Seven startup companies are taking part in the inaugural Ameren Accelerator program, which began this week in the St. Louis innovation district Cortex.
Ameren Corporation CEO and President Warner Baxter said bringing the utility together with startups will spur innovation that will ultimately help customers.
“They’re going to bring some technologies that we’re going to be able to study to see how we can do things around energy efficiency, how we can make the grid smarter, how we can make the grid more secure,” Baxter said.
Ameren is investing $100,000 in each startup and offering mentoring and technical assistance during the 12-week program. The accelerator is a public-private partnership that also includes the University of Missouri System, UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators.
The startups include:
- /blossom (St. Louis): /blossom is a tool for businesses to connect and gather data and control their resources remotely.
- Hyperion Sensors (Toronto, Canada): Hyperion has developed a substation hardened distributed fiber 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 (Chicago, Ill.): 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 (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, 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.
The companies will be based out of the UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators co-working spaces located in St. Louis’ innovation district Cortex.
If all goes well, Baxter said there will be another cohort of startups taking part in the accelerator next summer.
Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman