ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arch Grants (http://archgrants.org), the global business plan competition providing $50,000 grants to startups and taking no equity in return, today with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Square co-founder and head of the Arch Grants Advisory Board Jim McKelvey, announced the recipients of its first $750,000 in grants. Fifteen startups will each receive $50,000 in funding to help launch and grow their business and create a more robust startup culture and infrastructure in St. Louis. To date, Arch Grants has secured more than $2.9 million in funding for early stage startups from a mix of individual, organizational and corporate donors.
"Small businesses are the biggest driver of job-creation and economic growth in our state," Gov. Jay Nixon said. "As Governor, I am committed to helping our start-ups and small businesses grow, and Arch Grants is another proven tool we are using to do just that. We are extremely proud to have this diverse and innovative group of companies growing, investing and creating jobs right here in Missouri. These pioneering small-business owners will lead our economy and our state into the future.”
"We at Arch Grants are thrilled with the quality and potential of the entrepreneurs who won our international competition out of over 400 applicants," said Jerry Schlichter, co-founder and President of Arch Grants. "This marks St. Louis as a top destination with a community of high quality startup businesses who will compete in the global economy and Arch Grants will be working hard to build that community as we move forward."
In its inaugural year, the competition attracted 420 applicants from 12 countries. The 15 winning companies, announced today, will receive $50,000 in funding as part of a year-long program. Beginning in June, the companies will locate in St. Louis and work towards the goal of attracting additional capital, including up to $100,000 of Arch Grants follow-on funding. The companies are:
Companion Pharma, Inc. – Harry Arader (CEO)
Companion Pharma, Inc.’s mission is to expand the range of safe, effective medicines designed for convenient use in dogs and cats under a veterinarian's prescription.
Essentials – Anton Xavier (CEO and Co-Founder), Dheeraj Patri
(COO and Co-Founder), & Dagan Xavier (CDO and Co-Founder)
FoodEssentials' LabelINSIGHT provides retailers, manufacturers, and government with sophisticated online tools for the deep analysis of food label data.
INC – Merle Symes (CEO) & Melissa Walker (President and CTO)
Graematter has developed the TERI Regulatory Intelligence System, which for the first time consolidates the data and information located in over a hundred regulatory data sources into a single, searchable database.
Projects – Michael Orlando (CEO)
IDC Projects makes location-based social games for mobile phones that serve as an ideal targeted marketing platform for advertisers.
TV – Sergi Turabelidze & Giorgi Gioshvili (Co-Founders)
Iveria TV is the "hulu of foreign TV," possessing the technological infrastructure and business model to deliver foreign language TV streams to millions of immigrants living in the United States.
Voices – Kohl Gill (CEO and Founder) & Mark Womer (CFO)
LaborVoices is crowdsourced supply chain intelligence, providing corporations with a real-time monitoring and risk-management tool, with data coming directly from workers in their supply chains.
Mix – Allison Carmen (CEO)
Material Mix monetizes the trade of recyclables, helping waste and recycling professionals reduce operating expenses and recover investment on inventory via a dynamic, web-based, customer regulated exchange platform with supply chain management tools.
Preps – Kenny Kline (CEO and Co-Founder) & Jon Chen (COO and
Med Preps provides online practice tests and flashcards to help medical professionals prepare for certification exams.
Observable Networks – Patrick Crowley (CEO & Founder) & Peter
Observable Networks is pioneering a new approach to enterprise network security and management. Observable Networks is the recipient of the Emerson Arch Grant.
Obsorb – Marshall Haas (CEO), João Gradim (Co-founder), & Carlos
Obsorb is a customizable work platform for small businesses that works on the web, iPhone, iPad, and Android.
Pharos Scientific – Zhilin Hu (CEO)
Pharos Scientific aims to deliver an innovative medical imaging component in the forefront of diagnostic medicine and related products.
Saturnis, LLC – Michael Gidding (President) & Daniel Garcia
(Director of Science)
Saturnis is commercializing a low-cost, thermochemical process that produces liquid transportation fuels from biomass sources that can be sustainably harvested in the Midwest. Saturnis is the recipient of the Peabody Arch Grant.
– Arnoldo Muller-Molina (CEO)
simMachines provides the fastest similarity search engine available, focused on creating efficient, novel and easy to use data analysis tools.
– Edward Domain (CEO and Co-Founder)
Techli is the online news magazine for the digital startup community in the Midwest.
Metal Solutions – Ron Meyer (CEO), Julie Meyer (Co-founder), &
Charlie Overschmidt (Operations Manager and Co-Founder)
Unique Metal Solutions designed and patented the advanced manufacturing ROCKET RACK®, a stainless steel conduit and process pipe support system currently being used in food and beverage processing plants in St. Louis and potentially throughout the U.S.
"If you are building a business, Arch Grants is the reason to do it in St. Louis," said Jim McKelvey, St. Louis native, co-founder of Square, a billion-dollar mobile payments device company, and head of Arch Grants Advisory Board and General Partner at Cultivation Capital.
“The Arch Grants initiative is an imaginative program that will contribute significantly to the ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in our region and the revitalization of St. Louis,” said Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton. “I am proud that Washington University affiliated entrepreneurs are among the first winners and look forward to following the success of all Arch Grants recipients.”
"Entrepreneurs here have worked hard to establish a strong base of innovation in the region," said Sarah Spear, Executive Director of Arch Grants. "Arch Grants builds on those early efforts by both retaining entrepreneurs and attracting new entrepreneurs to St. Louis. We're excited about building this game-changing program here in St. Louis. We look forward to grant recipients joining us downtown in June, increasing the entrepreneurial bench strength and innovation in the region."
Support has been provided by the founders, Missouri Technology Corporation, the Community Improvement District of the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis, individual donors and large corporate donors.