501(c)(3): Arch Grants has 501(c)(3) status under the Internal Revenue code, making donations tax deductible. It achieved this status by addressing the need for significant economic development in the core of St. Louis.
Focused on St. Louis: St. Louis has significant advantages for entrepreneurs to develop a startup business relative to other cities and regions including inexpensive office and living space, easy accessibility to quality research universities, low cost electrical capacity, and a diversity of industries including plant and life sciences, biomedical, and information technology. The combination of inexpensive utility rates and availability of large buildings, together with the state historic tax credit, which is the national model for urban revitalization, provide powerful advantages. Thus, St. Louis appeals more to startup businesses than many other cities with greater costs or lacking critical mass.
Large Scale: Arch Grants is the only program of its scale providing grants to startup businesses. Other programs provide a handful of potential grants but Arch Grants provides up to 30 grants per year. This encourages entrepreneurs to apply, enables the programs to achieve economies of scale, increases the likelihood of successful ventures, and provides synergies derived from having numerous entrepreneurs networking with each other.
Non-dilutive Funding for Startups: Because this is a program of grants without requiring entrepreneurs to give up equity in their companies, it is attractive in comparison to the majority of other programs which are not only much smaller but require a percentage of the company to be owned by investors. This will appeal to entrepreneurs who seek to maintain complete ownership of their business for later stages of financing. In addition, the program also offers the possibility of a second round grant of $100,000 each for two startups.
Services for Entrepreneurs: Arch Grants provides robust business mentoring, collaboration with universities, networking with angel investors and venture capitalists, networking with incubators, and free legal and accounting services to the winners.