Arch Grants Announces $1 million in Grants to 20 Early-Stage Startups

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Arch Grants, the non-profit organization dedicated to creating a more robust startup culture and infrastructure in St. Louis, today announced awards totaling $1 million to 20 early-stage startup companies committed to headquartering in St. Louis at an event at the Polsinelli law firm in downtown.

Arch Grants, the non-profit organization dedicated to creating a more robust startup culture and infrastructure in St. Louis, today announced awards totaling $1 million to 20 early-stage startup companies committed to headquartering in St. Louis at an event at the Polsinelli law firm in downtown.

Since 2012, Arch Grants has given out more than $1.9 million in grant funding to 35 companies – 32 of which are still operating, while one (Obsorb) was acquired – leading to $6.5 million in revenue, $17.7 million in addition capital raised, and 192 net new jobs.

The 2014 recipient companies hail from six different states, the United Kingdom and Colombia and will each receive $50,000 in equity- free cash, with the only requirement being they must relocate or continue to operate from St. Louis. The 2014 Arch Grants recipients are: Artifox, BetaVersity, Blue Line Security Solutions, Cast, CoMo Medical, Dabble, Ephecom, FreightGrid, greetabl, Hyde, Jolt, Less Annoying CRM, LIFEPACK, Made for Freedom, MeterGenius, Nanopore Diagnostics, Prattle Analytics Tallyfy, Tuloko and Wondermento.

“We’re excited by the vision, execution and most importantly, the leaders of this year’s class of companies,” said Jerry Schlichter, co-founder and board president of Arch Grants. “These firms will help reinforce the message that St. Louis is a globally competitive city and an attractive destination for top business talent. We look forward to continuing to assist these entrepreneurs in growing their businesses.”

Over 90 volunteers evaluated hundreds of applicants through two preliminary rounds of evaluation. Ultimately, 46 companies were invited to compete in the final round of the competition. Two separate panels of St. Louis leaders grilled the finalists on their business models during Finalist Weekend in April. The Arch Grants Board then selected 20 grant recipients based on extensive feedback from the judges, and factors such as scalability, financial viability and the progress of the concepts’ prototype or minimal product.

Along with the $50,000 Arch Grant, companies also receive free legal and accounting services, additional networking and mentoring opportunities, and direct access to St. Louis-based angel investors.

“The success metrics of the recipient companies are encouraging,” said Ginger Imster, Executive Director of Arch Grants. “Of the companies still operating today, 97 percent remain headquartered in St. Louis. Arch Grants-funded companies are helping to drive the narrative of a resurgent St. Louis.”

Funders of the Arch Grants competition in 2014 include Missouri Technology Corporation, Partnership For Downtown St. Louis, Advantage Capital Partners; Bryan Cave; Emerson; Green Street St. Louis; Husch Blackwell; Interco; Monsanto; Peabody Energy; Polsinelli; Thompson Coburn; Kemper Charitable Foundation; the Regional Business Council; Sterling Bank; Twain Financial; the St. Louis Development Corporation, and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. Arch Grants board members also provided substantial underwriting for this year’s competition.

About The Winners

  • Artifox (St. Louis, Missouri): A furniture company devoted to merging quality craftsmanship with the constantly changing needs of the modern mobile professional.
  • BetaVersity (St. Louis, Missouri): Promotes the maker movement by offering its BetaBox; a custom prototyping pod built inside of a shipping container.
  • Blue Line Security Solutions (St. Louis, Missouri): Offers an affordable, practical, and reliable facial recognition system that can help protect stores, schools, offices, and entertainment venues from unwanted visitors and threats.
  • Cast (St. Louis, Missouri): A dedicated mobile app that allows publishers and consumers to quickly understand social opinion by creating public or private polls and observing structured response data in real time.
  • CoMo Medical (Columbia, Missouri): A medical device and pharmaceutical start-up offering solutions to unmet needs in healthcare.
  • Dabble (San Francisco, California): Provides subscribers an easy way to teach or take specialty classes on a wide-range of subjects.
  • Ephecom (Boston, Massachusetts): An e-commerce marketplace that gives the end-user two things: steep discounts on the products that they love, and sixty seconds to decide whether to buy or pass.
  • FreightGrid (St. Louis, Missouri): A web application that manages the entire LTL (less than truckload) shipping process, saving time and money for customers.
  • Greetabl (St. Louis, Missouri): The fun and memorable way to connect with the important people by sharing thoughtful gifts with a personal note.
  • Hyde Sportswear (Milwaukee, Wisconsin): Manufactures the sporting equipment of the future, starting with the Wingman, a first of its kind life vest allowing swimmers to rescue themselves.
  • Jolt (Boston, Massachusetts): Makes wearable head impact sensors for youth athletes.
  • Less Annoying CRM (San Francisco, California): Makes a simple customer relationship manager (CRM) for small businesses, and is the recipient of this year's Peabody Energy grant.
  • LIFEPACK (Cali, Columbia): Produces and sells plates made of natural fibers (pineapple crown) and seeds that can germinate into a plant, and is the recipient of this year's Monsanto grant.
  • Made for Freedom (St. Louis, Missouri): Driving a social entrepreneurial mission to establish a global, online, retail/wholesale clothing business while providing dignified employment for survivors of sex trafficking.
  • MeterGenius (Chicago, Illinois): A free website that provides tools and incentives for homeowners to save money on their electricity bill.
  • Nanopore Diagnostics (St. Louis, Missouri): Enables physicians to make informed antibiotic decisions during their initial examination of a patient.
  • Prattle Analytics (Boston, Massachusetts): Utilizes proprietary textual analysis methods to provide innovative financial data solutions.
  • Tallyfy (London, England): Makes critical business processes incredibly user-friendly and visible - in real-time with a friendly layer on top of complex tools and confusing processes.
  • Tuloko (Minneapolis, Minnesota): A social enterprise focused on driving more business to minority and women owned businesses.
  • Wondermento (London): A digital company building apps that interact with lovingly made connected devices to create happier and healthier living for all.

About Arch Grants

Arch Grants is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to creating a more robust startup culture and infrastructure in St. Louis. Each year, Arch Grants selects companies to receive $50,000 in equity-free startup capital in addition to mentoring and networking opportunities from the results of its Startup Competition. Arch Grants partners with organizations dedicated to fostering economic development including ITEN, Gateway VMS, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, Accelerate St. Louis, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the Regional Business Council, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis University, University of Missouri at St. Louis, and BioGenerator. For more information, visit


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Aaron Perlut
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