After the Arch Grant: The Next 12 Months for Our 2017 Recipients
December 20, 2017 • Arch Grant News •
An Arch Grant doesn’t end with a check — in fact, that’s just the beginning. Learn how we match startup founders with the partnerships and guidance they’ll need to flourish in St. Louis.
We recently celebrated our 2017 cohort of Arch Grant recipients at the Arch Grants Gala. The party may be over, but for these 18 companies, the journey’s just beginning. In the upcoming weeks and months, we’ll meet with our recipients to assess the health of their business and their current financial, talent, or resource needs.
At Arch Grants, we play the role of objective partner and coach, connecting grantees with the resources they need and preparing them for the difficulties ahead. With the right guidance and partnerships, these companies can focus on what really matters — developing their products and scaling their business.
Starting on the Right Foot
Each Arch Grant recipient has its own unique needs, goals, and challenges. Many of our winners are seeking additional capital, but others need to rent office space, make connections in the city, or attract qualified talent.
In the first few weeks, our objective is to identify the needs of every company and entrepreneur, and then see what we can do to meet them. Before the Arch Grants Gala, we hold a three-day orientation session in coworking spaces around St. Louis, where we introduce the recipients to our partners — including accelerators, incubators, business organizations, and educational institutions. We also tell our honorees about the discounted and pro bono services available to St. Louis’ startups to ensure that they have access to affordable accounting and legal services throughout the year.
The orientation also includes individual meetings with each founder to flesh out their goals in more detail and answer pressing questions. Depending on the company, this can include IP needs, office space, immediate hiring issues, and even visas for international recipients. We focus exclusively on the first three months during this set of meetings, since there’s plenty to tackle within that timeframe. We emerge with a strategic plan for gathering resources, making introductions, and handling urgent concerns.
But our relationship with entrepreneurs doesn’t end after the gala is over. After orientation, we stay in touch with our entrepreneurs through quarterly reviews. During these meetings, we check the company’s progress against its goals and handle any emerging problems. Some companies may have their growth plan well in hand, while other may need additional capital, talent, or other resources at this stage. Since Arch Grants doesn’t take equity in the recipient companies, we can approach financial and management challenges from an objective perspective, focusing on changes that are best for the business. We can truly become a member of their team.
Throughout all of this, we’re not just focused on the health of the companies, but also on our recipients’ personal wellbeing. Starting a company isn’t easy, and the process is full of pitfalls. It’s important that we are available to share in the personal and professional successes and challenges, and that we connect the recipients with others in their cohort who have the unique ability to relate. We endeavor to quickly surface the major pain points — whether they’re professional or personal — and find effective solutions.
An Arch Grant isn’t simply about the money — we want to help entrepreneurs succeed by connecting them with the resources they need and providing expert advice along the way. We’ve already begun preliminary meetings with this year’s recipients and we look forward to what the next year will hold.