JANUARY NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
JANUARY NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Present your business at DEMO DAY 2015!
Let StartOut accelerate your startup’s growth!
If you are an LGBT entrepreneur seeking capital, partnerships, or press, apply TODAY to present at StartOut’s NYC Demo Day in February, 2015 (location and date currently being confirmed).
This opportunity is open to our entire national network, but you must come to NYC if chosen to present.
Demo Day is a forum for the most innovative startups from the StartOut community to connect with angel investors, venture capitalists, and corporate VCs looking for the next big innovation.
Our first Demo Days brought together inspiring LGBT entrepreneurs from across the country who presented their startups to a panel of prominent active investors and an audience of over 200 members of the StartOut community at large.
Judges will be announced soon and have previoiusly included top venture capital and angel groups.
Presenting companies have received major investments, partnerships, and tremendous growth opportunities by attending. We want YOU to showcase your business and be a part of this enriching experience.
Continuing with this successful event, StartOut is accepting applications for our next batch of presenters now.
The application process is simple, yet presentation slots will fill up quickly, so apply today!
Questions? Contact us at info@StartOut.org
Tom Gerace loves to tell stories. While storytelling has traditionally belonged to the worlds of publishing, journalism, and entertainment, as Founder and CEO of content production powerhouse Skyword, Gerace is making storytellers of major corporations and organizations — from IBM to MasterCard, from AutoTrader to United Way Worldwide.
After graduating from Harvard in 1993, he spent three years as a research associate for the Harvard Business School. “I was hired as their first internet-focused researcher, and I became fascinated by questions of how the global connectivity of the web would disrupt traditional businesses including advertising, journalism, and publishing.”
Gerace’s experience of coming out as a gay man had a major impact on both his personal and professional life. A good friend of his father’s, who taught at Harvard Law School, coached the college sophomore on how to successfully come out to his parents during his 1991 winter break.
“A lot of what drove me through my early career was to prove myself worthy and lovable, which was rooted in my self-doubt from being in the closet,” he says. “It pushed me to work hard. Then I hit a moment when I started my company and I didn’t want to lie anymore.”
At age 25, Gerace and his brother Samuel co-founded Be Free, an online marketing services company. Ahead of the curve at the right time, he was awarded patents for developing systems for profiling computer users, and targeting advertising to them. After raising more than $200 million, a successful IPO, and launching U.S. and European operations, Be Free was acquired by ValueClick in 2002.
Gerace spent eight years exploring the intersections of marketing, advertising, and social media at SVP Marketing, while founding the Social Media Ad Consortium, and Gather, Inc. before launching Skyword in 2010. As a leading content marketing platform and services company, Skyword helps its major brand clients to plan, create, and manage content to connect and engage with their customers.
The Skyword team is responsible for one of the many StartOut success stories in recent memory. During a recent “Demo Day”—a huge gathering of emerging entrepreneurs pitching their businesses to perspective investors and business partners – they met, and soon acquired, Vidaao, a company that changes the way enterprises purchase and manage custom video.
Gerace’s advice to young LGBT people who are starting out in business is to always be true to yourself. “Don’t compromise yourself for work. Life is too short. People will like you more for being authentic.”
“Find a mentor who can help counsel you through this. I’ve had mentors, both gay and straight, who have really helped me grow. When I succeeded, it was largely due to them. When I failed, it was largely due to me.”
He also advises entrepreneurs to consider starting a business in a culture that’s supportive of the LGBT community, such as his home base of Boston, where he’s active in the StartOut community. “I’m exceptionally proud that Massachusetts was the first state to legalize gay marriage,” he says. “We can draw upon LGBT talent from non-sympathetic states, and let them know how much they, and their skills, are valued.”
Valued skills are at the heart of Skyword’s mission. With companies creating digital content for marketing purposes, many ask what impact will that have on traditional journalism and the journalists behind it? “Traditional news sources like The New York Times or The New Yorker are brands as well, and their goal is to sell a product,” says Gerace. “A third of Americans now use Facebook as their primary news source, so we always have to critically evaluate sources and who shared them.”
For examples: when Skyword client IBM alerts CEOs to network vulnerabilities via their security intelligence blog, they’re considered a trusted source, providing useful information, as opposed to just advertising in security magazines.
“The pendulum is swinging back to where it was during the advent of television,” says Gerace. “When sponsors created the shows, like Proctor and Gamble creating soap operas to sell their products, the brands were generating the content.”
At its home base in Boston, along with offices in Pittsburgh, New York and Palo Alto, Skyword currently employs a staff of 104. In addition to creating both live action and animated video content, they will soon go international, creating content in Spanish, French, Portuguese, German and Russian.
Learn more at www.Skyword.com
Powered by StartOut | Written by Adam Sandel
DECEMBER NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
OCTOBER NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Looking to hire Part Time Administrative Assistant to join StartOut in San Francisco.
General description of ideal candidate: very smart, very competent, extremely well-organized, tech/internet savvy person who can adapt to working in the unstructured environment that accompanies a very small nonprofit without becoming frustrated or overwhelmed; a good writer; very flexible; enjoys multi-tasking to accommodate a variety of work functions and priorities. This is the perfect experience for someone wanting to learn the ins and outs of a professional nonprofit operation. Job functions:
Washington, DC – Technology and LGBT advocacy came together at a White House meeting on Monday, July 7th, to discuss how innovation can help deliver change and resolve issues in the community.
The StartOut delegation of sixteen, including several members of StartOut’s boards of directors and governors, as well as senior StartOut leadership, major donors, and entrepreneurs were in attendance.
The President’s offices of Public Engagement and Science & Technology Policy, with the leadership of Leanne Pittsford (Lesbians Who Tech) and Taryn Miller-Stevens (Get / Out), hosted nearly 200 entrepreneurs, tech experts, and leaders from the LGBT community at the first White House LGBT Innovation Summit.
“To have the White House hold a summit on LGBT innovation and technology is truly remarkable,” said Thomas McAfee, president of gay social network Distinc.tt and a StartOut member.
Speakers included Meghan Smith, VP GoogleX; Tim Gill, founder of Quark publishing software and a prominent gay rights activist; Geena Rocero, founder of transgender rights group Gender Proud; and Leanne Pittsford, founder of Lesbians Who Tech. Participating groups included LGBT Tech Partnership, Maven, NGLCC, oSTEM, Out for Undergrad, Out in Tech, Out Leadership, Reaching Out MBA, StartOut, and Trans*H4CK.
“Everyone is collecting data for their populations, but in most spaces LGBT questions are absent. And data is required for the advancement of any population,” said one attendee. Collecting and quantifying the much-needed data on the segments of the LGBT communities was among the many topics covered.
During the summit there were multiple networking sessions and opportunities to deliver ‘elevator pitches’ introducing the organizations present, and allowing them to connect with resources and advice from fellow business leaders and innovators.
Many organizations and entrepreneurs present saw the tremendous value in StartOut’s ability to connect LGBT leaders to mentoring, education, and access to capital. Several exciting potential partnerships are already in discussion thanks to the White House LGBT Innovation Summit.
KQED radio in San Francisco highlighted StartOut’s participation in the summit, which you can click to hear below.
We’re excited to announce the 2014 cohort for StartOut’s Lesbian Entrepreneur Mentoring Program – the first-ever program of its kind.
We received over 80 applications from around the country, from which we selected promising entrepreneurs and businesses. We then paired them with seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and senior level executives to provide support and guidance.
We’re happy to share our second class of mentors and new entrepreneurs in the 2014 Lesbian Entrepreneur Mentoring Program.
Over the course of this program, we’ve seen some incredible successes. Some of our new entrepreneurs have received funding as a result of the program; others have identified potential partnerships. More importantly, we’ve made steps towards fulfilling StartOut’s commitment to create wealth and opportunity in the LGBT community by supporting entrepreneurs and serving the immediate and long-term needs of growing businesses.
Lynn Casper - Lynn Casper is a media activist and artist who uses various forms of creative media to promote equality. Growing up in North Carolina and realizing at a young age that there weren’t many representations of herself in mainstream media, she started creating her own DIY-style. From learning HTML to build music fansites to “hosting” radio shows from her duel cassette boombox in her bedroom, she kept up with the evolutions of technology to find new ways to create and distribute media.
Since those childhood days, she has organized DIY collectives, music and film festivals, exhibited in art galleries, performed in various bands and much more. A wearer of many hats, Lynn founded, produces and hosts a radio and TV show for Homoground, a media group that raises visibility for LGBTQ musicians and artists.
Serafina Palandech is the President and Co-Founder of Hip Chick Farms. Hip Chick Farms brings healthy great-tasting poultry products to time challenged families seeking convenient real food based on trusted ingredients. As a veteran non-profit executive, project manager, strategic planner, and event organizer, Serafina spent more than fifteen years helping nonprofit organizations access private funding streams through event production and management, donor cultivation, corporate support, and in-kind partnerships.
Just prior to launching Hip Chicks, she founded and ran Tugboat Events, a boutique event production company which produced charity events for organizations in the Bay Area.
Serafina Palandech earned a B.A. in Women’s Studies and Art from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Genny LaMorgan - Genny LaMorgan, Owner of GreenWomanStore.com, has worked with international environment and development NGOs. In the course of her international work, she became aware of women’s call for “Market Access.” Green Woman Store is the answer to that call. It is her goal to provide fair trade, sustainable, and woman made products to conscious consumers, while supporting women entrepreneurs at all stages of their business development. Sliding scale fees are the cornerstone of her work with women’s cooperatives and sole proprietorships, with 50% to 80% of all sales being paid directly to the women artisans and manufacturers. Studies show that when the resources are returned to the women, everyone benefits!
Emily Schu - Emily Schu is co-founder and Product Director of Propagate, a literacy and language learning company that seamlessly integrates word learning and adaptive literacy supports directly into what students are already reading online. Propagate is built on key principles from leading literacy and cognitive science studies, and is supported by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Harvard Innovation Lab, and the Education Design Studio at the University of Pennsylvania. Emily holds an Ed.M in Technology and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she studied product design for education.
Rachel Wolan - Rachel Wolan is the founder and CEO of YadaZing, a leading online education platform for English students. YadaZing helps English students become fluent in real, conversational English by adapting real videos, like movie clips and TED Talks, into entertaining grammar and vocabulary lessons. Founded in 2013, YadaZing is already used by 3 of the top 5 domestic English school chains, and is poised to revolutionize English learning, teaching, and assessment both domestically and internationally.
Before founding YadaZing, Rachel worked as a software developer in Edtech (Pearson-owned startup) and in business roles at consumer Internet giants (Facebook and Say Media). She holds a B.S. in Education from Northwestern and an M.B.A. from UC Berkeley.
B. Cole - Cole is the force behind Brioxy, a life design platform for young people of color bringing life hacking, social capital, and membership services to one central place for the country’s fastest growing demographic. A graduate of the London School of Economics, Cole is a BMA Echoing Green Fellow, Coro Fellow, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, and Spirit of Dolores Huerta Award recipient, she has worked across the US and internationally on issues of leadership development and social capital. She is also the Founder of the Brown Boi Project, the largest leadership development organization for young LGBT people of color in the US.
Teresa Tuan - Teresa Tuan is a physician, award-winning filmmaker, musician, and digital health entrepreneur in the San Francisco Bay Area. She started college at 12, went to medical school at 16, and became a board-certified, practicing pediatrician at age 23. Her passion for innovating a better healthcare system inspired her to launch DoctoRec, a digital media company that delivers short and highly engaging online health education videos in both the clinical setting and on a patient’s computer, tablet or phone. She believes that by giving patients an accessible, physician-vetted tool to understand their health better, they’ll have more meaningful relationships with their doctors and enjoy the health they deserve.
Louise Sloan - Louise Sloan is founder of Singlewith.com, a content, social networking and dating site for single moms and dads. She’s part of this large, under-served market herself: “Knock Yourself Up,” Louise’s 2007 book on becoming a single mom by choice, garnered international media attention. As an editor-in-chief, Louise has produced magazines for clients like Target, Nordstrom, GlaxoSmithKline and Dr. Phil. She’s written and edited for numerous mass-market publications including Glamour, Out, Ms., Health.com and Ladies’ Home Journal. Of the national awards she’s won, she’s perhaps proudest of the one from the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association for her 1994 Glamour article, “Do Ask, Do Tell: Lesbians Come Out at Work,” and of the GLAAD award nomination for a 2010 Ladies’ Home Journal feature on gay teens and bullying.
Kate Atkinson - Kate Atkinson is co-founder and Head of Product, at datasnap.io a measurement and reporting platform that delivers insight into proximity triggered engagement. datasnap’s core focus is on the emerging iBeacon space, but will draw upon other location signal as well as contextual data so that marketers, developers and business users can make sense of how people interact with real, brick and mortar spaces and why. Prior to starting datasnap Kate was VP of product and design at Metaresolver before it was acquired by Millennial Media where she headed up reporting and UX.
Darla Hollander Darla Hollander is CEO, Co-founder, and Power Engineer at Everywhere Energy. She founded the company on the idea that energy you exert yourself can be used to power your devices. Everywhere Energy has developed an external battery pack that is charged by walking and the company sees this as the first step to designing products that gather energy from many other aspects of life. For the past 7 years, Darla has gained a plethora of experience in the field of power, engineering many sections of the power grid. Her background includes wind and natural gas-sourced power generation, substations, power distribution, and power electronics. Darla is currently in her sixth year of school at the University of Texas and will earn a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in May 2015. After graduation, she plans to continue to fulfill a passionate life growing Everywhere Energy full time.
Dedra Chamberlin - Dedra Chamberlin is CEO and Co-founder of Cirrus Identity, a cloud-hosted digital identity company that enables quick and easy access to university services through the use of social identities (Google, Twitter, Facebook). Dedra has led digital identity strategy at leading universities, including UC Berkeley and UCSF, and chaired the workgroup which sets identity strategy for the University of California system. She has participated in numerous nation-wide identity strategy workgroups and speaks regularly at higher ed IT conferences. Dedra knows the pain points of identity in higher ed because she’s lived them, and as leader of Cirrus Identity, she is bringing innovative, easy-to-integrate solutions to educational institutions around the globe.
Sandra Elliott Sandra Elliott is the Director of Consumer Technology and Service Development with Meridian Health. Her role is to develop new technology based services and business ventures targeting population segments such as the boomer and aging populations. While aggressively employing new approaches to understanding the health and wellness needs of consumers, technological applications are aggressively evaluated as a new method to meet those needs. As a result, Meridian Health is creating innovative connections with individuals in the market. She has been instrumental in defining opportunities to work with innovative companies and begin to understand how home or person-based technology can be integrated into a health delivery system. Her most recent role as the Executive Director of a new startup company, iMPak Health, is a good example of how she and the team at Meridian Health are translating new understanding into new business opportunities. Sandra is a national speaker and published many articles in developing opportunities for growing business in publications such as Trustee Magazine, Journal of Healthcare Financial Management, FutureAge, Hospitals and Health Networks, and the Health Strategist.
Bonny Lai Bon is CTO & Co-Founder of Roost, a trusted marketplace for people to list and rent storage or parking space in their homes. Bon started a career in product management and is a driving force behind Roost’s product vision and technical strategy. When not behind a computer, Bon enjoys the outdoors with her Klee Kai.
Máire Walsh - Máire P. Walsh is a Partner and VP, Sales & Marketing at Next Steps Marketing, a company that specializes in building and monetizing audiences for media and tech companies. In this role, she helps guide content strategy, develops audience and monetization models, and oversees marketing efforts across multiple platforms (desktop, mobile, and tablet) for clients and their partners.
Prior to Next Steps, Máire went from managing circulation for Curve magazine to leading a team that helped build retail sales and partnerships for over 70 national magazines at the Independent Press Association. She has been featured in Folio, Audience Marketing, Media Shepherd, The Irish Times, and Yahoo Finance and is a regular speaker at media industry conferences.
Máire is the former two-term President of Exceptional Women in Publishing (EWIP), a national organization dedicated to mentoring, educating and supporting women in media. Each year, EWIP hosts an annual Women’s Leadership Conference that brings together leading women executives in media and tech to share insights and best practices on new content and business models in publishing. Máire is a native of Ireland, loves squash and soccer, and has an MBS from National University of Ireland, Galway.
Steph Smith - “Looking back on my career path, I really am amazed and very fortunate. I was able to connect and teach History and Civics to high school students struggling with behavioral and emotional obstacles. The Anthropologist in me was fascinated by how my students learned best and identified with various historical icons. Joan of Arc, Sitting Bull, Sandra Day O’Connor to name a few. Teaching taught me a lot about myself and my potential.
After a few years of teaching I decided to explore the massive nonprofit sector of Washington, DC. Still very much interested in education, I started working with a large trade association with the focus on education and development. From there I helped one of the nation’s largest capacity building organizations with marketing and membership campaigns. It was there at the Center for Nonprofit Advancement that I was given two golden nuggets of advice by my boss, an openly gay woman and the longest standing Executive Director at the organization. First, “work smarter not harder” and second, “remember that what makes each of us different is what makes each of us valuable.”
When I relocated to Austin in 2009 and started working with the State Bar of Texas this advice was just as helpful. I was tasked with educating folks of all walks of life, backgrounds, and socio-economic levels on the importance of having access to the legal system. From there I went to Project Transitions and was afforded the opportunity of creating more visibility for the organization and more awareness for HIV/AIDS.
Now with L Style G Style, I feel like Goldielocks and the Three Bears because finally things are just right. I look forward to helping Alisa and Lynn make more connections for L Style G Style and for our community…and beyond. I am also looking forward to getting to know our readers and our supporters.”
Eilish McCaffrey - Eilish McCaffrey is an accomplished startup CEO/cofounder and active mentor to International and U.S incubators with an expertise in all Software and Infrastructure technologies. She has over 30 years in business development, sales/marketing, commercial product development; and venture/incubation. She has raised well over $50M in the course of being senior management in startups, consultants to early stage startups and as a Venture Partner. Her focus today is doing what she enjoys, which is leveraging her experience in helping other early stage companies with whatever might be their next growth objectives.
Eilish is also active as a non profit board member and currently sits on the board of http://www.ahomewithin.org that helps children. She began her non profit work over 15 years ago as advisor and mentor to ASTIA companies, an international women lead business incubator. She supports other non profits that focus on areas such as healthcare, women/children, education and her local community.
Eilish holds a Masters of Science Degree, Summa Cum Laude, Software Engineering, and a Bachelors of Science, Mathematics\Computer Science and Chemistry, from Manhattan College of NYC also Summa Cum Laude.
On a more personal side, Eilish is certified, through the American College of Sports Medicine, and provides coaching to colleagues and friends on wellness and nutrition. She enjoys integrating the technology of emerging Healthcare models of application, delivery and support with her wellness focus where possible.
Anne Moellering - Anne Moellering of WaveWorks Coaching is an Executive Leadership & Career Coach with a 20-year background in the business world of Silicon Valley. Having begun her career as a management consultant for Bain and Company, Anne moved into consumer marketing after receiving an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Within the marketing world, her posts ranged from being the Director of marketing for video game giant Sega and Account Director for Electronic Arts to being VP of Marketing for Planet Out & Gay.com and Chief Marketing Officer for TaskRabbit.
As a coach, Anne specializes in Executive leadership development, team effectiveness and career transition coaching. Her clients range from rising stars with rapidly expanding scopes of responsibility to executive team members, start-up founders and CEOs. Anne works with individuals and teams across a wide range of organizations including eBay, Facebook, Google, Evernote, Intel, Nerd Wallet, Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company, Stryker, Genentech, Sift Science and Prospect Sierra School. In addition, Anne is a talented and energizing speaker and workshop leader.
Anne graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College with a degree in Economics and then earned her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She holds certifications from both the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and Team Coaching International.
Anne is based in San Francisco and, when not coaching, can often be found happily surfing somewhere off the coast of Northern California.
Donna Bonifield Donna is a visionary technology entrepreneur and 20+year software industry veteran. In 1994 Donna co-founded GENUUS, a social software studio to bring A.I. to life. Her role as Chief Visionary Officer (CVO) is to provide leadership in all aspects of company operations, including production, business development, strategy, and executive management. Prior to GENUUS Donna joined Broderbund’s Living Books division in 1990 when it was less than 5 people; she spent four year
s there in production roles culminating in Technical Creative Director. From her Disney background she created the Living Books production methodology that led to a $15 million Random House / Broderbund Software joint venture.
Anne Dorman - Anne has served as Consulting CFO to venture backed companies since 1986. Early in her career, Anne founded three successful companies before joining Arthur & Young (predecessor to Ernst & Young) and was a member of the founding team for the firm’s Entrepreneurial Services Group. In addition to advising high growth companies, Anne runs a small business tax and consulting practice.
Heather Hiles Heather Hiles is the founder and CEO of Pathbrite, the world’s leading Portfolio Learning Platform. Launched in 2012, the company currently supports more than 500 schools, colleges, universities, and organizations in the United States. Headquartered in San Francisco, with an increasingly global footprint, Pathbrite’s portfolio platform is poised to reshape learning, teaching and assessment across the globe.
Kim Frank Consummate advisor to entrepreneurs, startups and technology companies ranging in size from the garage to Fortune 100. Kim has built businesses from the ground up and through a mix of internal innovation, mergers & acquisitions, strategic alliances and fundraising. With her broad executive and technology expertise, Kim has identified and negotiated more than 60 acquisitions and alliances ranging from $2M to $5B.
Kathy Hutton - Kathy’s diverse background includes roles in operations, strategy, sales, and client services. She knows how to get things done and build trusted relationships. Her start-up experience ranges from launching San Francisco’s award winning Residential Recycling program to building a tech business – twice. One was acquired by Cardinal Health, the other is rapidly expanding in the hot Internet of Things market. Kathy also led an environmental non-profit as Executive Director, successfully restructuring the organization and securing a $9M service contract. Today, she is focused on helping women grow their businesses and recently joined DoubleShot Creative, a boutique marketing agency, as VP of Strategy. She’s also helping a friend abandon her corporate gig as a Financial Planner to hang out her own shingle. Kathy has a B.S. in Business from Ithaca College and lives in Sausalito. She works hard so she can play hard and twice left it all behind to sail across the Pacific, summit Kilimanjaro, trek Tibet, snorkel in the Maldives and Seychelles, and catch waves in Bali and Australia. Her next start-up will most likely involve adventure travel.
Carol Nast - Carol Nast is the founder and President of Enterprise Catalyst Group, Inc, a consultancy serving the medical products and life science industries. Previously Carol was Chief Operating Officer of NuGen technologies, Vice President of Manufacturing for Inhale Therapeutics and has held other executive level positions at Syntex, BioRad and Pfizer. Carol has broad experience with biologics, drug delivery, medical diagnostics and devices and has extensive and diverse insight into developing and commercializing new medical products and technologies. Throughout her career, Carol has worked with large global multinational companies and venture backed early stage companies with emerging technologies.
Google says more than 1,000 of its employees are slated to participate,Apple recently sent a memo encouraging all of its employees to partake in the event, and Facebook told CNBC that it expects over 800 employees to attend.
Former congressman Barney Frank, one of the parade’s guests of honor, told CNBC that tech companies are smart to support the gay pride parade in today’s competitive business environment. Frank said, “If you get a reputation for not being supportive of fair treatment, it is a handicap in your recruitment.”
Jonathan Lovitz, the director of communications for StartOut, a non-profit supporting aspiring LGBT entrepreneurs, said participating in the parade is great “for retaining and finding the best talent; for finding the best partnerships domestically and globally; and also encouraging the people within their organizations to step up and become the first generation of openly gay CEOs in the tech industry.”
“We know that our community is capable of producing openly gay actors, politicians and athletes, but now is the time for tech to continue creating opportunities for openly LGBT business leaders,” he said.
The LGBT community and tech have had a long-standing relationship in advancing their success.
“Look at what social media has done specially to help us advance our causes, so I think there’s no surprise here that major organizations like Facebook and Twitter and Google, have been such allies of the community,” he said.
Last year’s parade, the largest in North America and the second largest in the world, attracted more than 1.5 million people and another 400,000 viewers through a webcast. At least 15 Silicon Valley tech companies are expected to participate.