Meagan Packard joins SWAN Leadership as Director of Impact Reporting

The SWAN Impact Network  is pleased to announce that Megan Packard has joined SWAN’s leadership team as Director of Impact Reporting. In this role, Meagan will work with SWAN’s portfolio companies to report on SWAN’s impact in addressing environmental and societal challenges. SWAN’s establishment of this new leadership position is a demonstration of SWAN’s commitment to deliver meaningful impact through our investments.

Megan is motivated to find novel solutions to critical conservation & sustainability issues. Her aim is to get cutting edge research into the marketplace quickly to start solving our global climate and biodiversity problems today.

She is currently a Partner and serves as the Partnerships Director at GAV Conservation Management. GAV is a group of leading environmentalists, scientists, and entrepreneurs who have partnered with the world’s top ranked universities to focus on solutions to specific environmental problems. They work to accelerate climate action and sustainable development, and define a clear perspective on where to compete, how to compete and what it takes to win. Their  programs take 36 months from corporate problem identification to exit.

Meagan’s previous experience includes serving as a Senior Customer Success Manager for Tropic, a pre-series A software procurement as a service company. She was also the first customer success hire for a travel startup, running her own travel business, managing portfolio companies for a VC firm, building new imaging technology businesses for an incubator, product management for a health care division of Nestle and working as an associate consultant for The Boston Consulting Group. Meagan has a BA from Duke and an MBA from Kellogg. She lived abroad for seven years in Dubai and then outside London, raising her kids and exploring the world.

SWAN announces investment in Relavo

SWAN is pleased to announce an initial investment in Relavo.

Relavo is a medical device company that is changing the way that kidney failure patients receive treatment. Founded by an all-female team of biomedical engineers from Johns Hopkins University, Relavo is seeking to make home dialysis more accessible by minimizing the risk of infection with their technology, the PeritoneX. The PeritoneX is a novel connection device that reduces the risk of infection in peritoneal dialysis. Rather than connecting tubes directly, patients will connect them to the PeritoneX, which then internally disinfects the connected tubes with an antimicrobial solution. By reducing the risk of infection, patients will receive safer treatment.

SWAN announces follow-on investment in Sonnest

SWAN is pleased to announce a follow-on investment in Sonnest.

Sonnest is transforming cardiac ultrasound. Their Electrast™ is the first electrically sensitive imaging agent for assessing and monitoring the perfusion, structure, and function of the heart, allowing low cost ultrasound procedures to provide information only previously available from much higher cost scans. Electrast™ is a contrast agent that activates with ultrasound and the heart’s local electric field if the heart tissue is perfused and viable.

SWAN previously invested in Sonnest in February and May 2021.

SWAN announces investment in Young Mountain Tea

SWAN is pleased to announce an initial investment in Young Mountain Tea.

Young Mountain Tea works directly with tea farmers in India and Nepal to create organic tea, allowing the company to meet consumer demand for transparency and authentic impact. Right now, American consumers can’t access sustainable tea because existing tea companies buy corporate-grown tea through long chains of intermediaries. Tea has the potential to transform life for Himalayan tea farmers by creating sustainable livelihoods and repairing damaged ecosystems. Young Mountain Tea also partners with farmers to also help build factories to help process the tea, which the otherwise cash-strapped farmers would not be able to build.

SWAN now has a Houston Chapter

The SWAN Impact Network’s new Houston chapter joins our Austin and Dallas chapters in investing and supporting impact companies focused on delivering social or environmental impact. SWAN is the fastest growing impact-focused angel network in the US.

The SWAN Impact Network has deep expertise in life sciences and clean energy, plus a history of strongly supporting founding teams that have been historically underrepresented in term of investments. This skill and focus provides great synergy with Houston’s strong life science and energy sectors, and with Houston’s status of a leading multi-cultural metropolis.

Additionally, SWAN’s senior leadership has close connections with Rice University.

To learn more SWAN’s Houston chapter, please contact Bob Bridge, Founder and Executive Director of the SWAN Impact Network, bob.bridge@swanmpact.org.

and

We are actively looking for an Executive Director for our Houston Chapter! Please share candidate names with Bob. The ideal candidate has strong connections with the Houston start-up and early-stage investing community, enjoys meeting people and does not require a full-time salary. Compensation is tied to the number of Houston members. APPLY

Binary Bridge technology is aiding Ukrainian refugees

Binary Bridge is honored to be a small part in helping the Ukrainian refugees. The company’s  new customer, Operation Blessing’s Disaster Relief medical team, is using the BackpackEMR medical record system in Poland. The simplicity of deploying and using BackbackEMR made it possible for Operation Blessing to start using the system in mere days after  requesting it.

SWAN announces investment in Bodhi

The SWAN Impact Network is pleased to announce an investment in Bodhi.

Bodhi empowers residential solar companies to deliver amazing customer experiences while improving their operations 25%.

Bodhi’s software platform automates communication and personalizes the solar experience, improving operational efficiency & increasing sales volumes.

Diesel-powered trucks can run on renewables

SWAN portfolio company Clear Flame Engine  Technology is in the news.

Diesel-powered trucks can run on renewables, thanks to this new Gates-backed tech. The fuel isn’t emissions free, but startup ClearFlame Engine’s retrofits could drastically cut the footprint of trucking right away.

The diesel big rig is starting to move into the carbon-free future: Electric semi trucks are already beginning to make deliveries around the country. But although they can work well for short trips—and Volvo’s newest electric semi will be able to travel up to 275 miles before charging—they still aren’t yet a viable alternative for the trucks that have to cross the country, which is how so much freight is moved. That’s why one startup is working on technology that can be put in use now: It tweaks diesel engines so they can use 100% renewable fuel, with no change in how the trucks run.

“Rather than trying to design an entirely new engine from the ground up, we said, okay, what is the minimum subset of parts and components we could swap inside this engine to make it fundamentally fuel agnostic, and to switch to something cleaner?” says BJ Johnson, CEO of the startup, called ClearFlame Engine Technologies, which recently raised $17 million from investors including Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

In a new pilot test, the company converted the engine in a Class 8 truck—the largest class of trucks, weighing a minimum of 33,000 pounds—and tried driving it on 100% plant-based ethanol on a test track. There was “no loss of efficiency, no loss of power,” says cofounder Julie Blumreiter, who began developing the technology with Johnson when both were studying at Stanford University. “It sounds the same. It is a diesel engine in every sense of the word besides the fuel you use.” The key difference is the lack of pollution: Instead of black diesel smoke belching out of the tailpipe, the exhaust looks clear, and air pollution and climate emissions dramatically shrink.

Ethanol, which is typically made from corn, still has a carbon footprint, including the climate impact of fertilizer used to grow the crop. But current lifecycle data suggests that pure ethanol emits around 45-50% less greenhouse gases than diesel. And because the electric grid is still shifting to renewable electricity, the startup claims that a truck running on 100% ethanol is actually cleaner, at the moment, than an electric truck.

SWAN has invested in Psyonics

The SWAN Impact Network is pleased to announce an investment in Psyonics.

Psyonics is redefining what it means to be human through advances in biointegrated technologies, and has developed the world’s first touch sensing bionic prosthetic hand. With sensors in the fingertips, you can feel what you’re doing with the Ability Hand and use it with even the most delicate objects. It’s the first bionic hand with multi-touch feedback on the market.

SWAN experienced exciting growth in 2021

The bottom line:

  • In 2021 ,the number of angels in the SWAN Impact Network grew by 60%, making SWAN the fastest growing impact angel network in the country

  • In 2021, SWAN’s  Dallas chapter was created and became a vibrant community of impact investors
  • In 2021, the SWAN Impact Network invested over $4,000,000, in companies entering its portfolio and in follow-on funding to existing portfolio companies. The result is that the dollars invested in our current portfolio nearly doubled!

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