At the Mass Challenge Austin awards ceremony, SWAN portfolio company TeleCalm was one of 5 companies, out of 76 companies in the Mass Challenge cohort, that was awarded a no-strings-attached cash prize.
Picture: Jerold McDonald and Ani Bagipalli, CEO and CTO of Omaiven Health, and Zoe Schlag, Executive Director, Techstars Impact
Techstars is an American seed accelerator, founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2006. As of 2019, the company had accepted over 1,600 companies into its programs with a combined market capitalization of $18.2B. Less than 1% of applicants are accepted.
They operate accelerators in 60 cities worldwide, and their international Social Impact accelerator is in Austin.
Their impact companies have outperformed their non-impact companies. You can read about these results as reported in Forbes Magazine.
The Southwest Angel Network has invested in SHYFT Power Systems, which believes that the future of energy in emerging markets is distributed energy resources.
SHYFT is building IoT and software to enable and intelligently manage solar, generator, inverter and utility power. Their solutions help a customer’s energy solutions work together seamlessly in order to help save money and make life easier.
The podcast series “Investor Connect with Hall Martin” helps startup and investors connect for funding. In this podcast, Bob shares his advice for impact investing. According to him, you don’t look for the unicorns, but rather focus on two factors, the ability to provide a financial return, but more importantly, having the companies convince you that they positively affect societal or environmental problems.
Listen to the podcast
The Southwest Angel Network is pleased to announce that over half of its angels have invested in CURB.
CURB provides a home energy monitoring system that helps homeowners to take control of energy use by providing a system that plugs directly into the electrical circuit breaker panel, providing real-time data on energy consumption and production, allowing:
- Smarter decisions about energy use.
- Recognition of abnormal patterns of energy use, pointing to potential problems of various appliances.
- Estimating the energy bill, allowing homeowners to see the cost of energy usage in real-time.
CURB users have been able to reduce energy consumption by up to 20%
The Southwest Angel Network’s Executive Director, Bob Bridge, was invited to serve on a panel at the Impact Investing Conference held on May 24th at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. The conference was organized by the Texas Impact Alliance, a statewide organization working to scale social and environmental impact in the state of Texas by uniting stakeholders from the private sector, academia, public sector, and finance. Bob discussed how the social-impact of mission-driven start-up companies is measured and reported.
The Southwest Angel Network is pleased to announce an investment in Brobe International.
Brobe is a thoughtful, empathetic company that designs high quality, functional, products for humans affected by health challenges. By listening intently, empathizing authentically, and generously supporting patients and caregivers, they continually find opportunities and to develop items that offer comfort & dignity. The company wants to transform the experience of recovery and empower every individual by equipping them with comfort and confidence.
The Southwest Angel Network is pleased to announce an investment in Yotta Solar.
Yotta Solar harnesses our Sun’s abundant but intermittent energy simply and efficiently, which has been up to now a major challenge. SolarLEAF™ represents a step change in storage technology with the battery and power electronics mounted behind solar PV modules using existing panel installation cables and procedures, allowing storage to be added to solar in minutes.
The SolarLEAF™ is a battery storage device whose biggest value is reducing the soft costs of designing, installing, and maintaining an energy storage system compared to traditional centralized systems. And the SolarLEAF can passively control its battery temperature to optimize battery performance and operating life.
The SolarLEAF is optimized for commercial rooftop installation.
In support of its social-impact mission, the Southwest Angel Network has pledged to increase diversity and inclusion in the tech community by taking actions outlined in the startup diversity and inclusion pledge.
The Startup Diversity and Inclusion Pledge is being launched in Austin, Texas in 2019 with plans to expand nationally.
Diversity and inclusion matter for a wide variety of reasons, including that it is better for business, increases investment returns, lowers volatility, and drives innovation. And while female founders receive less venture capital funding than their male counterparts, there’s data that shows that female founders outperform their male peers.
The core idea of the Startup Diversity and Inclusion Pledge is that startups will pledge to take a few concrete measures in the way they operate their company that should, over time, increase the number of women, people of color and people who identify as LGBTQ within their ranks.
The centerpiece of the pledge is The Walker Rule, which is inspired by the NFL’s Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule requires every NFL team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach vacancies. In the years following its implementation in 2003, the number of minorities hired as head-coaches dramatically increased.
The Walker Rule is named after Madam C. J. Walker (1867–1919) who was America’s first female self-made millionaire. She was an African-American entrepreneur, hair care industry pioneer, philanthropist, patron of the arts, political activist and one of the 20th century’s most influential businesswomen. That’s unbelievably impressive given she was born only two years after the civil war ended and built her company during the height of the Jim Crow era.
Bob Bridge, Executive Director of our network, will be speaking at the annual conference of the ACA that will be held in Chicago at the end of April. Bob will be leading a session entitled, “Measuring Impact … and Impact Results”. The session will explore how to bring the same level of quantitative analysis to measuring social-impact results as is used to measure business results. And how is that level of rigor beneficial to impact investors?