adFreeq, a socially integrated classified ad system incubated at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, has been named one of the top 10 startup companies to watch in 2013 by Silicon Prairie News, a digital media company focused on highlighting and supporting entrepreneurs in the Midwest.
Just in the past couple weeks, the adFreeq team announced the launch of its mobile system on the Columbia Missourian newspaper website, the opening of two new offices including one at a world-class technology incubator, as well the acceptance of a $50,000 grant.
adFreeq awarded $50,000 St. Louis Arch Grant
adFreeq is pleased to announce it 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.
adFreeq also recently announced opening offices at the Missouri Innovation Center in the Monsanto Life Sciences Incubator on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Mo., and in Nanjing, China. Stay tuned to RJI's website to learn more.