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Writer Julia Cain from #mySTL, a blog conceptualized by Downtown STL, Inc., showcases two of the 2017 Arch Grants winners ViTAL and clEAR in her article “After Arch Grants: Two St. Louis Tech Companies Helping People with Vision, Hearing Impairments”.
Arch Grants helps bring and retain high-quality, unique startup companies to St. Louis’ growing startup community by awarding $50K equity-free grants and support services to entrepreneurs who locate their early-stage businesses in St. Louis. ViTAL and clEAR, two help-focused companies improving accessibility for people with disabilities are reaping the benefits of their grants and thriving here in the St. Louis startup scene.
Cain explains that ViTAL, an edtech company housed in Downtown’s T-REX, is helping teachers reach students with vision impairments and blindness though sensory-based software. Corrine Mueller, ViTAL co-founder and VP of business tells Cain that ViTAL has received even more recognition through the backing of and connections made through Arch Grants even being awarded a big grant from the National Science Foundation.
And clEAR CEO Nancy Tye-Murray also accounts Arch Grants with their continued growth in building their subscription service brain-training games designed to help those with hearing loss. For both of these companies, Cain shows that while the Arch Grants equity-free money was beneficial, the two companies successes have more to do with the support services provided to Arch Grants winners such as accounting and consulting services so they can focus on their main goals.
Both companies speak to a genuine belief in the ability of the St. Louis startup scene to help businesses thrive. Tye-Murray is quoted as saying, “If you’re not a believer yet, take the time to learn about what is happening here and you’ll soon become one.”