Ameren Accelerator Provides A Multi-Purpose Approach To Innovation And Education

By on September 14, 2018

From EQ:  August 31st marks the last week of the hands-on portion of Ameren Accelerator’s 2018 program. Since June, six “energy-focused” start-up companies have been participating in a 12-week program as part of the second Accelerator powered by UM Systems, UMSL Accelerate & Capital Innovators.

The program, established in 2017, is designed to provide a win-win-win for UMSL students, entrepreneurs and Ameren itself while fostering innovation in the energy industry.

Warner Baxter, the President and CEO of Ameren Accelerator has outlined three primary objectives of the program. The first is innovation for their customers. The second is to foster economic development of the region and the third is workforce development.

A diverse cohort of companies

The 2018 cohort represents a diverse slice of companies from St. Louis, Brooklyn, Austin, Israel and Canada. The international element is only partially by design, says Dan Lauer, Director of UMSL Accelerate, noting that the opportunities for innovation can come from anywhere.

“Out of the 330 plus applicants this year (200+ last year), there were 49 countries represented,” says Lauer.

What brought those companies to apply for Ameren Accelerator is the chance for $100,000 in perks, funding and office space, as well as one-one-one working sessions with Ameren Accelerator’s Champion teams, groups of industry mentors made up of Ameren leadership augmented with UM campus faculty/scientists and alums to provide technical assistance, mentoring and engagement. The unique mix of academic and corporate expertise provided by these teams set the program apart from many accelerators.

The companies that will be showcased aren’t exclusively what you might think as being in the “energy” space either, despite the program’s namesake sponsor and chief partner.

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