2016 Arch Grants Winner Longneck & Thunderfoot acquires EQSTL.com and EQ Magazine, with big plans for expansion in the St. Louis Region.
Longneck & Thunderfoot (“L&T”), a marketing agency focused on digital storytelling and content marketing strategies, today announced it has acquired EQSTL.com and EQ Magazine, St. Louis’ leading tech and entrepreneurship publication, from co-founder and owner Kelly Hamilton. The acquisition was completed on Friday, June 16.
L&T was started out of Columbia University’s Startup Lab in New York City and recently opened its St. Louis office after receiving an Arch Grant in 2016. This acquisition demonstrates the company’s commitment to the St. Louis community and to building its business in the region.
Hamilton, who launched EQ in the spring of 2015, met L&T Co-Founder and President Jonathan Allen in T-REX Innovation Center in Downtown St. Louis.
“L&T was the ideal buyer for EQ,” said Hamilton. “Their team will provide continuity of service for EQ’s existing clients and are very well positioned to expand the reach and ambition of the publication.”
The new publishers plan to continue publishing EQ magazine online and in print and will expand the scope of EQ offerings to include events and multi-format storytelling aligned with L&T’s core brand publishing business.
Hamilton continued: “I started EQ because I observed the rapid emergence of St. Louis’ innovation class and wanted to support the startup and business ecosystems of the city. L&T is one of the most innovative companies in digital storytelling and I’m excited to see where they can take the publication in the years ahead.” Hamilton will work alongside the L&T team to transition operations through the end of July.
The acquisition fits well with L&T’s mission to help companies succeed online by transforming company blogs into compelling and influential business publications.
“We plan to build on what Kelly started,” said Allen, who will serve as EQ’s Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. “The publication was instrumental in orienting us to the people, places and organizations that make St. Louis a great city to grow your startup. From my own personal experience, it really is possible to build a great company here and that’s what I want the world to know.”
L&T’s Co-Founder & CEO, Cooper Pickett, echoed the sentiment, “EQ is the go-to resource for startups and entrepreneurs in the community. Expanding into St. Louis over the last 12 months has helped us break into established industries such as investment banking, real estate and healthcare.”
L&T will continue operating EQ as a standalone publication and offer St. Louis businesses new promotional opportunities in the magazine coupled with marketing programs for their websites and executive brands.
The acquisition is one of the first for Arch Grants recipients. Arch Grants Interim Executive Director Ben Burke says this is what the program is all about. “The Arch Grants program is about investing in great people and connecting them to the community. This outcome is a classic example of the “serendipitous collisions” that are a hallmark of vibrant startup ecosystems.”
Ginger Imster, VP of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, said: “This is an incredibly powerful story of economic development. Kelly, Cooper and Jonathan are all successful startup founders who have built strong companies with independent goals. When L&T received an Arch Grant to come to St. Louis, that award was announced in EQ, a home-grown startup. Now their shared purpose dovetails in this acquisition–in St. Louis, for St. Louis.”
Terms of the transaction will not be disclosed.
Longneck & Thunderfoot LLC is a marketing agency focused on cutting-edge digital storytelling and content marketing strategies. Founded in New York City, the company received an Arch Grant in 2016 and maintains offices in New York and St. Louis. Co-founder Jonathan Allen previously served as Director of Search Engine Watch, a leading marketing blog that won a gold AZBEE award from the American Association of Business Publishers under his tenure. L&T’s client roster includes University of Southern California, the United Nations Development Programme, Deloitte, GreenStreet STL and Stifel Financial Corp.
EQ was launched in spring 2015 as an online and print publication for St. Louis’ tech startup community. EQ is supported through advertising and sponsorships by universities, venture capital firms, economic development agencies, real estate developers, entrepreneur support organizations and corporations, including St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, Cortex Innovation Community, Downtown STL, Inc., Cultivation Capital, Arch Grants, Washington University in St. Louis, Mastercard, Express Scripts and Maritz, among others.