There may have been some shock at first last night, when Arch Grants Executive Director Ginger Imster announced she’s leaving the organization that’s attracted ninety-six start-ups to town, but she’s moving up to the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership as Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Media like Popular Mechanics and FiveThirtyEight have singled out St. Louis as “the new start-up frontier.” Imster says she’s confident the team at Arch Grants will be able to keep the program going.
“To have the team at Arch Grants, our entrepreneurs, our staff and our board be so supportive of this transition as a means to affect the kind of change we need to see at the regional level to support what the innovation community has been building for the last fifteen years,” she says.
She imagines a region that attracts the brightest from other cites.
“When we have the kinds of assets we have, including our innovation hubs, but also including our industries, animal health, ag tech, sin tech, cyber security with the NGA, we have many assets that we can better leverage to make a compelling value proposition to students who are graduating from local colleges and universities and high schools to see opportunity here or to return to St. Louis once they go away for a period of time,” she says.
Imster is in Jefferson City today, fighting for funding for the Missouri Technology Corporation which helps fund, in part, many innovation programs including Arch Grants.