ST. LOUIS – With the goal of making the energy grid smarter, more reliable, resilient and secure, Ameren Corporation is accepting applications for the Ameren Accelerator, an innovative public-private partnership with the University of Missouri System, UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators.
This unique and forward-thinking partnership, which is entering its third year, evaluates, mentors and invests in energy-technology startup companies. Applications are being accepted through May 24 at amerenaccelerator.com. Ameren is seeking energy-focused startups to develop new energy technologies related to clean energy, the energy grid and smart communities – all of which impact how customers manage and use energy to power their lives in the future.
“As technologies continue to advance in the energy sector, we believe there is no better time to lean forward and focus on innovation so that we can meet our customers’ rising energy needs and expectations for generations to come,” said Warner Baxter, chairman, president and CEO, Ameren. “The Ameren Accelerator is proving to be an excellent way to leverage our company’s expertise and resources with entrepreneurs who are exploring innovative energy solutions to produce cleaner energy and make the energy grid smarter and more reliable. It’s also further enhancing St. Louis’ leading position in innovation and entrepreneurship as well as helping drive economic development.”
Selected startups each will receive $100,000 in seed capital to participate in the Ameren Accelerator program, which will be located in Cortex – St. Louis’ innovation and technology district. As part of the 12-week program, the companies will receive intensive mentoring, technical assistance, facilities and networking connections from Ameren Accelerator partners. Subject matter experts in the areas of energy, sales, marketing, pricing, technical development, operations, talent development and finance also will provide guidance. Based in the CIC@4240 Building in Cortex, participants will be able to network with like-minded individuals focused on innovative thinking and collaboration. At the conclusion of the program, participants will showcase their efforts to mentoring teams, potential third-party investors, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, students and the general public during Ameren Accelerator Demo Day in November. Ameren may select the most promising projects for ongoing mentoring and engagement beyond the accelerator program.
“Capital Innovators is excited to help fuel the third Ameren Accelerator cohort and source innovations from around the globe to contribute to the future of connected communities,” said Judy Sindecuse, CEO of Capital Innovators. “It is our mission to help find cutting-edge solutions for Ameren and provide entrepreneurs corporate engagement, connections and growth tactics that are unparalleled to other programs.”
Since its inception in 2017, more than 500 companies have applied for the program. The 2017 program drew more than 200 applicants from 23 states and 31 countries. The 2018 program drew more than 300 applicants from 24 states and 49 countries. Overall, 13 companies have been selected to participate in the highly selective program. Selected start-ups represent some of the world’s most promising, innovative technology companies in the energy sector.
The Ameren Accelerator is one of the first of its kind in the United States and the first in the St. Louis region to focus solely on emerging energy technologies. It aims to better position Ameren to meet its customers’ future energy needs and expectations, attract job-creating startups to St. Louis and provide university students with internships and opportunities to be more involved and engaged in the energy business. Likewise, the partnership is enhancing St. Louis’ leading position in innovation and entrepreneurship. Six of the startups that have participated in the Ameren Accelerator now maintain a St. Louis presence, and one company has hired additional employees for its St. Louis-based enterprise.
“As a University-led Accelerator, we bring brilliant scientists, faculty and researchers to amplify the program, mentors and alums to coach and connect, as well as eager students who work hard for the selected companies,” said Dan Lauer, founding executive director, UMSL Accelerate. “What energy entrepreneur would not want to participate?”
For more information about the Ameren Accelerator, visit amerenaccelerator.com.