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Startup companies selected for the Ameren Accelerator
Ameren's energy-focused startup program is aimed at innovating for customers

ST. LOUIS, July 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.

Ameren Corporation has announced the 7 startup companies that will participate in the Ameren Accelerator, an innovative public-private partnership with the University of Missouri System, UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators, that will assess, mentor and invest in energy technology startup companies.

"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."  

About the Ameren Accelerator Companies

Seven startup companies were selected to participate in the Ameren Accelerator program. The companies include: 

  • /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.

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 over 10,200 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 at @AmerenCorp, Facebook.com/AmerenCorp, or LinkedIn/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 investment into attractive 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 70 companies to date. Capital Innovators model is simple and effective: Innovation, Iteration, and Implementation.

 

SOURCE Ameren Corporation

For further information: Ameren: Joe Muehlenkamp, 314.554.4135, jmuehlenkamp@ameren.com; UMSL Accelerate: Robert Samples, 314.516.5665, bob@umsl.edu; Capital Innovators: Brian Dixon, 314.566.7342, brian.dixon@capitalinnovators.com

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