Grants to spur robust startup culture in St. Louis

Jonathan T.Z. Chen, a 2008 Olin Business School graduate and co-founder and chief operating officer of MedPreps LLC, gives a thumbs-up while speaking at a news conference at St. Louis City Hall. The conference introduced the 15 winning companies of the Arch Grants, a global business plan competition providing $50,000 grants to startups. To the left is Melissa Walker, an adjunct instructor in the Clinical Research Management program in University College in Arts & Sciences and president and chief technology officer of Graematter Inc. Chen and Walker are among 11 Washington University-affiliated entrepreneurs to win the $750,000 in inaugural grants from Arch Grants. The funding is intended to help the businesses grow and create a more robust startup culture and infrastructure in St. Louis. The city’s mayor, Francis Slay, participated in the June 25 news conference, offering the city’s support. The competition attracted 420 applicants from 12 countries.