The Life of Jim McKelvey

Jim McKelvey 2

Jim McKelvey: The Co-founder of Square Inc


Jim McKelvey is an American entrepreneur, inventor, and philanthropist. He is best known for co-founding Square, a mobile payment company, with Jack Dorsey in 2009. McKelvey is also a glass artist and co-founded the Third Degree Glass Factory, an art glass studio in St. Louis, Missouri. He has been recognized as one of the world’s most influential people in technology by Time Magazine and Forbes.

Early Life and Education

Jim McKelvey was born on February 1, 1965, in St. Louis, Missouri. He grew up in Ladue, an affluent suburb of St. Louis, with his parents and two siblings. He attended Ladue Horton Watkins High School and went on to study computer science and electrical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.

In 1987, while still in college, McKelvey co-founded Mira, a computer software company that created desktop publishing software for the Macintosh. After graduation, he worked as a software engineer at several companies, including IBM and SBC Communications.

Career and Achievements

In 2003, McKelvey became interested in glassblowing and founded the Third Degree Glass Factory in St. Louis. He also began creating art glass pieces, which have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. In 2009, while working on a glass project with a friend, he realized that they could not accept credit card payments because they did not have a way to read cards on their mobile phones. This led him to co-found Square, a mobile payments company, with Jack Dorsey.

Square quickly became a game-changer in the payment industry and allowed small businesses to accept credit card payments without having to pay high fees to traditional payment processors. In 2015, Square went public and became one of the most successful tech IPOs in recent years. McKelvey continues to serve on the company’s board of directors and is actively involved in its operations.

In addition to his work with Square, McKelvey has also founded several other companies, including LaunchCode, a non-profit organization that offers free coding classes and job placements, and Invisibly, a data privacy startup.

Personal Life

Jim McKelvey is married and has two children. He is also an active philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to various causes, including entrepreneurship education and the arts. In 2019, he launched a $50 million initiative called the “SixThirty Cyber” to support cybersecurity startups.


Name Jim McKelvey
Born February 1, 1965
Country United States
Sector Technology
Companies Square, LaunchCode, Invisibly
Net Worth $3.8 billion
Forbes URL
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