The startup simMachines is relocating its headquarters to St. Louis from Costa Rica after receiving funding from Arch Grants, the global business plan competition providing $50,000 grants to startups and taking no equity in return.
The startup is working on search engine technology that allows companies to retrieve similar objects in a database with software like that used in fingerprint searches or music recognition found in cell phones.
Located in the T-REx shared workspace in downtown St. Louis, simMachines plans to hire up to 10 people, including a co-founder, by the end of 2013.
“I am excited and proud to be a part of the American startup community,” said Arnoldo Müller-Molina, founder and CEO of simMachines. “Receiving my E2 visa demonstrates that the United States is willing to support startups as a means of economic growth in the country. I have big plans for simMachines as we establish operations and grow in St. Louis, creating jobs locally and participating in the startup economy.”
Attorneys Jeffrey Bell of Polsinelli Shughart and George Newman of Stinson, Morrison, Hecker provided pro bono services to support Müller-Molina’s move to St. Louis. Getting the E2 visa was the last hurdle.
“With simMachines’ relocation to St. Louis, we’ve made progress in international entrepreneurship for the U.S. and for St. Louis,” said Sarah Spear, executive director of Arch Grants.
“It’s historically been quite difficult for foreign-born entrepreneurs to come here and we are hopeful that Arnoldo’s case signals increased government support for foreign-born entrepreneurs beginning their startups in America. We’re excited to bring companies like simMachines to the region as part of our efforts to establish an innovation hub in St. Louis.”
As one of 15 winners of the 2012 Arch Grants Business Plan Competition, simMachines was awarded $50,000 in startup capital to help the aspiring entrepreneur’s vision.