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Seven start-ups that could change future energy

Building a future energy grid that meets evolving customer needs and expectations requires innovation and collaboration

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The Ameren accelerator will better position the company to meet its customers' future needs
The Ameren accelerator will better position the company to meet its customers' future needs

US energy provider, Ameren Corporation, has announced the seven companies that have been selected to participate in the Ameren Accelerator, which attracted interest from 200 companies across 23 states and 31 countries. Solutions include a sensor that enables the Internet of Things within the smart grid and a smart plug which offers open source API for developers.

 

The 12-week programme is an innovative public-private partnership with the University of Missouri System, the University of Missouri-St Louis (UMSL) Accelerate and innovation engine company, Capital Innovators.

 

"Building a future energy grid that meets evolving customer needs and expectations requires collaboration, innovative thinking and investment in the technologies of tomorrow," said Warner Baxter, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren Corporation.

 

He added: "The companies selected for the Ameren Accelerator offer promising innovations for the energy sector and the customers we serve. We look forward to working closely with these innovators and our partners through this unique initiative to help find new energy solutions and to deliver even greater value to our customers and the communities we serve."

 

The following companies were selected through a series of interviews and evaluations, which culminated at a pitch day event where the final seven applicants were selected:

  • /blossom (from St Louis, Missouri): /blossom is a tool for businesses to connect and gather data and control their resources remotely;
  • Hyperion Sensors (from Toronto, Canada): Hyperion has developed a substation hardened distributed fibre optic sensor for high voltage assets allowing them to become intelligent. In other words, enabling the internet of things within the smart grid;
  • Omega Grid (from Chicago, Illinois): Omega Grid is a market software that removes the revenue risk of distributed generation of utilities, encourages energy investment by property owners, and enables access to lower rates for everyone;
  • Rebate Bus (from Madison, Wisconsin): Rebate Bus is a platform for utility programmes to deliver instant incentives, online;
  • SensrTrx (from St Louis, Missouri): SensrTrx is an industrial analytics application focused on using industrial data to improve uptime, performance, and reliability of manufacturing and industrial systems;
  • Switched Source (from East Lansing, Michigan): 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 (from Leeds, United Kingdom): WIFIPLUG learns your routines making your life easier, saving you money on your energy bills. You can control the plug with your voice using Siri, Alexa and Google. The only smart plug in the world to offer open source API for developers.

Each company will receive up to $100,000 in seed funding in addition to intensive mentoring, technical assistance, facilities and networking connections from the Ameren Accelerator partners.

 

The participants will be based out of UMSL Accelerate, eastern Missouri’s largest research university which fosters entrepreneurism and innovation, and Capital Innovators co-working spaces located in Cortex, a St Louis innovation district.

 

The Ameren Accelerator will better position Ameren to meet its customers’ future energy needs and expectations, create new jobs through these start-up companies and provide university students opportunities to be more engaged in the energy business.

 

Participants will be invited to showcase their efforts to both 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 programme.

 

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