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2019 Ameren Accelerator seeks energy-focused startups to develop smart community technologies and clean energy solutions

Now in its third year, the program is helping meet evolving customer needs and expectations and attract companies and jobs to the St. Louis region

ST. LOUIS, April 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- With the goal of making the energy grid smarter, more reliable, resilient and secure, Ameren Corporation (AEE) is accepting applications for the Ameren Accelerator, an innovative public-private partnership with the University of Missouri System, UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators.

Ameren Logo (PRNewsfoto/Ameren Corporation)

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.

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. Follow the company on Twitter @AmerenCorp. For more information, visit Ameren.com.

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 five years in a row and has invested in and guided 111 companies to date. Capital Innovators model is simple and effective: Innovation, Iteration, and Implementation.

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