Reach for the Arch
Applications are still rolling in for the second annual Arch Grants business plan competition, open until January 1. arch Grants executive director Sarah Spear says the organization expects over 1,000 applications this year, all vying to be one of the 20 startups to receive a slice of the $1 million in grant funding. “St. louis has a hunger to excel in the area of startups. arch Grants envisions St. louis established as an innovation hub,” she says. “We are focusing all of our efforts on creating that and realizing that vision.”
Arch Grants is a nonprofit competition aiming to diversify the startup community in St. Louis by awarding grants to jump-start worthy innovators. last year alone, more than 420 entrepreneurs from 35 states and 11 countries applied for a spot in the program, going through two rigorous rounds of selections before the 15 winners were selected. along with $50,000 in cash, each winner receives business mentoring, free legal and accounting services, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with universities and network with angel investors. Since the first round of winners started the program in June, they have created 51 jobs, generated $282,000 in revenue and raised $645,000 in additional startup capital. Two startup companies from the first round will receive $100,000 of follow-up grants in the spring, based on their performance and growth over the past year.