awarded its first $50,000 grants to a dozen startup companies today, providing what is hoped to be an initial foothold in the St. Louis region for young, forward-thinking entrepreneurs. Each of the recipients is expected to build their business right here in St. Louis in return for the grant, with the potential down the road for their company to win another grant -- this time for $100,000 -- from Arch Grants next year.
Among this first class of winners is IDC Projects
, a company that makes location-based social games for mobile phones; Techli
, an online news magazine for digital startups; and Iveria
, a company that plans to deliver streams of foreign television shows to immigrants in America -- it currently offers unlimited access to Georgian and Russian TV for an introductory rate of $19.99, which is an exciting deal if you're a fan of Russian pop videos -- and you should be
More than 420 companies competed for the grants this year. What's most
interesting about the winning class is the number of companies that have
St. Louis roots. Saturnis was founded by a pair of Washington
University grads (their company will produce transportation fuels from
biomass), Pharos Scientific is headed by Dr. Zhilin Hu, a Wash. U.
research professor, and MedPreps
and IDC Projects are both led by native St. Louisans who returned home to grow their companies. Based on this early (and admittedly small sample size), it appears that Arch Grants is already reaping dividends socially and economically for St. Louis.