Capital Ideas: Brian Kinman of St. Louis Arch Angels

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As the St. Louis region continues to cultivate innovative founders, ideas and companies, the need for additional funding sources grows. We asked 10 St. Louis-based venture and private equity firms to comment on the gaps they see for our startups, what they consider when making investments and how they view St. Louis’ current funding climate.

Brian Kinman is Chairman of St. Louis Arch Angels.

Brian Kinman
Photo courtesy of Brian Kinman

From your perspective, what gaps do you see in local funding for startups?

There’s an emerging gap between accelerator funding and later-stage seed funding–the next $250,000-$300,000 before the larger rounds.

What are some of your organization’s current focuses or goals?

Identifying and recruit- ing more accredited investors into our organization and therefore the St. Louis startup ecosystem.

When looking at potential companies in which to invest, what are the top three factors you consider?

The idea, the size of its market and the founder and management team.

What advice do you have for founders seeking capital right now?

Know your story and be able to communicate it succinctly. Your goal should be the growth of your company, not how much you are going to make.

Why should investors invest in St. Louis startups right now?

The quality of the startups is higher than ever, opportunities for growth and success are abundant and deals take time from investment
to exit—so get started now!

This article was published in EQ’s Spring 2016 issue.

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Kelly is Cofounder/Managing Partner of EQ and Cofounder of ALIVE Media Group. After earning an M.A. in literature at Washington University in St. Louis, Kelly cofounded ALIVE in 2002. He believes becoming an entrepreneur can change not only the life of that entrepreneur, but also his/her community and the world, and that being able to tell stories of transformation like that is the best job one could have.