Arch Grants is a catalytic effort to build the St. Louis economy by attracting and retaining entrepreneurs who invigorate the region by addressing economic challenges and becoming the next generation of St. Louis employers, civic leaders, thought-leaders, and solutionists. Arch Grants’ bottom-up economic development model, the first of its kind in the United States, has proven successful beyond expectations. Its groundbreaking program, Ignite St. Louis: Fostering an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in America’s Heartland is current comprised of: 1) the Global Startup Competition, in which hundreds of startups apply for a grant to kickstart or enhance their ambitious companies; 2) Entrepreneur Support leveraging its vast network; and 3) Community Engagement, which fosters the startup ecosystem by engaging St. Louis leaders.
Ignite St. Louis is undertaking a major initiative to transition its brand and reputation from a global startup competition to a dynamic nesting environment for entrepreneurs. Arch Grants’ vision is to evolve its three, interconnected programs to a cohesive program that offers wraparound services for its competition recipients. Not only does this strategic rebranding align with the i6 program’s priorities of aiding economic growth, building capacity for innovation, and cultivating community networks, it integrates these priorities into a holistic approach to supporting the next wave of leaders who will transform the St. Louis, U.S., and global economies. By 2024, the program anticipates 2450 jobs created for Missouri, as well as $1.3 billion in cumulative revenue generated from its projects.