Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Five Questions -- Software Entrepreneur Juggles Two Accelerators

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Five Questions -- Software Entrepreneur Juggles Two Accelerators

Article excerpt

For many entrepreneurs searching for funding, getting accepted into one business accelerator program can be life-changing. Getting into two accelerators concurrently is a rarity seldom seen.

Jim Koetting's software startup, Public Funds Investment Tracking and Reporting, or PFITR, was selected to receive mentoring and a combined $150,000 in seed funding from two St. Louis accelerators in late 2014: SixThirty and Capital Innovators.

His business, which he founded in March 2013 and is based in downtown St. Louis, helps public fund investment managers keep their investment accounting and analysis in compliance with accounting standards and the law.

Koetting, who lives in O'Fallon, Mo., wrote Public Fund Investing for Dummies, which was published in 2007.

PFITR currently has six full-time employees and six part-time programmers, and attracting additional investors. Recently Walter Galvin, a former longtime chief financial officer at Emerson, invested in the company.

The Post-Dispatch recently interviewed Koetting, and below is an edited transcript.

- What prompted you to write the book on investing? Before I wrote the book, I would sell bonds and advise institutions cities and counties, port authorities and airports. I found in 2007, before everything started to fall apart in the economy, I could see a lot of people were very short on their investments when I wanted them to be much longer on their investments, because you want to lock into those long rates. They weren't doing that, and it inspired me to write the 50-page book and to give it away. I gave away about 50,000 of them as an appetizer. After that, I did a lot of public speaking.

The Association of Public Treasurers came to me and asked me to rewrite their accreditation program.

I got to train a lot of treasurers all across the country. I was training treasurers from small towns like Creve Coeur to Orange County, Calif., San Diego and Chicago. We were doing roadshows all around the country.

- How did that help spark the idea for your startup? As I was doing that, I found there was a big need. Every good investor in the world is really good at what they do by identifying risk and managing against the risk.

I started to see all these entities in government wear so many different hats. They had to get the payroll out, they had to invest the money and do everything else. There weren't tools to help them.

I wanted to make a tool that would educate them a little more on fiduciary responsibility and education. …

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