Ameren Corporation is seeking applicants for the Ameren Accelerator, an innovative public-private partnership with the University of Missouri System, UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators, that will assess, mentor and invest in energy-technology startup companies.

Applications are being accepted through March 9 at amerenaccelerator.com from interested entrepreneurs and energy-technology companies.

Selected companies each will receive $100,000 in seed capital to participate in the Ameren Accelerator program, which will be located in Cortex – St. Louis’ innovation and technology district.

As part of the 12-week program, the selected startup companies each will receive intensive mentoring, technical assistance, facilities and networking connections from the Ameren Accelerator partners.

Subject matter experts in the areas of energy, sales, marketing, pricing, technical development, operations, talent development and finance also will provide guidance.

At the conclusion of the program, participants will showcase their efforts to the mentoring teams, potential third-party investors, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, students and the general public during Ameren Accelerator Demo Day in September.

Ameren may select the most promising projects for ongoing mentoring and engagement beyond the accelerator program.

The Ameren Accelerator is one of the first of its kind in the United States and the first in the St. Louis region to focus solely on emerging energy technologies.

The goals of the program are to better position Ameren to meet its customers’ future energy needs and expectations, attract job-creating startups to St. Louis and provide university students the opportunity to be more involved and engaged in the energy business.

“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,” said Warner Baxter, chairman, president and CEO, Ameren.

“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 said. “We look forward to opening the next chapter of this unique public-private partnership and welcoming our second Ameren Accelerator class.”

The call for applicants follows a successful 2017 Ameren Accelerator, which attracted seven startup companies from around the world to participate in the inaugural program. The 2017 program drew more than 200 applicants from 23 states and 31 countries.

“Our involvement in the 2017 Ameren Accelerator has helped us bring our newest initiative – an instant incentive program — to customers of Ameren Illinois and other utilities this spring,” said Joe Pater, CEO, Rebate Bus and 2017 Ameren Accelerator participant. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the mentoring and support we received through the accelerator program. It was an invaluable experience and a real game-changer for our company.