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Arch Grants recently launched applications for its 2017 class of Arch Grants recipients. We reached out to five companies who have already been through the process to see what they had to say about being a part of Arch Grants and building their companies in St. Louis.
Siddharth Kothari, CEO, Appbase.io
“The Arch Grants team is terrific and their support goes much further than the $50k grant. They have been super resourceful with introductions to potential customers, investors and advisors. Our very first angel investors have come through these introductions, and we have built meaningful advisory relationships we also credit to Arch Grants. Being an international team, we have run into issues with our visa status, and Arch Grants has been very supportive and are currently working on broadening how they can better serve international entrepreneurs in the future.
As a 2015 Arch Grant Recipient, I have already witnessed growth in the St. Louis startup ecosystem – both in more programs coming up to support early stage startups (Capital Innovators, Prosper, Yield Labs, UMSL international accelerator program, SixThirty FinTech and Cyber, among many others) as well as an increase in later stage deal flow. There has also been a growing appetite to support fundamental tech startups like ours from within St. Louis. The best part about being here is seeing the growth in resources and the excitement that is brimming up within the startup ecosystem since the past couple of years.”
Kwaku Owusu, Chief Executive Officer, Ilerasoft
“Ilerasoft has gained so much since becoming an Arch Grants Recipient in 2016. Arch Grants has helped us develop a full working product that introduces intelligence to healthcare asset management. Besides the non-dilutive grant prize, the connections and mentorship have been invaluable. Arch Grants has pointed us in the right direction and helped integrate us into the St. Louis business environment.
Arch Grants truly wants to help you succeed while becoming a part of the robust St. Louis ecosystem. The ecosystem has been instrumental in helping us meet the right people. Events at T-Rex and Venture Café have been especially useful in helping us make connections. The best part of St. Louis is the people. Everyone is friendly, willing to help and rooting for you to win.”
Tomas Hode, CEO Immunophotonics
“Arch Grants has helped us in multiple ways, both directly and indirectly. Directly, winning the award in 2013 gave us a lot of local connections and PR, which in turn eventually led to some substantial investments in our company. Of course, the cash award helped offset the moving costs, but to be honest, the publicity and connections with key people in the investment community was the most important aspect.
On a less tangible note, Arch Grants has been a central figure in the growing St. Louis tech and biotech startup community, and the help and dedication from everyone involved in Arch Grants has been quite outstanding.
I can’t say enough good things about Arch Grants. The staff, volunteers and judges are helpful and friendly, and even now, they are still here to support us as a company if we asked for anything.”
Julie Meyer, Owner/President, Rocket Rack
“There was a time, shortly before we won our Arch Grant in 2012, that we were ready to give up. Our business wasn’t thriving. We were working ALL THE TIME and seemed to get nowhere. Arch Grants gave us a $50K shot-in-the-arm that got us out of a tractor shed (I’m not kidding) and into a small rented warehouse and eventually into our own manufacturing facility.
Arch Grants gave us the proof we needed that our product really is great. The support we received from our mentors, combined with the counseling, the advice and the networking opportunities strengthened our resolve and gave us new hope. Everywhere we turned we were being supported and even uplifted, so we couldn’t give up.
When we tell our story now, almost everyone says, ‘Yes, I’ve heard that the St. Louis Startup scene is amazing!’ Turns out they’ve either read about or heard about how vibrant and strong the St. Louis startup community is, and we tell them, ‘It’s all true.’”
Pravina Pindoria, Co-founder, Tallyfy
“I’m from London (UK) and lived in big cities on every continent, and I’m so glad we came across St. Louis and started Tallyfy here. The St. Louis startup ecosystem gave us access to hundreds of hard to find experts and potential customers to validate our idea – via ITEN, Venture Café, corporate engagements, local Meetups, and of course, Arch Grants.
Arch Grants is not the typical investor or accelerator. If you want money or want to learn tactics on how to scale, that can be found anywhere and can even be self-taught. But if you want access to a community that is rooting for you and eager to help through every step of your startup journey– personal support and development, discovery, validating, pivoting et cetera–Arch Grants has it all and more.
After winning the award in 2014, Arch Grants connected us to people from diverse industries who played an important part in helping us first validate the idea of our company and then focus in on unexpected use cases. Some of these introductions led to pilots and initial revenue and then these people became marquee customers who we would then connect with to attract more customers and investors. Two years later, I still find it incredible that the St. Louis community is full of people who are ever-willing to make time to help us – it’s unlike any other city I’ve lived in.”
Apply now for the 2017 Arch Grants Global Startup Competition.