StartOut is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating great business leaders by fostering Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) entrepreneurs. Since its founding in 2009, StartOut has produced over 200 events with more than 14,000 participants nationwide to inspire, educate and support LGBT entrepreneurs. StartOut has chapters in Austin, Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, with Seattle and Denver in development .
StartOut approaches its mission through a variety of methods, including:
Creating educational events that build entrepreneurial skills and knowledge – we create a wide range of programming to help people develop businesses, thereby increasing the prevalence of entrepreneurship in the LGBT community.
Building a community where LGBT professionals help each other – we bring together members of the LGBT community, as well as supporters of the LGBT community, with a common interest in entrepreneurship and who are at various stages of building their entrepreneurial careers to help each other collectively and in doing so, we help members of the LGBT community, and its supporters, benefit in their entrepreneurial path.
Combating discrimination by increasing visibility of LGBT entrepreneurs in the media – we promote LGBT entrepreneurs to the general public, thereby working to create positive images of openly gay entrepreneurs and eliminate discrimination that still faces out entrepreneurs.
Connecting mentors with members of the LGBT community starting their own companies – our Lesbian Entrepreneur Mentorship Program connects new entrepreneurs with experienced professionals who provide support to help them build, fund and grow their businesses.
Why Was StartOut Created?
StartOut was organized with a view towards promoting equality and combating discrimination in the business world through economic empowerment.
StartOut will help end discrimination against LGBT persons in the business community by helping foster a new generation of business founders and CEOs, and thereby breaking through the barriers that currently inhibit the corporate success of many in America’s LGBT community.
By helping create the next generation of LGBT entrepreneurs we empower a new community of leaders in the business world who will in turn have both the economic resources and the personal access to support and strengthen the entire LGBT community.
StartOut’s Organization Structure
StartOut is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Its activities are overseen by a national Board of Directors, and are guided by a Board of Governors who have made significant contributions to the field of entrepreneurship and are supportive of the success of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.