Jim McKelvey

Co-Founder, Square

Speaker Fee Range: Please inquire for fees

Travels From: San Francisco, USA

Jim McKelvey is available for virtual keynotes and webinars. Please complete the form or contact one of our agents to inquire about the fees for virtual engagements. Please note: the fee range listed above is for in-person engagements.

Jim McKelvey Speaker - Square Cofounder | Aurum Bureau
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    Jim McKelvey

    Co-Founder, Square

    Speaker Fee Range: Please inquire for fees

    Travels From: San Francisco, USA

    Jim McKelvey is available for virtual keynotes and webinars. Please complete the form or contact one of our agents to inquire about the fees for virtual engagements. Please note: the fee range listed above is for in-person engagements.

    Jim McKelvey Speaker Biography

    Jim McKelvey is a sought-after technology speaker, best known for co-founding Square. Chances are good you’ve run across a Square device at some point, especially if you’ve recently visited a food truck or mobile small business. The tiny piece of plastic that allows you to accept credit cards on your smartphone is all over the US and recently landed in Australia, along with a suite of business-management tools.  The company, co-founded by Jim McKelvey and Jack Dorsey — also the co-founder of Twitter — has more than 3500 employees and is now valued at almost $30 billion.

    While best known for co-founding Square, McKelvey is, in some circles, better known as a master glass artist and author, having written the world’s most widely read text on the subject, The Art Of Fire. His industrial design work is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and The Smithsonian in Washington DC. His glass studio, Third Degree Glass Factory in St. Louis, one of the United States’ main centers of glassblowing arts.

    After founding Square, Jim created the nonprofit LaunchCode, making it possible for anyone to learn programming and land a full-time job in under six months–for free.  LaunchCode is an open model that may be freely copied by anyone and aims to solve the worldwide shortage of programmers.

    Jim’s also founded Invisibly, which gives people control of their online identities.

    A 1987 Washington University Economics and Computer Science graduate, McKelvey can discuss founding successful companies in payments, education, scientific publishing, construction, printing, glassblowing and software. Though an eclectic mix, each business is founded upon a simple idea and run by people committed to that idea. Jim has never sold any of his companies and as a result now oversees a diverse portfolio of businesses. Referencing personal experiences and local challenges, McKelvey offers a fresh approach to problem solving.

    Jim is the author of three textbooks, two on computer programming and one on glassblowing. McKelvey’s latest book, The Innovation Stack, explains how world-changing companies are built on the strategy of an “Innovation Stack,” revealing a repeatable pattern of ground-breaking, competition-proof entrepreneurship. As a business speaker, he lectures internationally on art and entrepreneurship.

    McKelvey was appointed as an Independent Director of the St. Louis Federal Reserve in January 2017. Jim and his wife, Anna (a programmer and attorney), have two noisy children.

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    Jim McKelvey Keynote Topics

    McKelvey's fascinating and humorous stories of Square's early days are blended with historical examples of other world-changing companies built on the Innovation Stack to reveal a pattern of ground-breaking, competition-proof entrepreneurship that is rare but repeatable.

    The Innovation Stack is a thrilling business narrative that's much bigger than the story of Square. It is an irreverent look inside the world of entrepreneurship, and a call to action for all of us to find the entrepreneur within ourselves and identify and fix unsolved problems - one crazy idea at a time.

    Jim noticed a very talented artist who was living in his beat up car and wondered why. He was a talented artist who could be getting paid well for his work. Why wasn’t he? Jim realized the artist had no access to the systems that paid him. As he built Square, Jim always kept this one artist in mind and thought about how he was solving this one artist’s problem. In this motivational speech, Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square - a payments company now valued at $30 billion - will inspire audiences of entrepreneurs to look at the world and try to find solutions for the problems they see. Jim has used this method to build several of his successful companies and become a millionaire.

    Getting out there and trying to build is one of the best ways to get started on learning technology skills. You don’t have to quit your job. See if your employer has time set aside for personal learning. Join a hack-a-thon and start tinkering. Just try building something. This is the advice of Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square - a $30 billion company - who will inspire your audience in this motivational speech aimed at boosting creativity and help entrepreneurs come up with great ideas that can be turned into companies that can change the world.

    Jim McKelvey Speaking Videos

    Jim McKelvey - Things I’m Unlearning
    Jim McKelvey - Lies of Success