ST. LOUIS – Entrepreneurs from six startups, who attended and participated in the 2018 Ameren Accelerator event in St. Louis over the summer, are back today for the Ameren Accelerator Demo Day.
Demo Day is hosted by Ameren Corporation as well as its partners with the purpose of showcasing new energy technologies. This event is the peak of the Ameren Accelerator program, which runs for a period of 12 weeks.
The Ameren Accelerator program is an innovative partnership that is both public and private. Ameren partners with the University of Missouri System, UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators. The program “assess, mentors and invests in energy-technology startup companies”. This is all done with the hope that Ameren can meet the future energy needs of its 2.4 million electric customers and 900,00 natural gas customers in the Missouri and Illinois areas.
“These six companies represent some of the world’s most promising, innovative technologies for the energy sector,” said Warner Baxter, Chairman, President and CEO of Ameren Corporation. “From day one, the goals for the program are to better position Ameren to meet its customers’ future energy needs and expectations, attract job-creating startups in St. Louis and provide university students the opportunity to be more involved and engaged in the energy business.”
Baxter believes that the Accelerator program better allows Ameren the ability to identify and implement innovative energy solutions while also delivering long-term value to the communities that Ameren serves in the Missouri and Illinois areas. He said that it also helps drive economic development to the St. Louis region.
The startup companies have traveled from around the world – Canada, Israel and the U.S. – to participate in the Demo Day. The companies include Applied Particle Technology, Jrop, Narya Security, ResilientGrid, Ryvit and TouchLight. Each startup will present their energy solutions and ideas to potential investors, business executives, academic leaders, community representatives and guests at The Pageant located at Delmar Loop.
Applied Particle Technology (APT) (based in St. Louis) has developed a wearable exposure-monitoring system for employees working in potentially hazardous spaces. Through the Accelerator program, APT launched pilot programs with occupational health and safety experts to test its wearable devices in the field and acquire data points for product iteration. The APT team has made significant product and market discoveries and refined their target market, pricing strategy and fundraising strategy, while simultaneously working on projects for the National Institutes of Health and NASA.
Jrop (based in Toronto) is redesigning logistical infrastructure for mass-adoption of ridesharing and autonomous vehicles. With support of the Accelerator, Jrop has advanced negotiations with several state universities to optimize pick-up and drop-off points to reduce congestion stemming from the use of ridesharing companies. With a refined sales plan and go-to market strategy, Jrop has been in discussions to implement its solutions with the city of Chandler, Arizona, and several property developers.
Narya Security (based in Tel Aviv, Israel) can help enterprises fully recover from ransomware infections in under 30 minutes, with a single click. Through Accelerator connections and introductions, the Narya team met with several of St. Louis’ Fortune 500 corporations to gather insights and generate interest from these companies in piloting its RansomWall software. During the program, Narya deployed its software with a bank in Israel and with Ameren. Narya CEO Uri Fleyder-Kotler is relocating to St. Louis to continue to grow the business.
ResilientGrid (based in Austin, Texas) has developed a visualization software that integrates all data streams and delivers them as viewable maps to control-room consoles. Since starting the program in June, ResilientGrid has raised $300,000 in investments. During the program, the company closed one paid pilot program and is in the process of closing another with a sales pipeline valued at $11 million.
Ryvit (based in St. Louis) has developed a platform that provides turn-key integrations, enabling uninterrupted data exchanges between commonly used applications. Through the Accelerator, Ryvit has conducted research into ways of expanding its product offering to the large-enterprise market and secured 17 new contracts. In addition, Ryvit expanded its St. Louis office from 19 to 25 employees.
TouchLight (based in New York) is developing electricity-generating floor tiles that harvest energy from footsteps with a goal to help businesses achieve energy independence. With extensive help from the program and Ameren’s lead liaison, TouchLight was able to drastically accelerate its development schedule for its pilot-ready prototypes. During the program, the team hired a senior mechatronics engineer, attracted the interest of commercial-property developers and explored partnership opportunities with local universities for advanced power-technology research and development.
Three of the six startups have already taken part in the Ameren Accelerator. They are committed to maintaining a St. Louis presence. One of the startups has already hired additional employees for its St. Louis based enterprise.
“Year two of the Ameren Accelerator allows us to gain momentum as a leader in the energy-technology space,” said Judy Sindecuse, CEO of Capital Innovators. “By sourcing innovations worldwide and leveraging our model, the program has catapulted the growth trajectories of six cutting-edge startups with unique applications to the energy sector.”
Sindecuse said that Ameren Corporation is the true leaders of corporate innovation in the St. Louis region. She also noted that the effort that Ameren has put forth has provided the infrastructure for job creation and it has enhanced talent pools and community buildings which will have a positive impact on the region moving towards the future.
Through this program, the startups have been able to access subject-matter experts as well as have the ability to draw upon the resources from a public university system. The University of Missouri System faculty and staff provided expertise, guidance and coaching throughout the Accelerator program.
Students were able to gain first-hand knowledge and experience in the energy business while also providing critical program support and offering services that included research activities and promotion and office staffing. The enhancement provided to the corporate acceleration has implemented mutual benefits among the university system and its students as well as the startup companies.
“The opportunity to teach, mentor and learn within a real-world entrepreneurial environment has been tremendously valuable for the selected startups, as well as for our students,” said Dan Lauer, Founding Executive Director of UMSL Accelerate. “This program has kept our faculty engaged, our alumni connected, and our students inspired as they delivered the kind of support necessary to help these six energy-tech startups succeed and move to the next level.”
Lauer said that UMSL Accelerate is excited to continuing the innovative partnership that has been established and supporting future Ameren Accelerators.
This is the second year of Ameren Accelerator. The program is one of the first of its kind to be happening in the U.S. and the first to be in the St. Louis region that focuses solely on emerging energy technologies. You can learn more about the program by visiting AmerenAccelerator.com.
About Ameren Accelerator Demo Day 2018
Demo Day attendees hear from unique startup companies about their new energy-technology innovations and potential opportunities for investment. The day marks the culmination of a 12-week Ameren Accelerator program, a public-private partnership comprising Ameren Corporation, the University of Missouri System, UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators. Attendees enjoy networking opportunities with investors, energy executives, academic leaders and regional stakeholders.
About Ameren Corporation
St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. Ameren Illinois provides electric distribution and transmission service, as well as natural gas distribution service, while Ameren Missouri provides vertically integrated electric service, with generating capacity of nearly 10,300 megawatts, and natural gas distribution service. Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois develops regional electric transmission projects. For more information, visit Ameren.com, or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenCorp, Facebook.com/AmerenCorp, or LinkedIn.com/company/Ameren.
About the University of Missouri System
The University of Missouri System is the State of Missouri’s largest public university, with four campuses serving more than 76,000 students, a health care system, an extension program, and more than 500,000 alumni worldwide. The UM System was created in 1963 when the University of Missouri (founded in 1839 in Columbia) and the Missouri School of Mines (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology, founded in 1870 in Rolla), were combined with the formerly private University of Kansas City (now University of Missouri–Kansas City, founded in 1933), and a newly created campus in suburban St. Louis (University of Missouri–St. Louis).
About the University of Missouri-St. Louis and UMSL Accelerate
The University of Missouri–St. Louis is the largest public research university in eastern Missouri with the greatest concentration of alumni in the region. Their UMSL Accelerate initiative fosters entrepreneurism and innovative thinking in and outside the classroom and helps bring concepts from mind to market. For more information, visit http://umsl.edu/accelerate/.
About Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators is an innovation engine that creates practical solutions across industries that can shape the future of organizations. Capital Innovators provides innovation consulting, entrepreneurial-based programs, acts as a liaison between Corporations, Universities and Startups and provides investment into early-stage businesses. Capital Innovators has in-depth knowledge into the most cutting-edge solutions through the Accelerator division of its business, which has been ranked as a top Accelerator in the country for four years in a row and has invested in and guided 98 companies to date. Capital Innovators model is simple and effective: Innovation, Iteration, and Implementation. For more information, visit capitalinnovators.com.