Dan Lauer discusses Ameren Accelerator benefits on St. Louis Public Radio

Dan Lauer, KWMU

UMSL Accelerate Director Dan Lauer (at left) appeared on “St. Louis on the Air” with Allison Bischoff (center), co-founder of Rozzy Learning Company, and Brian Dixon, chief operating officer for Capital Innovators, to outline the benefits of Ameren Accelerator. (Photo by Kelly Moffitt)

There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur or innovator at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

With the launch of two major programs, UMSL Accelerate and Ameren Accelerator, UMSL’s College of Business Administration has continued its commitment to providing experiential learning opportunities for students.

“We are in the business of teaching,” UMSL Accelerate Director Dan Lauer said during an on-air interview. “Our desire is to engage in the community in meaningful and relevant ways. In the end, our position is to attract the best and brightest students from around the world to come to UMSL as a place of entrepreneurship, as a place of innovation.”

Lauer joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU Monday to discuss the benefits of Ameren Accelerator. The program’s main purpose is to assess, mentor and invest in energy technology startup companies. Brian Dixon, chief operating officer for Capital Innovators, and Allison Bischoff, co-founder of Rozzy Learning Company, also joined the discussion. The full conversation can be found here.

The panel highlighted that the accelerator program is the first of its kind to include a partnership with a university system and has drawn more than 100 applications prior to the May 12 deadline. Applications will be narrowed to the most promising five to seven companies, which will then receive a $100,000 investment, office space and enrollment in a structured 12-week program. In total, perks and benefits are valued at $1 million.

“There are a lot of different accelerator programs that have been developed, but nobody has engaged at a university state system,” Dixon said. “It’s really thought leadership on UMSL’s part to be the first to do this, and we are really excited to work with them.”

Some of the greatest perks for UMSL students include paid internships and direct networking opportunities with the selected startup companies.

“When we were trying to provide a world-class entrepreneur center for UMSL, we thought ‘How can we improve on the model?’” Lauer pondered. “By adding university resources, we have now expanded that, and by teaming up with a top-10 ranked accelerator, and with the resources of the university, this is a first-to-the-world event.”

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