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Issue: 1159 Date: 11/8/2012
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Arch Grants to award $1M in start-up grants

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Jerry Schlichter, Arch Grants President
        Arch Grants has unveiled its 2nd Annual Global Startup Competition. The competition will award $1 million in grant money to help entrepreneurs with early-stage capital and grow St. Louis as a hub for startups.

        Arch Grants will award $50,000 to 20 startups. Recipients will demonstrate innovation in product or service, scalability and a commitment to St. Louis.

        Arch Grants will take no equity and will provide winning companies with access to business mentoring, free legal and accounting services, pro bono marketing and cloud computing services, collaboration with local universities, access to local investors, and the chance for a $100,000 follow-on grant.

        To be eligible, startups must be for-profit, can be in any industry, and can reside anywhere in the world. Winners must move to St. Louis or remain here.

        A team of judges will evaluate the entries. Particular attention will be given to scalability, a plan to reach national or international sales, and progress against the concept (e.g.; a prototype).

        "Building a startup friendly city is no small feat, and we're excited to have competitions like Arch Grants provide incentives to stay or move here," said St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay.

        "We see economic growth coming from the concentration of talented and productive entrepreneurs in St. Louis, and the more this happens, the greater our success will be in growing the city's startup ecosystem."

        Kauffman's annual index of entrepreneurial activity ranked Missouri sixth among the 50 states in 2011.

        "We understand the challenges of starting a business and have created an opportunity for entrepreneurs to kick-start their ideas without sacrificing a stake in their company," said Sarah Spear, Executive Director, Arch Grants.

        Jerry Schlichter, Arch Grants President, said: "We're excited to announce that we're increasing the number of entrepreneurs and grant money to $1 million, which is a statement that we're serious about building on the energy and success of the inaugural group of entrepreneurs."

        In its inaugural year, Arch Grants awarded $50,000 each to 15 startups from around the globe that demonstrated growth potential and chose to make St. Louis their headquarters.

        "US Bank is glad that our commitment to support entrepreneurism and a new vitality in our city is having the impact we desire for our community," said Zachary M. Boyers, Chairman and CEO, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. "With backing from US Bank and others, Arch Grants is helping foster the entrepreneurial spirit that will continue to drive St. Louis forward."

        Arch Grants will give a workshop at their office in the T-REx space in St. Louis on November 13 on how to be a strong applicant. A webinar will also be available.

        Applications can be submitted at http://www.archgrants.org/2013  and must be completed by January 1, 2013.


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