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May 12 deadline nears for Ameren Accelerator applications
Five to seven companies will be selected to participate in the energy-focused startup program; will receive $100K investment

ST. LOUIS, May 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The May 12 application deadline is approaching for Ameren Corporation's 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. The unique partnership, one of the first of its kind in the United States, also is the St. Louis region's first to focus on energy technologies.

Ameren Corporation has launched 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.

Leveraging the expertise of all of the partners, the goals of this program are to 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.

"To bring even more value to our customers and the communities we serve, Ameren is combining our vast energy expertise with the skills and proficiency of other energy innovators," said Warner Baxter, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren Corporation.  "As one of the leaders in our industry, we are working with our Ameren Accelerator partners to identify, accelerate and implement innovations for the grid of the future.  It's one of the ways we are leading today to transform tomorrow."

Five to seven startup companies are expected to be selected for the program, and 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.

In addition to the seed capital, the selected startup companies will each receive intensive mentoring, technical assistance, facilities and networking connections from the Ameren Accelerator partners valued at nearly $1 million

Through May 12, applications will be accepted from interested entrepreneurs and energy technology companies focusing on products, services or applications in the following fields: Internet of Things (IoT); blockchain; artificial intelligence; augmented reality; virtual reality; big data; machine learning; deep learning; natural language processing; cyber security; information technology infrastructure; connected devices; sensor tech; autonomous systems; and drones. Information and requirements may be found at amerenaccelerator.com.

In July, the selected startup companies will receive seed funding and hands-on support throughout the 12-week program. Senior-level executives from a variety of companies will provide mentorship. Subject matter experts in the areas of energy, sales, marketing, pricing, technical development, operations, talent development and finance also will provide guidance. Based out of the CIC @4240 Building in Cortex, participants will be able to network with like-minded individuals focused on innovative thinking and collaboration. CIC is one of the most cutting-edge high-tech facilities in the country and a prime destination for business creativity.

At the conclusion of the program, participants will showcase their efforts to 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.

To apply or to learn more about Ameren Accelerator, visit amerenaccelerator.com.

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 10 Accelerator in the country for three 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: Brianne Vaught, 314.554.2738, bvaught@ameren.com UMSL Accelerate: Robert Samples, 314.516.5665, bob@umsl.edu U. of Missouri System: John Fougere, 573.882.0601, fougerej@umsystem.edu Capital Innovators: Brian Dixon, 314.566.7342, brian.dixon@capitalinnovators.com