The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

I Don’t Know What to Think

On June 29th, 2015, posted in: Uncategorized by

question marks on chalkboardI think I read this right. Page 6 of the St. Louis Business Journal, from the week of June 19-25, included a story on this spring’s Arch Grant recipients. An Arch Grant is a $50,000 non-equity grant to startups (usually tech-based companies) from around the world to help jumpstart their respective businesses.

St. Louis benefits greatly from these grants in that 47 of the companies receiving the grant money over the years are still operating in our fair city. Hundreds of jobs and millions in revenue have resulted from these entrepreneurs picking up a flyer in their quest to become the next Steve Jobs.

So, during my recent read of the paper, specifically page 6, I noted that one of the recipients of this spring’s generous gift is a company called “Invisible Girlfriend.” The company name caught my attention, so I read the blurb describing the business. This is where my eyebrows did a John Belushi kind of furrow, and the humorist in me saw about five minutes of strong stand-up material. Just about the time I was ready to pen my first joke, it dawned on me that this may not be funny at all.

It appears as though “Invisible Girlfriend” provides (and I’m quoting) “the platform that gives its users a believable fake boyfriend or girlfriend by providing text messages, voicemails and handwritten notes.” Is this funny? Is this tragic? If this wasn’t so tragic, would it be funny? What do we have here? I’m at a loss.

The last “invisible girlfriend” story that got national attention was a few years back when a Notre Dame football star concocted a story about his girlfriend. He played it all the way out in a soap opera-like script before it was revealed there was no girlfriend at all. While late-night talk show hosts jumped with joy over the fodder this news item provided for a week’s worth of monologues, I couldn’t help but ponder what a sad story it was.

Fast forward. So here we are with a new company proposed to serve a supposedly large enough niche in the market with a sufficiently strong, well-articulated business plan that venture capital is poised to make its way to the company principal in order to help turn this “mind-bender” into a going entity. Arch Grants started the ball rolling with $50,000. WOW!

I don’t know what to think. In one sense, fake girlfriends and boyfriends have to be easier to deal with than real ones. They still cost money, though.

Good luck to the CEO, Matt Homann, in his attempt to make his business successful. Arch Grants, a great local entity, has certainly made an early investment to help.

Seriously, I have at least five jokes ready for delivery. Can’t do it. I just can’t do it.

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