Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE) announced the seven companies that have been selected to participate in the Ameren Accelerator, an innovative public-private partnership with the University of Missouri System, UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators, that assesses, mentors and invests in energy technology startup companies. Selected companies include /blossom, Hyperion Sensors, Omega Grid, Rebate Bus, SensrTrx, Switched Source and WIFIPLUG.
“Building a future energy grid that meets evolving customer needs and expectations requires collaboration, innovative thinking and investment in the technologies of tomorrow,” said Warner Baxter, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren Corporation. “The companies selected for the Ameren Accelerator offer promising innovations for the energy sector and the customers we serve. We look forward to working closely with these innovators and our partners through this unique initiative to help find new energy solutions and to deliver even greater value to our customers and the communities we serve.”
More than 200 companies from 31 countries and 23 states applied for the 12-week Ameren Accelerator program. The companies were selected through a series of interviews and evaluations, which culminated at a Pitch Day event where the final seven applicants were selected. The selection process was spearheaded by Capital Innovators with input from the Accelerator partners.
“The response to the Ameren Accelerator program was tremendous,” said Judy Sindecuse, CEO of Capital Innovators. “It wasn’t an easy choice, but we believe we’ve identified the companies that have the greatest potential to bring their energy-related innovations to life and provide value to Ameren’s customers and the energy sector.”
Each company will receive up to $100,000 in seed funding in addition to intensive mentoring, technical assistance, facilities and networking connections from the Ameren Accelerator partners. The participants will be based out of UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators co-working spaces located in Cortex, a St. Louis innovation district.
“The companies selected to participate in the Ameren Accelerator have tremendous potential to positively affect the energy industry,” said Dan Lauer, director of UMSL Accelerate. “We’re delighted that students and faculty from the four campuses of the University of Missouri System are involved at various stages of this unique partnership – contributing to its success and learning lessons in entrepreneurism and innovation.”
The Ameren Accelerator will better position Ameren to meet its customers’ future energy needs and expectations, create new jobs through these startup companies and provide university students opportunities to be more engaged in the energy business.
At the conclusion of the program, participants will be invited to showcase their efforts to both the mentoring teams and potential third-party investors during the Ameren Accelerator Demo Day in October. Ameren may select the most promising projects for ongoing mentoring and engagement beyond the Accelerator program.
“The Ameren Accelerator is one of the first of its kind in the country to focus exclusively on energy technologies,” said Baxter. “The companies we selected for this innovative program come from around the globe, across our region and within our own St. Louis community. The diversity they bring in their geographic spread and areas of expertise will help us lead today and transform tomorrow.”
- /blossom (from St. Louis, Missouri): /blossom is a tool for businesses to connect and gather data and control their resources remotely.
- Hyperion Sensors (from Toronto, Canada): Hyperion has developed a substation hardened distributed fiber optic sensor for high voltage assets allowing them to become “intelligent”. In other words, enabling the internet of things within the smart grid.
- Omega Grid (from Chicago, Illinois): Omega Grid is a market software that removes the revenue risk of distributed generation of utilities, encourages energy investment by property owners, and enables access to lower rates for everyone.
- Rebate Bus (from Madison, Wisconsin): Rebate Bus is a platform for utility programs to deliver instant incentives, online.
- SensrTrx (from St. Louis, Missouri): SensrTrx is an industrial analytics application focused on using industrial data to improve uptime, performance, and reliability of manufacturing and industrial systems.
- Switched Source (from East Lansing, Michigan): Switched Source provides equipment solutions for electric distribution companies that make the grid more resilient and efficient while supporting the integration of more distributed generation.
- WIFIPLUG (from Leeds, United Kingdom): WIFIPLUG learns your routines making your life easier, saving you money on your energy bills. You can control the plug with your voice using Siri, Alexa and Google. The only smart plug in the world to offer open source API for developers.