which sustainably monetizes digital content and improves consumer and marketer experiences online.

In addition to teaching at his alma mater, McKelvey authored three textbooks. In 2017, McKelvey was appointed as an Independent Director of the St. Louis Federal Reserve. Jim also wrote The Innovation Stack, a business narrative that provides a first person look into the world of entrepreneurship. McKelvey, and his wife, Anna, have two children.