It’s that time of year again. The April 15 deadline for the Arch Grants Global Startup Competition is fast approaching. Startups across the Silicon Prairie should dust off (or, you know, put together) their pitch decks for one of the most prestigious and impactful startup competitions in the country.
Reasons 1-50,000: Dollar Bills
Startups selected as Arch Grant Recipients will receive $50,000 in equity-free cash. No, we won’t actually give you $50,000 in one-dollar bills (though, to quote Matthew McConaughey’s character in Dazed and Confused, it would be pretty cool if we did).
The money comes in the form of a check, but the good news is that a grant from Arch Grants does not require founders to dilute their ownership stake.
Because the purpose of Arch Grants is not to give our organization a piece of your startup. We give money to high-potential founders and teams willing to relocate to St. Louis because we believe in your idea and we believe in our city.
Reason 50,001: St. Louis
St. Louis is one of the fastest growing startup hubs in America. In fact, we were recently named #2 on Forbes list of the “Top 10 Rising Cities for Startups.”
It’s easy to see why—or at least it is if you’re lucky enough to be part of the St. Louis entrepreneurial ecosystem. Founders who make St. Louis their home are embraced by a community with a deep belief in the power and potential of risk takers with big ideas.
The ecosystem in our city is full of organizations and individuals ready to adopt and support founders who adopt and support St. Louis. If you’re an Arch Grant Recipient, your new home will embrace you with open arms. The doors to meetings with potential investors, collaborators, and customers will swing wide open—almost from the moment you arrive.
Relocating to St. Louis as an Arch Grants Recipient should not be viewed as a burden or a barrier.
Instead, it’s an opportunity. Just ask our Recipients.
“With the Arch Grant, we built the infrastructure to get our product off the ground. It’s just awesome,” said Chris Ho, owner and Chief Scientific Officer of Drug Design Methodologies. “They had you a check and say, ‘Grow your business with it.’”
Reason 50,002: There is no day like today
Maybe your startup is already in business, but could use an infusion of $50,000, a supportive community, an impressive suite of pro bono services, and the prestige and credibility that comes with being an Arch Grant Recipient.
(Who couldn’t use that?)
Or maybe your startup is still just a really, really good idea. Either way, what are you waiting for?
Passing on an opportunity like Arch Grants is a mistake—even if your startup isn’t selected. The process of applying for an Arch Grant has helped founders refine, rethink, and improve their startup. Even if your startup doesn’t make the cut, you will be in a stronger position for any future funding opportunities.
Including next year’s Global Startup Competition.
And if you are selected to be a 2019 Arch Grant Recipient? Then the sky is the limit.
Arch Grants has given $50K grants to 134 startups over the past seven years. Today, 84% of those companies are still in business. Combined, they have generated $244M in revenue and have attracted more than $200M in follow-on capital.
Applying for the 2019 competition is the first step to becoming part of the most innovative and successful startup competition in this region—and in the nation.
There are more than 50,002 reasons to apply for an Arch Grant and make St. Louis the launching pad for your entrepreneurial dreams. A low cost of living, access to free cultural and community institutions, and the chance to play an important role in writing one of the country’s most compelling stories about urban renewal through entrepreneurship are just a few.
That said, for the purposes of this article, we thought 50,002 reasons were good enough.
So, stop reading. And start your application.
Julie is is responsible for the planning and execution of Arch Grants’ Global Startup Competition, with a focus on strategic marketing and outreach to local, national and international prospective applicants. She was born and raised in St. Louis, and graduated from the University of Iowa.