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Arch Grants show big impact in first five years


ST. LOUIS, Mo. – After five years, Arch Grants are showing just how much they benefit the St. Louis Region.

Since 2012, the nonprofit Arch Grants organization has been working to improve the economy within the St. Louis area, and their 2016 annual impact report shows some big gains made in the relatively short amount of time.

The nonprofit works by providing $50,000 in equity-free grants and pro bono support services to entrepreneurs who locate their businesses in St. Louis, with the overall goal of retaining and attracting the most innovative employers to the region.

And in the past five years, Arch Grants has already rewarded $5 million to nearly 100 early-stage business creators. This has paid off for the organization, as the companies have generated over 48 million dollars in revenue, attracted over $100 million in follow-on capital and helped create jobs for roughly 1,000 people in need of work. Of the 96 startups they have funded, 85 are still active, with 84 percent still maintaining a presence in the St. Louis region.

In 2016, together these companies generated over $51 million in economic value and retained at least 499 jobs in greater St. Louis area.Together, the total revenue was over $2 million, almost doubling the total expenses that were used programming, fundraising and in management.

With donations large enough to match the grants originally given out by friends of Arch Grants and former entrepreneurs that work within the program, the potential for future economic growth seems to be promising. A prime example of this is in what leaders of companies have done after achieving some amount of success after support from Arch Grant, seeing as leaders of these companies have gone on to establish one other business or more.

The success has not gone unnoticed. St. Louis was named the best startup city in America by Popular Mechanics and was also featured in the Business Insider. Forbes featured the Arch Grants in an article as well, delving into how the grants are working to turn St. Louis into the next big startup city. And in a time when Missouri is focused on job growth and the economy, it couldn’t come at a better time.

“Arch Grants pioneered a bold economic development initiative in St. Louis that continues to make a great impact on our region and beyond,” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said. “By providing early-stage money for start-ups to draw talented innovators from around the globe to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams in St. Louis, Arch Grants has and continues to change who we are and how we see ourselves. The energy and talent that Arch Grants fosters are very exciting and key to bringing innovation to our city.”

“They are job creators. They are momentum builders. Good ideas grow good ideas, and we know the companies that are able to find success today can become the major drivers of the economy in the future—only that future is now,” former St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said.

You can view the full report here, as well as some of the stories of success from the companies.