Applying more intelligence and innovation to the way we source, manage, apply and analyze the energy used to power our planet is one of the most important tasks we could hope have taken on by our brightest entrepreneurs and startups. With help from folks like University of Missouri System, UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators, the future of energy innovation looks like a bright one.
Ameren Accelerator is a partnership between the University of Missouri System, USML Accelerate and Capital Innovators, and Ameren (a Fortune 500 utility company), intended to assess, mentor, and invest in energy technology startup companies. The entity is based out of St. Louis, and is ranked the 3rd best accelerator by Entrepreneur Magazine. The creators of the accelerator look to invest $100,000 in five to seven companies each year.
Recently the Ameren Accelerator selected several companies to be part of their latest batch of startups to receive the $100K in funding, perks, benefits, office space, and intensive mentoring. More than 200 companies applied from 31 countries and 21 states, to be part of the 12 week accelerator program. Only seven of the 200+ companies were accepted. Here is a quick look at those seven startups, and how they’re planning to change the world.
WIFIPLUG is a device that enables users to start taking control of their home by doing nothing but speaking to their iPhone. What makes the plug unique is the built-in IFTTT integration and support for the Amazon Echo. https://www.wifiplug.co.uk
The device can be used in a handful of steps. First, users plug the device in and connect any appliance. They then download the Android or iOS app to sync with the plug. Users are then able to control their devices from virtually anywhere. There’s also support to send alerts if power is cut to a device.
Hyperion is a startup based out of Toronto, Canada focused on finding innovative and disruptive solutions by transferring fiber optic technology into the high-grade energy industries. They offer a line of products designed to support the monitoring and control of high voltage devices in utility substations.
“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.”
Their systems are based on the principles of stimulated Brillouin scattering. By using fiber as the actual sensor, the sensor systems are able to measure changes in temperature and strain over long periods of fiber. By using the technology, utility companies are able to reduce operating expenses, optimize field resource usage, and reduce the risk of catastrophic failure through real-time monitoring.
Omega Grid is a software based peer to peer energy platform that provides grid balancing and market balancing capabilities to utility companies. The solution is designed to remove the risk of distributed generation of utilities, encourage energy investment by property owners, and enable access to lower rates for all energy consumers.
Rebate Bus is a startup designed to deliver utility upgrade data for lighting upgrades. Although these rebates often are known to the public, the biggest problem is that the data is granular and varies from company to company.
What sets Rebate Bus apart from other applications is their partnership with ecommerce properties. This enable them to have developed a widget which delivers discounts at checkout when purchases are made online. Additionally the company provides assistance to consumers by helping them analyze market rebates and applications.
Rebate Bus is designed for a variety of stakeholders such as sales professionals, utility program teams, manufacturers, and business customers. To date, the company has raised $100k in seed funding from undisclosed investors.
SensrTrx is a startup focused on helping manufacturers make sense of data in meaningful ways. As the service collects data, it is cleaned and contextualized so that the enduser has a much clearer and comprehensive understanding of how a plant is performing.
While many systems focus on measuring OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) SensrTrx goes beyond that metric by providing second by second details of what was happening when a line went down, had degraded performance, or produced a bad part.
To date, the company has raised $100k in seed funding, and $50k in grant money from undisclosed investors.
Switched Source is a startup that is licensing technology from the University of Michigan in order to reduce power outages and improve energy flows throughout utility grids. The system enables utility companies to “push and pull” power for optimal system resource management. This means it can provision power from renewable sources more efficiently than traditional systems.
The patented system enables it to act as a smart, controllable valve, that actively manages power flow to maintain a steady state of balance across the power grid.
/blossom is from St.Louis Missouri and is a tool for businesses to connect and gather data and control their resources remotely.
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Judy Croteau says
I see the video for Rebate Bus is not working. Did the company die already?
Andrew Ramsey says
Big data is huge these days and if you can get it all together and make it look GOOD for those that want to see it, you are going to have a good business. SensrTrx seems to be on the right page and even though the visualization of data is not new, there are many new ways to see it.
Helen Ridley says
Some people think there is a lot of energy lost due to stray voltage so maybe the Hyperion Sensors are something that was needed for many years already.
Monica Aguon says
There is a lot of companies out there that seem to be working with the utility companies on conserving energy and giving the consumer a little bit of money back once in a while.
Brian Wilks says
I really like to see new companies coming from the “green” industry. It just goes to show you that there is money to invest in our environment if you have the right idea.
David Knight says
Rebate Bus is an interesting startup and name. I get the feeling they are just looking for a buyout.
Michael Prater says
WiFiPlug seems pretty cool. The fact that it will integrate with IFTTT is a bonus, but how are they going to market against all the competition in the industry already?
Winifred Budd says
I will take at least ONE look at ANY product that matches up with IFTTT.