The annual St. Louis Export Challenge competition awards up to $60,000 in cash and support to startups and small to mid-size companies with the best global market entry strategies. The competition is sponsored by the World Trade Center St. Louis, a division of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and powered by JPMorgan Chase and Arch Grants.
For-profit businesses located in Greater St. Louis and generating less than in $10 million annual revenue are encouraged to apply. All eligible companies selling products or services to customers outside of the United States will be considered.
The deadline for applications is Aug. 9.
International business competition has given rise to a new entity – the born global firm. In this age of globalization, companies are exporting earlier and growing faster. Given St. Louis’ nationally recognized entrepreneurial ecosystem, it is no wonder that the born global phenomenon is leading to long-term export opportunities for St. Louis.
Beyond the prize money, each of the selected winners will receive one-on-one expert mentor support, foreign market research services, and the option to accept a full paid scholarship in the six-month online Chancellor’s Certificate in International Trade program with the University of Missouri—St. Louis.
Winners of this competition will be announced at WTC’s Growing Global 2017 on Sept. 22.
– 1st Place – $25,000
– 2nd Place – $15,000
– 3rd Place – $10,000
– Bright Futures Civic Progress / Mosaic Award for Immigrant-Led Business – $5,000
– Bright Futures Award for Minority and/or Women-Led Business – $5,000
Finalists and winners will also receive access to WTC network of export resources and the opportunity to self-select into the University of Missouri – St. Louis Chancellor’s Certificate in International Trade program.
– This is a for-profit business currently generating revenue, but less than $10 million annually.
– This business is currently located in Greater St. Louis.
– All individuals on the management team are 18 years or older and are legal residents of the United States.
– No management team members are directors, officers or employees of the World Trade Center or St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, consultants, or freelancers who do business with the World Trade Center or St. Louis Economic Development Partnership or immediate family members of any of these persons.
– This application is not for a buy-out of an existing company, tax- shelter, subsidiary, or franchise.
– If selected, I understand and am willing to provide quarterly reporting information regarding company status, employment, revenues, challenges, and opportunities.
Applications will be evaluated on global market strategy, market feasibility and scale, demonstrated need for product/service, innovative nature, quality of product or service, management team strength, and impact/use of funds and support.
Arch Grants staff and board have no influence on the decisions of which applicants are selected as “winners” in the St. Louis Export Challenge. The challenge is wholly and completely separate from the Global Startup Competition. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or clarifications.
About World Trade Center St. Louis
The World Trade Center St. Louis has supported growth for the region’s businesses for more than 20 years. Most importantly, WTC works to ensure St. Louis companies are represented in an increasingly global marketplace. From customized research to trade training, hosting inbound/outbound delegations and managing St. Louis’ Foreign Trade Zone, WTC brings together a strong system of business and government agencies to support trade, investment, and to enhance St. Louis’ global connectivity.
In 2015, St. Louis was named to Brookings Institution’s prestigious Global Cities Initiative. As part of this initiative, WTC unveiled the St. Louis Metro Export Plan and JPMorgan Chase’s investment to launch St. Louis’ first Export Challenge.