November 10, 2017
As president and co-founder of 360 Payment Solutions in Silicon Valley, Steve Ciabattoni ’08 is no stranger to perseverance. He embodies the classic characteristics of the entrepreneur:
“The entrepreneur, as a creator of the new and a destroyer of the old, is constantly in conflict with convention. He inhabits a world where belief precedes results and where the best possibilities are usually invisible to others. His world is dominated by denial, rejection, difficulty and doubt. And although as an innovator, he is unceasingly imitated when successful, he always remains an outsider to the ‘establishment.’” (Ted Forstmann).
At Ursinus, Ciabattoni was a member of the football team. He majored in biology with a minor in business. In the fall of 2004, Steve’s intention was to go to medical school. As part of his business coursework, Professor Stephen Bowers required him to write a business plan. This process sparked his entrepreneurial spirit and played a role in his decision to take a different path.
As his time at Ursinus came to a close, he went to a job fair seeking a commission sales position and landed one with Heartland Payment Systems. At the time, Steve didn’t know anything about the financial services industry, but, as the son of a small business owner, he had a passion for helping people build their businesses. This, coupled with his hard work and dedication to the role, resulted in his swift promotion to management and overseeing the eastern region of Pennsylvania. After four years with Heartland, Ciabattoni headed west to Silicon Valley and started his own business.
Steve and his co-founder, Lisa Coyle, opened 360 Payment Solutions with the aim of changing the fabric of the payment industry with real and personalized partnerships that genuinely focused on the success of the small business owner. In March of 2011, 360 Payment Solutions began providing services and support related to the point of sale.
In just six years, 360 Payment Solutions is processing two billion dollars annually with approximately 3,000 clients and the company has donated nearly a quarter of a million dollars to charity. Recently, 360 has been named to INC’s 5000 List twice (2015, 2016). Notably, this self-funded business was named Small Business of the Year by the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce in 2016.
Ciabattoni’s advice for young alumni, “Don’t be afraid to take risks, as long as you’re doing something you’re passionate about and you enjoy…don’t be afraid to try it on your own.”
Steve and his wife, Michelle (Hofman) Ciabattoni (a 2006 Ursinus alumna) reside in California with their two children, Caitlyn and Stephen. Steve is a member of the San Francisco National Council and gives back to UC through his time, talent and treasure.
By Kelly Becker ’10