Co-founded by Jim McKelvey and Jack Dorsey (co-Founder of Twitter), Square — has more than 2500 employees and is now valued at $20 billion. 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.
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 most recent venture, Invisibly, gives people control of their online identities.
Jim is the author of three textbooks, two on computer programming and one on glassblowing. He lectures internationally on art and entrepreneurship.