$1M Startup COMPETITION (with 20 WINNERS of $50,000 each)
PRO BONO AWARDS FROM TOP BUSINESS SERVICE PROVIDERS
OPPORTUNITY FOR FOLLOW-ON FUNDING
INTRODUCTIONS TO THE VENTURE/ANGEL NETWORK
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Arch Grants is a startup competition that awards $50,000 grants to startups that are in St. Louis or that are willing to relocate to St. Louis.
Our mission is to create an entrepreneurial culture and infrastructure to build successful companies in St. Louis.
20 WINNERS will each receive $50,000 in non-dilutive cash. We don’t want a stake in your company; we just want you to stake your company in St. Louis.
In addition, winners will receive pro bono services from top tier companies in the St. Louis region: accounting, marketing, legal, IT and more.
For-profit startups and entrepreneurs from any industry who are looking for grant funding — and are willing to locate in St. Louis. We’re looking for innovative, high growth, early stage ventures that demonstrate a commitment to St. Louis.
No catch…unless depositing checks is an ordeal for you. Winning companies must be in St. Louis or be willing to move their headquarters to St. Louis.
Submit a one-page application online. We suggest that you work on the answers offline and cut-and-paste them into the form. After the whole brilliant idea thing, the toughest part is being concise. Yes, we limit the length of your answers. Deadline: February 1, 2013 at midnight CST.
When you find out that you’re a semi-finalist by February 22 (let’s stay positive, right?), we’ll send you criteria for a four-page executive summary. There will likely be phone interviews at this point for follow up questions. Deadline to submit executive summary: March 10, 2013 (date subject to change).
If you are one of our lucky finalists, we will invite you to a weekend of events in St. Louis. You will meet with a panel of judges for 10 minutes for Q&A. In addition, you’ll get to see the best of St. Louis. Our current entrepreneurs rave about how exciting and organized it all was; we’re trying to top ourselves this time. Target dates: April 26-28, 2013.
We will announce our 20 winners in May and invite them to begin our program July 1, 2013.
George Herbert Walker | Robert Hermann, Sr. | Robert Hermann, Jr. | Jack Taylor
We hold an annual competition. Our second round opened for applications October 25, 2012 with grants to be awarded in May, 2013. Grant disbursements will begin at the beginning of July and companies are expected to remain within the Arch Grants program through June of the following year.
If your startup hits significant milestones before February 1 that were NOT included in your original application, please let us know by sending a brief update to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 1, 2013 at midnight CST. As an example, releasing your beta product is a significant milestone we'd want to know about; recasting your financials for year 5 is not. We will amend your original application with these updates so they are taken into consideration by our judges.
There is no limit on team size though teams of any size will receive only $50,000.
We do not place a limit on the length of time your startup has operated or how much outside funding you have received prior to applying. We award free startup grants to businesses still in their early stages where $50,000 will make a significant impact.
Yes, this is an international startup competition and Arch Grants may facilitate the visa application process for you, if you are eligible. We successfully relocated simMachines from Costa Rica to St. Louis in our first round so we know it’s possible.
Yes, staff and board members of Arch Grants and their immediate family members (spouse, child, parent, sibling) are ineligible to apply for an Arch Grant.
Yes, applicants are required in the initial application to disclose all sources of funding already received and/or committed.
Yes, in-person representation by at least one member of the startup team is required in order to be considered for a grant. Arch Grants requires applicants to visit St. Louis for the final competition weekend to meet other candidates, enjoy an evening with the judges, and get to know the city.
While the exact step in which judges are involved is not disclosed, a list of all judges involved is announced as it becomes available. Arch Grants reserves the right to modify the list of judges as necessary.
No, this component is not open to the public. Your audience may be comprised of judges, Arch Grants board and staff, and limited individuals present at the request of Arch Grants. You may invite additional team members to your specific session but you will not be allowed to observe other startups’ sessions.
We’re glad you asked! In addition to $50,000 in capital, Arch Grants recipients receive free legal, accounting, marketing, cloud computing, and mentoring support, discounted office and housing rates, pro bono business mentoring services, and access to the local angel and VC investment network plus a chance to compete for a follow-on Arch Grant of $100,000.
$20,000 of the startup capital will be distributed at the beginning of the program followed by disbursements of $10,000 in each of the following quarters, pending a site visit and quarterly report from the startup.
For-profit startups from every industry are invited to apply. Particular attention will be given to the scalability of the ventures. Startups should demonstrate a plan to reach national or international sales. Additionally, we like to see some progress against the concept (e.g.; a prototype, minimum viable product, etc.). Startups planning to scale and remain in the St. Louis region are encouraged to apply.
No, Arch Grants will not consider applications submitted by nonprofits.
No, Arch Grants encourages applicants to apply using their most compelling business idea.
All submissions will receive notification of their outcome. Those chosen to proceed to the next step will receive specific instructions for that next step.
Arch Grants limits access to applicants’ submitted information to its board, staff, and members of its judging panels. In addition, reasonable steps are taken to limit access to these documents. The judges of Arch Grants’ startup competition are seasoned professionals accustomed to dealing with confidential materials on a regular basis however there will be no confidentiality obligation by any recipient of the documents submitted for the competition for information contained therein. We ask that you not share in your application any information you feel to be highly confidential in nature. Please be aware that omitting such information may impact your application consideration.
Submissions must be your original idea or you must have written consent to submit an idea originally created by another person. In either situation, the applicant is expected to participate as an Arch Grantee. In other words, you may not submit an idea on behalf of someone else.
In its inaugural year, Arch Grants awarded 15 grants and plans to award 20 grants to promising startups in 2013.
No, Arch Grants are truly grants. No equity stakes are taken in the companies receiving our grants.
Arch Grants recipients commit to the following during their tenure as Arch Grants recipients (from July to June of the following year): 1. At least one individual must work full-time on the startup; 2. The startup must be located in downtown St. Louis (unless the nature of their business precludes them from doing so, in which case the business must receive permission from Arch Grants to locate elsewhere in the St. Louis region); and 3. Recipients must spend at least one day per quarter concertedly promoting Arch Grants in a manner agreeable to both the startup and Arch Grants.
Startups may be asked to provide proof that their businesses are located in downtown St. Louis. This may take the form of a lease agreement or other business license.
See the attachment for a comprehensive list of the judges involved in executive summary, business plan, and final presentation judging for the first round of our competition.
Each startup submits data via a quarterly report submitted to Arch Grants before additional disbursements are made. We track jobs created, revenue generated, and capital attracted.
To ensure the funds are used for their intended purpose, we do require you to sign the attached form before formally becoming an Arch Grants startup.