Fintech in Missouri: Finance institutions increased tech workforce 19 percent in past five years

By Ted Abernathy,
Economic Leadership LLC

Along with research released in the Missouri Chamber Foundation’s Technology 2030 report earlier this year, Economic Leadership LLC conducted a spinoff study focused on Missouri’s financial tech industry (fintech).

As explored in Technology 2030, the technology sector offers great economic opportunity for Missouri, a state that remains a low-cost location compared to coastal cities. Technology work in the financial sector is becoming a predominant aspect of that industry.

The data reveal that the finance and insurance sector is the sixth-largest employer of tech workers in Missouri, with 14,932 jobs. Financial institutions increased their tech workforce by 19 percent from 2012 to 2017, and tech workers account for more than 11 percent of the total financial industry workforce in Missouri.

Recent momentum in Missouri is helping chart a strong future for fintech. Last year, Kansas City and St. Louis were two of eight cities chosen to host national Fintech Americas conferences. It was also announced in June 2018 that community bank NBKC would be launching a fintech accelerator in Kansas City, which is expected to help launch five startups with at least $50,000 in seed funding each. And the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla now offers an undergraduate fintech minor in their business and information technology program.

Missouri also benefits from the strong presence of the banking industry. Three of the top 10 largest U.S. finance firms are based in St. Louis, and with groups like Edward Jones and Express Scripts, the city is considered one of the largest financial services hubs outside of New York City.

In addition, St. Louis is where global fintech seed fund SixThirty created its headquarters in 2013. The group has since invested more than $3.7 million in more than 35 companies. Not only is the presence of a fintech accelerator in Missouri great for homegrown startups, but it puts the region on the global map as well. The chart below shows the international reach of SixThirty as fintech applications arrive from 30 countries to seek funding and mentorship.

With tech’s strong and growing presence in the financial sector, educational assets committed to training tomorrow’s fintech workforce, and organizations willing to invest in fintech, this subsector of technology shows unique promise in Missouri.

Ted Abernathy is the managing partner of Economic Leadership LLC and works as a consultant on the Missouri Chamber’s Missouri 2030 strategic initiative.

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