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Ameren must have liked what it saw in its initial “Ameren Accelerator” program last year, because the utility is bringing it back to foster another round of energy-focused startup company growth.

The St. Louis-based electric utility put out another call for companies this week to apply for $100,000 in seed money and to participate in the 12-week accelerator program, run through a partnership with the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Capital Innovators.

Last year’s inaugural class included seven companies from the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. Some of those companies emerged from the experience with arrangements to run pilot projects with Ameren.

Through March 9, Ameren will be accepting the new round of applications “from interested entrepreneurs and energy-technology companies” at amerenaccelerator.com. It’s hoping more partnerships or advancements could arise from the program’s second run.

“As technologies continue to advance, and as the needs and expectations of our customers continue to rise, it is important that we work collaboratively with innovators and entrepreneurs throughout the world to deliver superior value to our customers, shareholders and the communities we serve,” Warner Baxter, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren, said in a statement.

“Through the Ameren Accelerator, we’ve been able to identify and support startups and innovations that have the potential to make a lasting, positive impact for our customers and our industry, while bringing new jobs to our region,” he added.

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