Ameren on Thursday identified seven energy-focused startup companies that have been chosen to take part in its new Ameren Accelerator program — an initiative that pools money and resources to help new companies develop and market tech products geared toward energy.
The selected companies come from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, including two startups from St. Louis.
First announced in March, the accelerator program combines funding from Ameren with relevant expertise and mentorship from the utility, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Capital Innovators, a St. Louis-based accelerator for startup tech businesses.
The startups chosen from the global applicant pool will be granted $100,000 in seed capital and, for the next 12 weeks, will have access to representatives from Ameren, UMSL and Capital Innovators as they hone the marketability of their products.
Upon the program’s completion, the businesses will showcase their work to potential investors at a “Demo Day” set for October. In March, Ameren had left open the possibility that it may invest in some of the technologies or businesses that emerge from the program.
Ameren reported that more than 200 companies from 31 countries and 23 states applied for the program.
Warner Baxter, the utility’s chairman, president and CEO, said he believes all of the companies admitted to the program offer technologies and services that could benefit Ameren’s customer base.
“Clearly there’s a possibility for every company to provide something of value to our customers,” Baxter said.
Baxter added that the company was pleased with the level of interest in the accelerator — something that he suggested could hint at its uniqueness in the energy industry.
“It’s one of the few that’s really focused on energy, certainly in this region,” he said.
Below is a list and description of selected startups supplied by Ameren:
• /blossom (St. Louis): /blossom is a tool for businesses to connect and gather data and control their resources remotely.
• Hyperion Sensors (Toronto): Hyperion has developed specialized fiber-optic sensors used in utility substations.
• Omega Grid (Chicago): Omega Grid provides market software that removes the revenue risk of distributed generation of utilities, encourages energy investment by property owners, and allows access to lower rates for everyone.
• Rebate Bus (Madison, Wis.): Rebate Bus is a platform for utility programs to deliver instant incentives online.
• SensrTrx (St. Louis): SensrTrx is an industrial analytics application focused on using industrial data to improve uptime, performance and reliability of manufacturing and industrial systems.
• Switched Source (East Lansing, Mich.): 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 (Leeds, U.K.): WIFIPLUG produces an app-controlled smart plug.