2014 Arch Grants

20 startups receive grants of $50,000 each

Posted by Neil Schoenherr May 21, 2014

Representing social entrepreneurship, technology, business, education, biomedical science, and design, eight Washington University in St. Louis-affiliated teams are among the 20 startups receiving 2014 Arch Grants of $50,000 each to start their businesses.

The WUSTL teams represent a wide variety of disciplines throughout the University, creating innovations ranging from medical devices and education outreach to data analysis and clothing design.

That the WUSTL-connected contingent comprises 35 percent of this year's Arch Grant winners is no surprise to H. Holden Thorp, PhD, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.

"These teams represent the entrepreneurial spirit that is sweeping the country and thriving at Washington University," Thorp said. "Creating an environment that produces these kinds of teams and ideas is among our highest priorities, and it's great to see this high level of success for the University and for St. Louis."

Arch Grants, first awarded in 2012, seeks to create a more robust startup culture and infrastructure in St. Louis. To increase employment growth and establish the region as a place where entrepreneurs can incubate businesses, Arch Grants offers startups funding in the form of grants and requires that winning teams remain in or transition to downtown St. Louis.

Each of this year's 20 winning teams will receive $50,000 in non-dilutive capital to start their business.

Many of the WUSTL-connected recipients credit the University's entrepreneurial teaching and guidance as key to their accomplishment.

"Arch Grants received hundreds of applications from around the world, and the success of our students in this very competitive pool is extraordinary," said Cliff Holekamp, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship at Olin Business School, director of the School's entrepreneurship platform, and faculty for the Hatchery, one of the University's capstone entrepreneurship courses.

"Washington University's students don't just study entrepreneurship, they actually do it," Holekamp said. "And the companies they are founding are changing the world around them. Our students are a significant factor in St. Louis' emergence as a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation."

Since 2012, Arch Grants has awarded money to 55 teams. Four WUSTL-connected teams won grants in 2012, and six did last year. Adding in this year’s recipients, WUSTL-connected teams have been awarded more than one-third of the 55 total grants.

2014 Sam Fox School-Affiliated Winners

In Consumer Product:

Artifox, St. Louis

Artifox is a product-design team devoted to merging quality craftsmanship with the constantly changing needs of the modern mobile professional. Sarah Carpenter, who earned a Master of Architecture from the Sam Fox School in 2010, co-founded the company.

The support and enthusiasm we've received in St. Louis has been incredible," Carpenter says. "Everyone we've reached out to for advice has been tremendously helpful, whether in making introductions, spreading the word, or even just giving encouragement. We're excited to be part of this growing community of young talent surging within St. Louis City. And with the cost of living so reasonable, there's very little to complain about here."

To watch a short video about Artifox, click here>>

Greetabl, Missouri

Greetabl is a greeting card that quickly folds into a gift box with a personal message. The company was co-founded by Zoë Scharf, who earned Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Sam Fox School in 2011.

"Greetabl really is an experience—a fun and memorable way to connect with the importan people in your life," Scharf says. "Greetabl complements all types of gifts, from the silly to the sincere, and is made in the USA with premium materials and inspired designs."

Additional 2014 WUSTL-Affiliated Winners

In Biomed:

Nanopore Diagnostics, St. Louis
Nanopore Diagnostics enables physicians to make informed antibiotic decisions during their initial examination of a patient. Postdoctoral research scholar Tom Cohen, PhD, at the School of Medicine, and PhD/MBA student Benjamin Borgo founded the company.

In Consumer Product:

Made for Freedom, St. Louis
Made for Freedom is on a social entrepreneurial mission to establish a global, online, retail/wholesale business while providing dignified employment for survivors of sex trafficking. Richard Ockers, a first-year MBA student in Olin Business School, started the company in WUSTL’s Hatchery course.

In Education:

BetaVersity, St. Louis
BetaVersity creates collaborative prototyping facilities where students learn by doing. Blake Margraff, a junior majoring in biology in Arts & Sciences, co-founded BetaVersity.

In Technology:

Prattle Analytics, Massachusetts
Prattle Analytics, formerly Fed Playbook, uses proprietary, patent-pending, text analysis techniques to generate the first commercially available quantitative “Fed Watching” data. The company was co-founded by Evan Schnidman, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, in Arts & Sciences, in 2004, and a master’s in political economy and public policy, in 2008, from WUSTL.

FreightGrid, St. Louis
FreightGrid is a web application that manages the entire “less than truckload” shipping process, saving time and money for its customers. Partner Kris Klinkerman earned an MBA from WUSTL May 16.

Less Annoying CRM, California
Less Annoying CRM makes a simple customer relationship manager (CRM) for small businesses. The company was co-founded by Tyler King, who graduated from WUSTL in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, from the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and Bracken King, who earned bachelor’s degrees in biomedical engineering and computer science in 2004.

For an up-close look at all of the WUSTL-affiliated grant winners, read this story.