ST. LOUIS : A PLACE FOR SOLUTIONISTS.
St. Louis is a community with deep civic pride. We’re aware of our challenges, but more importantly, we’re aware of our potential. As a person who has spent most of my career in the social sector, I am acutely aware of the role strategic philanthropy, bold investment and true collaboration can have on a community or a region, and I am thrilled to be in St. Louis right now—as the region takes significant steps to shape the city we want to build for the future.
If I could describe in one word what attracted me to Arch Grants—it would be COURAGE. This organization is committed to finding the most innovative, enlightened entrepreneurs in the world whose companies are at their earliest stages, and taking a chance on them, and asking them to take a chance on us.
We know that we’re taking a risk every time we give a $50,000 grant to an early-stage company—that company may fail, the founders may leave town, the idea may not work. But we hold these believers and builders in the highest regard because they have put it all on the line for their dream, and they’re looking for similarly courageous people to help them on their journey. Arch Grants is willing to take that journey with them.
Entrepreneurs are people who have encountered a problem in their industries or in their lives and decided instead of complaining about it or even just accepting it, they have said, I know a better way and I’m going to take the risk to do that. There’s something very special about that kind of mindset that benefits St. Louis not only in the real direct benefits of jobs and revenue and attracting capital investment, but also in the culture that creates among the next generation of leaders.
When I left in 2005, St. Louis was a different place. During a visit I made here in 2015, a mentor of mine recommended that I go check out what was happening along St. Louis’ urban core. As soon as I became aware of the energy and the potential in those areas, I was sold on coming back. I knew this was a special moment in time for my hometown, and that it was on the brink of something. I wanted to be a part of that.
Right now, St. Louis is a place for believers and builders. In St. Louis, you have the potential to make an impact on a scale that you just wouldn’t in other communities. And I am confident that, for those of us who invest in building our lives and our businesses in this city, we will see a significant return on that investment as St. Louis grows in size, in development, and in dynamism.
For people who want to create, who want to build something, there’s something really exciting about a St. Louis home base. With other larger cities, you know what you’re getting. But what St. Louis is going to look like is largely being formed right now—by entrepreneurs and creators who are molding the future economy and the future culture. That’s what gets me out of bed every morning with renewed energy and enthusiasm for my work.