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San Francisco Start-Up Sees Success in St. Louis

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calhoun2 Michael Calhoun
A native St. Louisan, Michael Calhoun grew up listening to the Voice...
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A tech start-up from San Francisco is beginning to see the Upside to the Gateway City.

The start-up, called Upside, is participating in the Six-Thirty accelerator. The company moved here for the minimum four months to take advantage of the $100,000 investment program that is specifically for tech start-ups in the financial services sector.

Co-founder Juney Ham tells KMOX News that the original plan was to go back to California when their four months here were done; but plans change.

“In the beginning when we came it was definitely ‘we’ll be here for four months and probably move back.’ We’re now in a situation where we’re potentially thinking about options to open an office here, hire a technical team here,” Ham said.

The ecosystem in St. Louis, he says, has shown to be capable of sustaining a fast-growing start-up with ambitious plans and access to the area’s cluster of financial services companies has also proved valuable.

“Every touchpoint and everything that we wanted has been met,” he said “We had expected one of those things or maybe two.”

In fact, he says personal and not professional questions are all that prevent a complete commitment to St. Louis. While Ham moved his wife and 21-month-old daughter to a loft downtown, his co-founder’s family is still out west and other employees were only planning on a temporary relocation.

Ham says he’s learned that downtown has a bad reputation among “people from St. Louis,” although his experience, as someone accustomed to Bay Area life, has been “incredible.” The people, he says, have been friendly and he and his wife, from a culture and social standpoint, are enjoying their time in St. Louis.

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