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Executive Director, Emily Lohse-Busch, sent a memo to Arch Grants companies on Friday 27th March 2020, in which she announced some changes to the Arch Grants programming this year, in light of the coronavirus.
Below are some excerpts directly from the email, pertaining to the specific announcements made.
The application deadline for the Global Startup Competition has been extended indefinitely.
“We WILL hold a Global Startup Competition in 2020 and award grants to early-stage companies, but the deadline for applications for our Competition will be delayed indefinitely. We currently plan to announce a new deadline this summer.
As the number of new cases of Covid-19 rises exponentially each day, more of our applicants, judges and team members are focused on the immediate health and well-being of their friends, family and neighbors. With lives and companies being disrupted more and more significantly, we recognize that our Competition deadline can wait while other priorities cannot.
In addition, we will keep the application portal open for companies to submit, and applicants who have already submitted will be able to update and edit their applications prior to the new deadline, once it is determined.”
Plans to offer relief funds to Arch Grants companies next week
“We will support our past and current Founders like never before… By delaying our Competition deadline, we will be able to reallocate our staff resources to better serve as extensions of our Founders’ teams – to help with outreach, connections, strategy, or to just serve as a sounding board.
We’re also connecting with our partners at the Federal and State level to make sure that early-stage startups’ needs are being met in relief and stimulus packages, and we’ll apply for and help access any available capital for Founders.
For some of our Founders, the immediate need for capital is clear and urgent, so we are reallocating a portion of our organizational funds to establish the Arch Grants Relief Fund, making non-dilutive grants available to St. Louis-based past Arch Grants Founders.
Funding criteria are still being finalized, but on April 6, a communication will go out to all past Founders with details about how to apply, what expenses will qualify, and how applications will be processed.”
All eyes are on monitoring the impact of this crisis on St. Louis Startups
Although this email specifically addresses Arch Grants companies, EQ had a chance to speak to Lohse-Busch directly by phone prior to this memo, and she emphasized that Entrepreneur Support Organizations all over the region are closely monitoring how the situation unfolds. Many relief efforts are underway (such as the Gateway Resilience Fund) to assist in the “cash crunch” that the social distancing and lockdown has inflicted on companies.
Whatever organization your startup is affiliated with, we would encourage you to communicate your current experience of the crisis to them so that they can lobby the city and state on your behalf.