SWAN had a strong first quarter


Covid social distancing has continued to keep the SWAN Impact Network virtual. We look forward later this year to resuming in-person meetings. But distancing has not slowed SWAN down.

In the first quarter of 2021, SWAN’s angel membership grew by 50%. Our new members joined us from Austin, Dallas, Houston and New Mexico.

And our first quarter investment dollars equaled the total amount of investments made in 2020.

SWAN remains a national leader in social and environmental impact angel investing, with members and investments from across the US.

Announcing an Investment in Sonnest

The SWAN Impact Network is pleased to announce that it led an 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. Sonnest allows Doctors to:

  • Analyze better data, faster. Cardiac perfusion data in point of care setting.
  • Diagnose- No cath lab needed. Most cost-effective diagnosis without harmful radiation.
  • Respond – Triage and treat. Improve patient care and outcomes confidently.

Announcing an Investment in ATX LED

After performing extensive due diligence, the SWAN Impact Network is pleased to announce that it has led the investment in ATX LED. ATX LED is revolutionizing residential home lighting with a next-generation architecture that extends LED lights’ operating lives, supports advanced smart home automation, and significantly reduces the cost of installing lighting in new homes, by reducing labor and copper costs.

SWAN CEOs recognized as “Ten to Watch: Young Climate Entrepreneurs”


Climate &  Capital Media’s “Ten to Watch” list highlight leaders delivering real change to address the world’s growing climate emergency. Ten to Watch represents an important group of young entrepreneurs offering economic and financial climate solutions. From low-cost energy for the developing world and unconventional collaborative financing systems to software control of energy systems and kinetic energy generation, these leaders are working to address some of the biggest issues of energy and climate change.

The Top Ten includes SWAN portfolio CEOs Ugwem Eneyo, the founder of  SHYFT Power Solutions and Omeed Badkoobeh, the founder of Yotta Energy.

SWAN Joins The Texas Global Health Security Consortium

The Texas Global Health Security Innovation Consortium (TEXGHS) is a consortium between Texas academia, public sector, and private sector partners to coordinate efforts to support companies working towards pandemic readiness, response, recovery and resiliency in Texas.

Organized by the Austin Technology Incubator at The University of Texas at Austin, TEXGHS is leading the creation and long-term growth of a health security innovation ecosystem that supports innovators and innovations fighting COVID-19 and future pandemics.

Announcing a North Texas Chapter of the Southwest Angel Network

The Southwest Angel Network (SWAN) is pleased to announce the creation of a North Texas chapter of our organization. This chapter will provide local support for impact investors located in the Dallas and Ft. Worth metropolis. This exciting new development will be in collaboration with Social Venture Partners Dallas (SVP Dallas). SVP Dallas, founded over 20 years ago, has over 200 partners in the Dallas area and provides pro-bono consulting to non-profits and social enterprises throughout the metroplex. SVP Dallas has also made impact investments in early stage companies and wants to expand their activities around impact investing in the Metroplex.

Heather Gilker is the founding Executive Director of the North Texas branch, and has joined SWAN’s Board of Directors. Heather is also a partner at SVP Dallas and currently oversees its Portfolio Review Committee. Heather is excited for SWAN and SVP Dallas to work together to build a more robust impact investment ecosystem specifically in Dallas/Ft. Worth and Texas more broadly.

Bob Bridge, the founder of SWAN shared, “SWAN is excited to have SVP Dallas and Heather join in our network’s work of investing in those young companies who are striving to address serious societal and environmental challenges. And while SWAN currently has angel investors from across the country including Dallas, this is the first time we have made a focused effort to expand our well-proven operating model into a specific location outside of Austin”.

The collaboration with SVP Dallas will enable SWAN to join SVP Dallas’ current robust network which includes its incredible group of dedicated partners, foundations and other DFW organizations. SVP Dallas Partners will have an opportunity to join SWAN as part of their SVP Dallas membership at an expanded level of membership which will roll-out over the next few months. “This collaboration with SWAN is just one of the initiatives that SVP Dallas is undertaking to provide the opportunity for its partners and ecosystem to gain greater access to impact investment opportunities”, according to Tony Fleo, Executive Director of SVP Dallas.

Heather Gilker joins the SWAN Board of Directors

The Southwest Angel Network is pleased to announce that Heather Gilker has joined its Board of Directors, and that Heather will also serve as the Executive Director of a newly-formed North Texas branch of the Southwest Angel Network.

Having spent 25+ years focused in financial services, including working inside a single family office on portfolio management and investments, Heather has developed a deep understanding of the complexities family offices and ultra-wealthy families face. Tokalon Advisors provides consultative services to ultra-high net worth families and non-profit organizations with a focus on sustainability. Services offered for families of wealth include investment allocation and due diligence, family office formation and best practices, succession planning, philanthropic strategy, and next generation education. Services for non-profits included strategic planning and business development.

Ms. Gilker is an investment executive with a proven track record of success in the ultra-high net worth and family office market. Heather is recognized as a consultative, solutions-oriented professional, who builds relationships and helps to solve problems. She is a seasoned investment professional, having worked as a portfolio manager for a family office, an allocator of institutional funds and a commercial banker. Heather is known as a strategic thinker, investor, and relationship builder.

From 2011 until 2018, she served as the first regional executive for the Southwest Region of Fidelity Family Office Services developing a strong network and foundation for the Southwest family office community.

On a personal note, when she is not working or spending time at her sons’ sporting events or theater performances, she enjoys being active in the community, as a partner at SVP Dallas, and as an advisory board member of the Center for Brain Health at UT Dallas. She also enjoys mentoring at The Capital Factory, traveling, playing tennis, and cooking for her family and friends.

Christina Gorczynski joins the Board of Directors of the Southwest Angel Network

The Southwest Angel Network is pleased and excited to have Christina Canales Gorczynski join our Board of Directors.

Christina is the Executive Director of Impact Austin, a dynamic women’s collective giving organization that cultivates collective wisdom and strength to transform ourselves and our communities. Christina is also a licensed attorney and certified mediator with the State Bar of Texas.

Previously, Christina served as a Program Officer at the Simmons Foundation, specializing in advocacy and reproductive health. Prior to that, she was the Principal Consultant at First Person LLC, a Texas-based consulting firm specializing in advocacy and capacity building for nonprofits, private foundations and social enterprises. Christina started her career serving as the Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of the Houston Area, and to this day, will ask you if you are registered to vote within five minutes of meeting you.

For her work empowering women and girls to seek equity through education and advocacy, Christina was named an “Inspiring Latina” by Latina Magazine, honored for youth and online engagement by the League of Women Voters of the US, received the Young Alumni Award from her alma mater Beloit College, and selected for an Equal Justice Works public interest law fellowship.

Christina never walks away from a tough fight and she’s spent her life advocating for vulnerable communities, especially people living with disabilities and LGBTQ folks. Christina currently serves on the City of Austin’s LGBTQ Quality of Life Commission.

Christina holds a BA in Women’s Studies from Beloit College in Wisconsin, a JD/MBA from the University of Houston and a Nonprofit Finance Certificate from Rice University. Christina is a graduate of Leadership Houston (Class 30) and the Leadership Texas Power Pipeline program.

Christina lives in Austin and her free time is filled with fun, friendship, yoga, playing outdoors and her beloved partner, Ms. Brett Merfish.

Christina’s experience will bring fresh perspectives to the SWAN Board of Directors, and will help further SWAN’s goals of investing in companies who are working to mitigate environmental damage and promote clean energy, and in companies who are working to reduce social disparities, including addressing inequalities in health, educational and economic achievement, and treatment by the criminal justice system


Portfolio company Curb has merged with Elevation Home Energy Solutions

The SWAN Impact Network is please to announce that portfolio company Curb has merged with Elevation Solar and is now a key  part of Elevation’s Home Energy Solutions Division.

Headquartered in Arizona, Elevation Solar is a fully integrated residential energy solutions company providing solar, energy efficiency and smart energy management technology to customers across multiple states in the Southwest and beyond. The company’s aim is to help individuals reduce occupancy costs and increase value in their homes through solar ownership and energy management improvements and technology.

Curb expects that the merger will further accelerate the strong marketplace acceptance of Curb’s innovation residential power management platform.

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