Apply For Funding

The deadline for applying for our 4th quarter funding cycle is the end of the day on Friday, October 5th.

Our network of investors looks for for-profit enterprises that can become profitable while solving significant societal challenges.

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How we think about social impact.

A positive response to all three of the statements below is a good indicator that your company meets our social impact criteria.

  1. Your company demonstratively improves health or educational outcomes, protects the environment, facilitates financial empowerment, supports underprivileged groups, especially when benefits from any of these accrue to disadvantaged groups in our society. You can provide evidence of the impact-efficacy of your product or service, and the magnitude of your impact is significant in terms of the number of lives impacted and the scale of impact on each individual, or the scope of environmental impact. Your solution has greater social impact compared to that of other companies who are attacking the same societal challenge.
  2. If you were to explain your company’s impact to a social worker, she or he gets a big smile on their face and say “That is so cool!”
  3. Your company’s home page highlights your social-impact benefit or mission. If your pitch deck talks all about social impact, and your home web page does not, then we get confused.

Suggestions for a Successful Application

You might assume that social-impact investors will be satisfied with a lesser financial return than investors can earn in other angel networks. After all, supporting social-good reminds us of philanthropy. The Southwest Angel Network believes that in order to have the biggest social impact, it needs to attract the largest possible number of angels. How do we do that? By combining significant social impact and strong business results.

Here is a big hint. All of your projections (revenue, the rate of customer acceptance, cash burn and otherwise) should be based on your best understanding of the most probable outcome, i.e., your current understanding of reality. Leave inflated projections at home if you want to maintain your credibility and get funded.

In order for your company to be successful in raising funds from us, you must convince the investors of two major things:

  • Your primary business mission is to address a significant societal challenge. If impact is a secondary or optional effect, or if impact is not your primary business mission, your company is not a good fit for our investors.
  • Your business has a convincing path to profitability. Among the important factors leading to profitability is the fact you solve a truly significant or painful problem for customers who have a budget to pay for a solution to that problem. Your potential customers respond to your company with “we must buy your solution“. A “nice to have” response is not generally fundable. Don’t confuse paying customers with impact beneficiaries. They may be different.

Your pitch deck should closely follow the Investor-Presentation-Outline.

The Southwest Angel Network Impact investors strongly prefer:

  • Companies with a strong management team which has significant experience in the market segment that they are attacking
  • Early-stage companies that have gone to market and achieved some degree of traction or revenue. This is an important criterion since most of the other angel networks that we will work with to syndicate funding for your company will require early traction/revenue. If your company is pre-revenue, you are expected to have completed world-class market validation.
  • Companies that expect to achieve significant annual revenues within the next five years.

How we Invest

Investment decisions are made by individual investors; the network does not have an investment fund.

The network runs four funding cycles per year. We don’t consider investment opportunities outside of these funding cycles.

The Southwest Angel Network is generally funding stage agnostic and has invested in the past from pre-seed through series B.

The Southwest Angel Network is open to a range of investment instrument types, including:

  • Convertible debt or equity for companies that we believe will achieve a significant exit via acquisition or IPO.
  • Royalty-based financing or other debt instruments for companies that we believe don’t have the potential for a significant exit.

The Southwest Angel Network embraces start-up companies with diverse management teams. At the end of 2017, fully one-half of our investments to date have been in companies led by women or by minorities.

Q4 Funding Cycle Calendar

Deadline for companies to apply Friday, October 5
Down selection to 8 applicants based upon applications/pitch decks Monday, October 8 Friday, October 12
Update of presentations using feedback from network Monday, October 15 Friday, October 19
Down selection to 3 applicants via online pitches.   15 minutes to pitch and 45 minutes of discussion Monday, October 22 Friday, October 26
Companies update presentations & final review (via email) Monday, October 29 Friday, November 2
Evening Dinner Pitch Event – 15 minutes to present and 15 minutes of Q&A Tuesday, November 6

How to Apply

To apply, download the following four files and email an application, a pitch deck, your impact commitment, and a financial summary to bob.bridge@swanimpact.org. We do not accept any material containing Confidential or Proprietary legends. Please contact Bob if you have any questions. Please understand that if your company is accepted to pitch at a quarterly dinner pitch event the CEO is required to attend the meeting in person unless other arrangements are agreed to at the time that you apply.

  • Application Form – Please submit in Word document or as a pdf. (We don’t have tools to open Apple or OpenOffice formats).
  • Impact Commitment Form – which states your company’s commitment to measure and report on your social impact using a mutually agreeable metric.
  • Investor-Presentation-Outline – pitches that deviate widely from the recommended form typically don’t fare as well in our down-selection process. Please submit in a PowerPoint or pdf format. (We don’t have tools to open Apple or OpenOffice formats, and we do not accept pitch decks available only online, for example using tools such as SlideBean, Slide Rocket, Prezi or Sway).
  • Recommended form of financial summary

Additional Topics