St. Louis Continues Evolving as a Startup Hub with Arch Grants

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Here's an article from TechCrunch last week signifying that St. Louis is continuing to progress as a startup hub with the formation of non-fpo Arch Grants.

The city wants to fight stalling unemployment by building an innovation-focused ecosystem, which is why Arch Grants was born and launched last month. Arch Grants is a non-profit organization led and supported by a band of lawyers, investors, real estate managers, entrepreneurs, civic leaders, and more, that wants to create a more robust startup culture and infrastructure in St. Louis. The company wants to turn the city into a place where entrepreneurs want to go to grow their businesses.

Arch is starting with a business plan competition that selects the most promising startups, giving them $50K in grants to turn their ideas into reality. Typically, accelerators offering venture capital take equity stakes in the startups they choose, but Arch Grants offers non-dilutive capital — they are, as one would expect, grants and therefore don’t require founders to cough up any equity in exchange for the capital.

After receiving the initial $50K grant, startups then go on to compete for a second round of up to $100K in funding, along with access to angel investors. Arch Grants President Jerry Schlichter, a trial lawyer, says that the program will be selecting at least 12 companies per year, and plans to run the program for at least three years.

Be sure to check out the Why St. Louis? section in the arch grants website; there were some factoids about our great city that even we were unaware of. And yes we see that arch in the logo. But in this case, it seems to be one of the few logos with an arch that will help rather than hurt the image of STL.


Grants are a great entity to build a solid foundation, to grow on, and stick around especially with the cotinuing evolvement of the plan for support and substantial solidarity against downturn.

Different programs for fundraising. One would think their are grants for institutions and school improvement too; Worth it even though they might be harder and take more time to lobby to get.

Sounds like a very positive and successful program! St. Louis appropriate!

It's exciting to see this happening, and will be interesting to see what ideas emerge as leaders.

Totally awesome. Was just having a conversation with several people about how this is exactly what the city needs--it'll be cool to see what ideas are put out there and how everything develops. Great idea, and you have to love the "grant" as opposed to "venture capital" aspect to it, as well.

We're excited to fund startups and enable them to fulfill our theme of "Innovation. Ingenuity. In St. Louis." St. Louis is open for business and focused on supporting entrepreneurs. Many thanks to Rodgers Townsend for the brilliant logo design that looks ahead to the businesses Arch Grants hopes to help build.

I raised a 1/4 mil from investors outside of Missouri. While I was CEO we were the most followed startup on AngelList in MO. We built first of a kind technology, signed customers, demonstrated value to the entire ecosystem - the type of disruptive model you read about - but it would take a min of $200K to continue.

After running out of cash, and now living at my Mom's (I did land on my feet running as a business strategist contractor), I hear of things like Arch Grants, and while certainly encouraging for the region, if I can build a business for $50K, so can anyone else. The types of startups you want in this city can't be grown on a dime. The grant is a $20K initial disbursement, and then $10K at the end of the remaining three quarters. You simply do not have the CF to make anything substantive or get to product/market fit.

Again, hurrah to STL for doing something, but not enough gas to even start the car.

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