Arch Grants gave away 15 $50,000 grants last year, but the organization is increasing the number of grants to 20 for the program’s second round. Arch Grants is a non-profit organization that issues grants based on The Arch Grants Business Plan Competition, but the only catch is that the startups selected to receive the grants must stay (or relocate) to downtown St. Louis.
Arch Grants received 420 applications last year, and this year the number is expected to be higher. Recipients of last year’s grants include IDC Projects, Techli, Food Essentials, and MaterialMix. Applicants will be judged based on the following criteria: scalability, a plan to reach national or international sales, and progress against the concept. Applicants may be based anywhere in the world, but should keep in mind that they will be asked to relocate to St. Louis.
Arch Grants does not take equity in exchange for the grants, and the program will provide winning companies with access to business mentoring, free legal and accounting services, pro bono marketing and cloud computing services, collaboration with local universities, the chance for a $100,000 follow-on grant, and access to local investors.
“We understand the challenges of starting a business and have created an opportunity for entrepreneurs to kick-start their ideas without sacrificing a stake in their company,” said Sarah Spear, Executive Director, Arch Grants.
Applications can be submitted at Arch Grants and must be completed by January 1, 2013.