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Global Startup Competition

Grants and In-Kind Support to USA, Canada, and
International Startups to Relocate to Missouri

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Arch Grants

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Grants of up to $50,000 and in-kind services to USA, Canada, and International startup companies to support business growth and development in St. Louis, Missouri. Funding is intended to recruit companies from a range of industries with the potential to strengthen the local economy, foster entrepreneurship, and revitalize the community. Companies must relocate to St. Louis, Missouri, for at least one year.

Arch Grants is not only a source of equity-free funding for early stage startups, but it’s an opportunity to root your business within a growing entrepreneurial hub surrounded by a community of mentors, collaborators and resources. 

In addition to monetary awards, Arch Grants recipients receive:

  • Pro bono and discounted professional services in the following areas: accounting, legal, marketing and communications, financial consulting, banking consulting and services, information technology consulting and web hosting, human resources, and payroll services
  • Access to venture capital and angel investment networks
  • Professional and high-level business mentorship
  • Personal introductions to strategic business leaders
  • Social support and community integration services
  • Inclusion as part of a community of innovative entrepreneurs

Past companies have been in the following industries:

Agricultural technology, biotechnology, business-to-business products, business-to-business services, civic technology, clean energy, consumer products, consumer services, cyber security, education technology, enterprise software, fashion, financial technology, food, geospatial technology, hardware technology, health care, information technology, life sciences, logistics and transportation, manufacturing, medical device, mobile applications, regulatory technology, social media, social venture, and sustainability.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 170716

Estimated Size of Grant:

What is Offered:
- $50,000 equity-free funding
- An ecosystem of pro bono resources, including legal, accounting, marketing, HR, startup business development, etc.
- Networking opportunities with some of the region’s most prestigious investors and VCs
- Immigration/visa assistance (as needed)

Term of Contract:

October 11, 2021-October 11, 2022: Arch Grants Awardees Program Year

If you are selected as an Arch Grant recipient, you will need to be located in St. Louis, full time, by late October. Exact dates will be sent to you with your offer to become a grant recipient.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

For-profit startups from every industry are invited to apply. Hybrid-models social ventures are also encouraged to apply. Particular attention will be given to the scalability of the ventures. Startups should demonstrate a plan to reach national or international impact. Additionally, we like to see some progress against the concept (e.g., a prototype, minimum viable product, etc.). Startups planning to scale and remain in the St. Louis region are encouraged to apply.

Eligible to apply:
- For-profit entities with technology-based products, services or solutions.
- All industries
- Scalable business models
- Early-Stage companies (includes Bootstrapped, Pre-Seed, and Seed Stage)

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Note: At least one Founder is required to work full-time on the business during the program year.

Arch Grants recipients have five obligations they must agree to in order to receive the grant:

1. Locate or relocate the business with significant operations or headquarters in the City of St. Louis for at least one year.
2. Commit at least 51% of full-time founding team or one full-time founder and 51% of full-time staff to St. Louis for the yearlong program.
3. Establish operation in the City of St. Louis or secure a membership to a co-working space in the City of St. Louis during the yearlong commitment.
4. Dedicate approximately 12 hours of service to Arch Grants and 12 hours of service to St. Louis per quarter.
5. Provide Arch Grants with data regarding jobs created, revenue generated and follow-on capital attracted. Arch Grants will collect this information biannually as long as the business is in operation.

Businesses around the world are invited to apply to the competition as long as you are able to move your business to the St. Louis region for the year in which you are receiving funding (and we hope long after that, too).

Non-US citizens should have the necessary visas to work on their business in the United States or have a clear path to obtaining the visa for the program year. If you are eligible, Arch Grants will facilitate the visa application process for you.

Arch Grants will not consider applications submitted by nonprofits, although social ventures are encouraged to apply.

Staff and board members of Arch Grants and immediate family members (spouse, child, parent, sibling) are ineligible to apply for the Arch Grants Global Startup Competition.

Pre-Application Information:

2021 Timeline:

- April 1: First Round Applications Open
- April 30: First Round Applications Close
- May - June: Preliminary Judging
- June 18-25: Semi-Finalist Application Window
- Mid - July: Finalists Selected
- July 27 - 30: Finalist Pitch Week
- September 1: Companies Selected
- October 11, 2021 - October 11, 2022: Arch Grants Awardees Program Year

Applicants can expect communication regarding their application status within one month of the closing deadline.

Selection Process

Application Round 1:
- Qualified applicants will have their applications reviewed and evaluated by preliminary judges. Staff analyzes the evaluations and will conduct due diligence and interviews with applicants that may be invited to proceed to the Finalist round.

Finalist Round:
- Between 40 and 50 companies are invited to participate in the Finalist Pitch event that includes a live-pitch followed by Q&A with the Competition Committee. Finalists are evaluated by the Competition Committee, a group of dedicated volunteers who lend their expertise and experience to Arch Grants, and review the Finalists for fit with the program and St. Louis.

Finalists selected for the Arch Grant will be notified in September and publicly announced at our Annual Gala Fundraiser in November.

Please note that in 2020, Finalist Pitch Week was held virtually, and may be held virtually or in a hybrid format in 2021 depending on health guidance in regard to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online (from April 1):

Questions? Email

Prospective applicants may email the Competition Manager, Julie Maurer at

Arch Grants
911 Washington Avenue, Suite 420
St. Louis, Missouri 63101

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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