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Eleven entrepreneurs win Arch Grants competition


From Illinois Business Journal news services

ST. LOUIS – Arch Grants, a non-profit providing $50,000 equity-free grants and pro bono support services to entrepreneurs, announced today the 11 recipients of its 2015 Winter Global Startup Competition.

The official unveiling of the 2015 Winter Cohort of Arch Grants recipients will take place at the organization’s annual gala tonight (Thursday). Rodger Riney, Scottrade Founder and CEO will be an honored guest, and remarks from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will be read, marking a special announcement for the future of Arch Grants.

“Arch Grants is a proven model for helping people turn bright ideas into real, high-paying jobs for Missourians,” Nixon said. “Thanks to outstanding organizations like Arch Grants and the talented entrepreneurs they support, St. Louis is now a growing hub of high-tech talent and innovation.”

Arch Grants will honor Riney with the 2015 Arch Grants Entrepreneur Award during the event. Past awardees include David Steward of World Wide Technologies and Maxine Clark of Build-A-Bear.

“It’s been 35 years since I founded Scottrade, and while much has changed for entrepreneurs during that time, the spirit and dedication required to launch a company hasn’t changed one bit,” Riney said. “It’s inspiring to see these entrepreneurs bring their innovation, tenacity and startup vision to life here in St. Louis, and I am honored to support them and the work that Arch Grants is doing for our city.”

Since the launch of Arch Grants in 2012, the competition has awarded grants to 76 early-stage businesses and has attracted applications from 76 countries and 43 states. Recipients receive a $50,000 equity-free Arch Grant and a host of pro bono support services.

“The winter recipients continue the tradition that began when Arch Grants launched in 2012,” said Executive Director of Arch Grants Ginger Imster. “It is a tremendous credit to St. Louis and to our startup community that Arch Grants is in a position to award a total of 21 grants in 2015.”

The competition has evolved to include two groups each year, summer and winter. The first group of 2015 Arch Grants recipients were announced in June. The 2016 competition cycle is underway and the first announcement of recipients is expected summer 2016.

The Winter 2015 Arch Grants recipients are:

Arch Innotek, of St. Louis

Arch Innotek is a company focused on developing innovative technology to produce natural carotenoids by low cost fermentation-based process.

Babyation (, of Branford, Conn.
Making better products for parents, starting with an innovative breast pump.

Chrona Sleep (, of Chicago
Chrona Sleep combines emerging scientific research with the latest in wearable technology to deliver products that help people live better.

GWR US LLC (, of Barcelona, Spain
GWR designs, engineers, and manufactures seat belts and safety restraint systems for commercial vehicles and specialty applications.

Hemadvance (, Columbia, Mo.
Developing next generation bio-therapeutic molecules to diagnose, manage and treat the onset and progression of coagulation disorders.

Hummingbird Technologies (, of Chicago
Research-driven technology firm focused on creating a simpler and better life for all. Their first product is Nectar, an indoor home gardening system.

The Normal Brand (, of St. Louis
The Normal Brand is a clothing and accessory line designed specifically for the lifestyle of a Midwestern person.

Olio City (, of St. Louis
Olio City is a highly curated personal city discovery application, providing recommendations based on each user’s unique interests.

Scopio ( of New York, N.Y.
The New York Times calls Scopio, “Getty Images in Real Time.” The company offers access to licensed trending images & videos on social media in real time.

Swizzle (, from Seoul, South Korea
Easily take clips from online videos and create an interactive showreel, without copying anything. A better promotional tool for content creators.

Taptl (, of St. Louis
Tapl invented interactive transparent displays. In other words, the company can turn a window into a see-through 1080p or 4k touch-screen display.

In addition to receiving a $50,000 non-dilutive cash grant, pro bono services for recipients eager to locate or retain their businesses in St. Louis include accounting, legal, marketing, design, communications, web hosting, human resources, and financial and information technology consulting.

“Arch Grants continues to grow not only through our grant recipients, but through the business community at large that is showing more and more support for early stage companies in our city,” Imster said. “The collaboration and generosity in our city makes our case stronger every year that St. Louis is a great place to start and build a company.”

About Arch Grants

Arch Grants creates an entrepreneurial culture and infrastructure to build successful companies in St. Louis. The organization provides $50,000 equity-free grants and pro bono support services to entrepreneurs eager to locate or retain their early-stage businesses in St. Louis. For more information, visit

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