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“If Arch Grants were the only people working towards developing the St. Louis entrepreneurial culture, we’d be nowhere near to where we are now.”

Ben Burke

Ben Burke is the Director of Entrepreneurship at Arch Grants in St. Louis. Arch Grants seeks to create a more robust startup culture and infrastructure in St. Louis. In order to increase employment growth and establish St. Louis as a place where entrepreneurs want to start and grow their businesses, Arch Grants offers startups funding in the form of grants and supports the startups as they remain or transition to downtown St. Louis.

“Creating a business that made the world a better place has always been my goal.”


John Larrick was raised on a farm in Macon, Missouri. At the age of 12 he started working in his grandmother’s restaurant and at 13 started a goat farm with his father. The goat farm helped significantly pay for his freshman year of college at the University of Missouri. Currently, while in his junior year, John, is working on his new business, Eon Home Services, a gutter guard installation and gutter cleaning company in Columbia, Missouri. In his free time John enjoys biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, hunting and reading. What inspired you to start your own gutter guard installation business?

“It’s the City’s golden moment to establish a major presence in the tech industry.”


Ryan Weber joined KCnext as president in 2011, launching the organization as the region’s only TECNA-affiliated technology council. Before KCnext, Ryan served as director for the Midwest Division of Angel Capital Group, where he focused on recruiting angel investors to the Greater Kansas City region to fund various ventures in the area.

As the technology council for Greater Kansas City, KCnext is committed to growing the existing base of technology firms, recruiting and attracting technology companies, aggregating and promoting KC regional technology assets and providing peer interaction and industry news.

KCnext connects, promotes and supports the regional tech industry in three main ways: Throughout the year, KCnext hosts a number of networking, educational and executive-only events to facilitate personal connections and source partnerships within the Kansas City region. Second, KCnext works to place KC tech news in top-tier national media, elevating Kansas City as a technology hub through valuable impressions online and in print. Finally, KCnext provides access to talent, resources and business partners for its member-companies and community partners. Why do you think that Kansas City is perfectly positioned to become a major hub for the tech industry?

Future Job Creator: Meg Goddard


Being an international student herself, Meg Goddard fully understands the challenges of acclimation to a new country, culture, and educational system. At the age of 18, Meg packed her suitcase and left England to begin a new chapter in life. This chapter would have Meg studying abroad in the United Featured Start-Up: Whobaloo


If you spend any time at all on Pinterest, you need to know about this company. Whobaloo is a cloud-based design application that can be utilized for printed design and web graphics. In short, they completely simplify the process of design for the end user. This company is true testament Featured Start-Up: We Are Fine Line


Known as the of modeling agencies, We Are Fine Line founders Erika Klotz and Scott Hanson have developed a program that is disrupting the delivery of modeling services. The company created a unique business model that quickly gained traction in Kansas City. From there, We Are Fine