Arch Grants

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Arch Grants is a Missouri not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to advance economic development through entrepreneurship. Each year, Arch Grants hosts its annual Arch Grants Global Startup Competition/Business Plan Competition which attracts applicants from all across the world to compete for the opportunity to receive a $50,000 non-dilutive grant in exchange for moving their businesses to St. Louis for one year.[1] In addition to the grant, the Arch Grants recipients are given access to other services designed to help fast-growing startups, including pro bono marketing, legal, and accounting services, mentorship and advising, links to venture capital and angel investors, and local university resources.

Founded in 2011, Arch Grants launched its international Business Plan Competition as a strategy to build the next generation of successful businesses within the St. Louis region. Five years ago, Missouri was ranked as the next-to-worst state in terms of its entrepreneurial activity [2] and as large corporations left St. Louis or merged with companies headquartered elsewhere in the wake of the recession, Arch Grants was founded to attract and retain high-growth companies to drive economic development efforts throughout the St. Louis region.

As of July 2014, Arch Grants has funded 55 companies that have generated $6.5 million in revenue, attracted $17.7 million in additional capital, and created 192 net new jobs for St. Louis.[3] In addition, 98% of the companies in business are still headquartered in St. Louis.

Arch Grants' unique model and success have drawn national media attention including The Wall Street Journal,[4] Businessweek,[5] Forbes,[6] The Huffington Post,[7] TechCrunch,[8] and NPR [9] as well as several local media channels including the Saint Louis Business Journal [10] and Saint Louis Magazine.[11]

Jim McKelvey, the co-founder of Square, and Gabe Lozano, the founder of LockerDome, sit on the advisory board.


  1. ^ "Arch Grants home page". 
  2. ^ Fairlie, Robert (April 2009). "Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity" (PDF). 
  3. ^ Karaoglu, Kristin (June 24, 2014). "City & state accelerators boost their local economies". Vator News. 
  4. ^ Chapman, Lizette (Jan 25, 2012). "Entrepreneurial Spirit Of St. Louis Lives On". Wall Street Journal. 
  5. ^ Leiber, Nick (Dec 12, 2012). "Move Your Startup to St. Louis, Get $50,000". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  6. ^ Beshore, Brent (Jan 29, 2014). "Arch Grants: Transforming St. Louis Into America's Next Startup City". Forbes. 
  7. ^ Froman, Dr. Abraham (May 23, 2014). "Arch Grants Proves Philanthropy and Business Can Go Well Together". The Huffington Post. 
  8. ^ Empson, Rip (Feb 21, 2012). "Arch Grants Raises $2.5M To Turn St. Louis Into A Startup Hub; Square Co-founder Signs On". TechCrunch. 
  9. ^ Altman, Maria (May 20, 2014). "St. Louis Holds Competition To Attract Startups". National Public Radio. 
  10. ^ Feldt, Brian (May 21, 2014). "Here are the 20 winners of this year's Arch Grants". Saint Louis Business Journal. 
  11. ^ Powell, William (May 16, 2014). "Q&A: A Conversation With Jerry Schlichter". Saint Louis Magazine.