An Investment in start-up Accelerist

The Southwest Angel Network is pleased to announce that it has led the investment in Accelerist. Accelerist is the industry’s only matchmaking and measurement platform for companies and causes. The relationship between companies and social causes is powerful. Accelerist believes profit and purpose partnerships mean too much in today’s world to leave it to chance and circumstance. Through a deep data-driven approach, the Accelerist platform helps companies find the right partners and measure their impact on the company’s mission, stakeholders and bottom line. Accelerist’s company name previously was Catalist.

Accelerist was co-founded by and is led by CEO Brittany Hill. As a data seeker and trend translator, Brittany specializes in using analytics and innovations to connect companies and causes to do more good in the world. Brittany leads the product and business development efforts at Accelerist – the online matchmaking platform for companies and causes. As a nonprofit entrepreneur, Brittany is behind some of the industry’s newest products and tools that help nonprofits elevate their mission.

Brittany’s extensive background in the nonprofit and agency supports her vision for nonprofit innovations. Mrs. Hill has built multi-channel partnerships and award-winning campaigns with some of the most notable blue-chip nonprofit organizations (American Heart Association, UNICEF, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Make-A-Wish International) and corporate brands (Pepsico, General Mills, Hasbro, Best Buy).

An Investment in start-up company Family Plan

The Southwest Angel Network has made an investment in Family Plan, which works to reduce the stress on a family following a divorce.  Using Family Plan, parents can manage custody scheduling on a shared calendar in real time, arrange and make payments instantaneously and with authentication, and make and log texts and emails to support open communication and maintain a reliable record. No other mobile app provides this suite of functions. This app has been developed with input from a team of divorced parents, divorce lawyers, and ex-judges to address both an important social need and a large market opportunity.

Family Plan was founded and is led by Mark and Laura MacMahon, from Maine, who founded the company for the same reason many companies are founded – they had a problem they wanted to solve, and the available solutions just weren’t good enough. In the years after Mark’s divorce, he found that he was spending hours a week just trying to stay on top of managing his schedule, finances, and communications all related to the kids. Mark and Laura decided to build a set of tools that would help families thrive after a breakup – reducing conflict along the way.

Supporting Austin Title 1 High-school Students

Members of the Southwest Angel Network were mentors in the recently completed Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Superstars Competition. This program helps students at five Austin Title 1 high schools to develop start-up company business plans and presentation skills.

At the recent city-wide final competition, our network awarded the Social-Impact award to Maria Hernandez and Lizett Abrego, pictured below. They are students at the Travis Early College High School.  

At our May 9th dinner pitch event, in addition to hearing the normal company pitches, Maria and Lizett will be presenting us their business plan for their company “Hope”.

Furthermore, our network has raised a college scholarship fund through the recent Amplify Austin giving day, and we will present the scholarship to Maria and Lizett at the meeting.

The Southwest Angel Network is not your ordinary angel network. We care deeply about social-impact and we strongly support diverse management teams. And yes, we also seek to make a return on our investments.


National recognition for the Southwest Angel Network

Bob Bridge, the angel network’s Executive Director, has been recognized nationally as a leader in social impact investing. Bob recently served on a Social Impact panel at the recent national ACA  Leadership Conference in Houston. Bob has also been invited to moderate a panel discussion on “The Growth of Impact Investing” program at the ACA’s April national Summit in Boston.

Investments now total over $1M

With a follow-on investment in OneSeventeen Media and an initial investment in College Consortium, the Southwest Angel Network has now made over $1M in cumulative investments since its founding at the beginning of 2016.

The Southwest Angel Network has invested in College Consortium

College Consortium, led by a highly experienced team,  provides tools that allow colleges to offer students more course offerings, allowing students to graduate in a shorter time, at lower cost and with less student debt. College Consortium can be especially impactful for students whose life-changes may have discouraged them from finishing their degrees.

The Southwest Angel Network has taken “The Startup Diversity and Inclusion Pledge”

Key elements of the pledge that are most relevant to our angel network are:

  • Taking a self-defined percentage of pitch meetings, starting at 10%, from women, minorities, and people who identify as LGBTQ to help open up new deal sources
  • Mentoring women, minorities and people who identify as LGBTQ
  • Encouraging portfolio companies and their boards to take the pledge

See more details

Portfolio company OneSeventeen Media in the News!

A wonderful story about Beth and Amy, and their work to better the lives of children and youth.

“Beth and Amy had different early childhood experiences. As co-founders, this provides them a unique yin–yang approach to product development. They’re both motivated to build world class mobile apps that help today’s kids have safe access to information at their fingertips for help anytime, anywhere.”

Women Entrepreneurs Spotlight: OneSeventeen Media

Juan Thurman joins the Southwest Angel Network management team

Juan has joined as a Director and will be assisting the Bob in managing the network.

Juan has extensive experience as a Mentor, Startup Investor and Sales Consultant, and is focused on helping early stage companies get to the next level. He particularly enjoys working with B2B SaaS companies, platforms, communications, health tech, beer and social good.

He is passionate about helping teams find customers, listening to their challenges and delivering win-win solutions.

He is currently a Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners, and has held executive sales positions at Retreaver and Twilio. Juan has also has contributed in sales and technical areas at seven other companies, including both start-up companies and IBM.

Announcing an investment in ScribeSense

The Southwest Angel Network has invested in ScribeSense, who has achieved significant revenue for their innovative and patented EdTech technology.

The company makes existing paper assessments more meaningful for teachers and students. By auto-grading handwritten, paper responses (not just bubble sheets), ScribeSense allows teachers to spend time using data to drive instruction, rather than spend hours grading.Teachers save hours of time which improves teacher retention, students and parents receive immediate feedback, and school administrators discover data beyond multiple choice.

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