Missouri-based non-profit Arch Grants announced today that it will give $50,000 to a few select startups that are willing to move their business to St. Louis. The larger goal of the competition is to invest in the local economy’s long-term growth, an effort that’s been seen recently in other parts of the US.
This is the third time that Arch Grants is holding the competition. Last year, 20 companies each received $50,000 grants. Similar to an accelerator program, the startups were also offered mentorship from local accounting, marketing, legal and IT companies, according to Arch Grants’ website. The program is mostly funded by donations from companies like Emerson Electric, Monsanto and Peabody Energy, reported Bloomberg Businessweek.
Arch Grants is accepting applications through Feb. 1, and will announce the winners in June.
It will be interesting to watch if the project does in fact influence the St. Louis economy the way that Arch Grants and its donors hope.
As Inc.’s Burt Helm pointed out in a recent article that it’s hard to determine the exact recipe for a startup city’s success. "I wish I could point to some municipal entrepreneurship program or other business initiative that enticed these people to start companies in Boulder," he wrote in an article that tires to decode Boulder, Co.’s success as a startup hot spot.
According to Arch Grants Executive Director Ginger Imster, the early rewards of the program are already evident in St. Louis. The previous grants have created 128 jobs, brought in more than $3 million in revenue, and have attracted about $5.8 million in follow-on capital, Imster told Bloomberg Businessweek.