St. Louis Continues Evolving as a Startup Hub with 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.