Social-classifieds company adFreeq awarded $50,000 St. Louis Arch Grant
• Grant committee selects 20 startups from more than 700 applications
adFreeq, a socially integrated classified ad system incubated at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, is one of 20 startups to be awarded a $50,000 St. Louis Arch Grant. The goal of the Arch Grants is to help create “more robust startup culture and infrastructure,” in St. Louis.
More than 700 companies applied for an Arch Grant this spring.
The winning startups must agree to open a business office in St. Louis and provide financial and job growth opportunities for the community. The adFreeq team plans to open up a sales and management office in Lab1500, an entrepreneurial center, in downtown St. Louis.
"We are delighted to be selected as an Arch Grant recipient,” said Peter Meng, adFreeq chief executive officer. “It shows St. Louis’ commitment to innovative ideas not just in bio-tech and manufacturing, but web development, journalism and advertising as well."
adFreeq provides live streaming classified ads from newspapers’ websites, third-party sources and popular social Internet sites to create a new revenue opportunity for online news organizations, publishers and blogs — at no cost to the publishers. The adFreeq team recently launched the system on the Columbia Missourian newspaper website.
Arch Grant perks
According to the Arch Grants program website, startups have access to a business network, mentoring, free legal and accounting services, opportunities to collaborate with local colleges, as well as housing and office space discounts.
The startups also have the opportunity to apply for as much as $100,000 in a second round of funding and access to angel investors.
About the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute
The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute works with citizens, journalists and researchers to strengthen democracy through better journalism. RJI seeks out the most exciting new ideas, tests them with real-world experiments, uses social science research to assess their effectiveness and delivers solutions that citizens and journalists can put to use in their own communities.