My Dormmate Is An Entrepreneur -The Ameren Accelerator Interns

(From left to right: Mohammad Aljamaan, Rajabu Obede, Nino Obanor, Yaniv Dudaie)By Shante Gordon 

By now, it’s no secret!

Five to seven lucky companies, young entrepreneurs like yourself, will be handpicked by the Ameren Accelerator team for a chance at 100k in funding for their start up plus perks.

With orientation and results on exactly which companies are going to be participating, only a little over a month away, we wanted to ask some of the business savvy students who applied how their company will help the future of clean energy, what do they wish to gain from some of the awesome perks, and what drove these students to become entrepreneurs in the first place.

Andrew Vaughn

Although Andrew had a set of skills for real estate, he had a yearning passion for entrepreneurship and deep concern for the homelessness in Missouri.

If awarded the internship, Andrew’s plan is to build aquaponic centers for homeless people in missouri. Aquaponic centers usually refer to any system that combines aquaculture (snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment.

“One of the problems with creating a self-sustaining aquaponics facility in Missouri is heat loss in winter. Greenhouses lose heat to the outside air and ground, so the greenhouses must be heated with a source of energy. I want to develop a clean energy system to combat this problem.”

Andrew knew that one college student alone couldn’t combat this problem. He knew that the Ameren Accelerator was just the mentor he needed.

“I am looking for a mentor to help me achieve my entrepreneurial goals because without one, I would be opening a business blindfolded.”

Andrew Zvibleman

For Andrew, he knows that the only way to truly live is to experience the wonders of the world. (Not to mention the fact he replied to my email while traveling abroad!)

When asked why he even dared an opportunity in entrepreneurship and renewable energy, he quoted that the internship would be great for exposure in St. Louis, and a stepping stone for his future interactions with businesses all over the world.

“By being apart of something so innovative and revolutionary to the accelerator/incubator scene, I believe I will gain tremendous knowledge and experience to propel me towards my personal entrepreneur goals and maybe even day, be able to reciprocate the experience and a new incubator to help develop the start up nation.”

Entrepreneurs all think alike. It just doesn’t make sense to build someone else’s dream. Entrepreneurship means opportunity, higher reward and fulfillment.

Spoken like a true entrepreneur, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying, and by working under someone else, I will never have the opportunity to truly contribute my ideas and momentum into the world,” Zvibleman.

Stephen Hanna

Alex isn’t the only college business student craving for experience.

Stephen Hanna, another applicant for the Ameren Accelerator, knows that you can only learn so much in a classroom.

“It’s the actual experience to take the skills I have learned in the classroom and see how I can apply them in the real world, that way, I will already have a glimpse into what the actual work would be if I got a job.”

Any business experience is good experience right? Along with other some great other perks, Startups also will receive additional help from specific subject matters experts in areas such as technical development, sales, marketing, finance, pricing, operations, talent development and more.

For Hanna, he really just wants a chance to revolution the energy market.

“I want to lead changes that will make the world a better place to be in. Whether that is by making new products or creating solutions to problems.”

Nino Obanor

What makes Accelerators awesome is the fact that it gives college students a chance to explore new solutions and actually make a difference in the world of clean energy.

Don’t just take my word for it, here’s what entrepreneur, student athletes, and academic superstar Nino Obanor had to say,

“Ameren Accelerator is one of the best ideas and greatest opportunities that I came up upon at UMSL. Ameren is one of the biggest energy companies in the US and possibility of helping them bring startups in clean technology to St. Louis and interact with some of the top entrepreneurs just sounded fantastic!”

The 12-week course Ameren is offering college students a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn real values that you can only get as a business owner.

“Being a Student Athlete and Academic All American are one of the highest achievements in life but they are only the product of hard work, dedication and values that my family had taught me. I want to be more entrepreneurial in the ways that I always want to expand my knowledge and get real-life experience.”

Although there are plenty of Accelerators, there’s never been one done UMSL style. Stay tuned for a future blog post on the winners!

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