Co-Founder of Square and Founder of LaunchCode
Jim McKelvey is an inventor, entrepreneur, artist, author, and licensed pilot. While perhaps best known for co-founding Square, one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups, Jim is also 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 latest venture, LaunchCode, is making it possible for anyone to learn programming and land a full-time job in under six months–for free. Jim is the founder of Third Degree Glass Factory, one of the nation’s main centers of glassblowing arts. Jim also founded Mira Digital Publishing, an early digital technology startup. Jim’s diverse portfolio of businesses includes founding successful companies in payments, education, scientific publishing, construction, printing, glassblowing, and software. He 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, Silicon Valley-approach to problem solving. Jim is also the author of three textbooks, and he teaches at Washington University in St. Louis where he lectures internationally on art and entrepreneurship. McKelvey, and his wife, Anna (a programmer and attorney), have a four-year-old son.