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What's an Alphabet Mixer?  It's our way of bringing our LGBTQ+ community together! Come with someone who doesn't share your letter. If you're an L, bring a B.  If you're a T, bring a G. Got it?

If you have friends traveling here for PRIDE, invite them! Show them what our LGBT entrepreneur community is all about in San Francisco.

PRIDE celebrates our diverse community, including allies.  Let's do a little more work before "werk" takes over the rest of the week and weekend.  Join us at Yelp to network, grab something to eat, and have a drink.

Sponsored by Yelp & OUTburst.

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Get insight into the best funding model for your startup. Is Venture Capital a better fit or Crowdfunding?  What's the difference? Pros and cons?

If you're an early stage entrepreneur, learn from our panel of funding experts and network with fellow LGBT entrepreneurs and supporters. Ask questions & have a drink, sponsored by Hanson Bridgett.
LOCATION: Hanson Bridgett 425 Market Street, 26th Floor San Francisco, CA 94105 TIME:                    6:30-7pm  Registration & Networking TIME:                    7-8pm       Panel Discussion with Q&A TIME:                    8-9pm       Post-Event Networking MODERATOR: Storper_Jonathan_056_238x296
Jonathan Storper, Partner at Hanson Bridgett Jonathan leads the corporate department at Hanson Bridgett. He previously founded and led Hanson Bridgett’s sustainable law practice which focuses on developing a more sustainable economy by assisting mission driven companies and high impact investors in a variety of industries. He represents entities and their investors in connection with business and intellectual property transactions, including formation, finance, contracts, licenses, joint venture and development, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, e-commerce, technology-related matters and general corporate law. Jonathan also represents many non-profit charities, foundations, and business associations. PANELISTS:

Scott-Thacker_avatar Scott Thacker, Sand Hill Angels

Scott Thacker is the CEO of Ivory Consulting, the leading software and consulting solution for modeling and pricing complex equipment leases and loans. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association as well as a member of its Lease and Finance Accountants Committee and a previous chair of its Operations & Technology Committee. He is the co-director of the Research Committee of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation.

He is also an advisor to Primus Power and Koe International, a member of the Board of Governors of StartOut and an angel investor.

Prior to joining Ivory in 2010, Scott was a partner and co-leader of Accenture’s asset finance management consulting practice. Before that, he co-led the creation and market adoption of Oracle Lease and Finance Management, a software application for equipment lessors.

Scott earned an M.B.A. in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Accounting from the Wake Forest University School of Business. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

206212-medium_jpg Taylor Holt, Norwest Venture Partners

Taylor focuses on early to late stage venture investments across a wide range of sectors at Norwest Venture Partners, with an emphasis on consumer Internet. Most recently, Taylor was an equity research and data intern with Rutberg & Company. Prior to that, he was a research associate at Morgan Stanley in London. Taylor obtained a bachelor of arts in both government and Latin American and Caribbean studies from Dartmouth College. Taylor also holds a master of philosophy in Latin American studies from the University of Oxford.

Jason Jason Best, Principal, Crowdfund Capital Advisors, LLC

Jason is a tech entrepreneur, venture investor and is one of the two entrepreneurs that created the Startup Exemption Framework to legalize equity and debt crowdfunding in the US.  That framework became the crowdfunding language in the JOBS Act.  Over the course of 460 days, he went from uploading a proposal on a Web site, to sitting in the Rose Garden of the White House to watch President Obama sign the USA JOBS Act into law in April, 2012.  During those 460 days he and his business partner testified in front of the US House and Senate  5 times, held countless meetings with the SEC, FINRA, Treasury Department, State Department and World Bank.  Since that time he has worked in 37 countries with investors, financial institutions, entrepreneurs and governments to create and invest in crowdfunding ecosystems and technologies.   Jason is also a Venture Parter at Vectr Ventures - a Hong Kong-based early stage fund.  He has spoken at The White House, TEDx, SXSW, Aspen Institute, The Global Entrepreneurship Summit, CNBC, BloombergTV, CNN, BBC, PBS, CCTV.  He has been covered in Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Fortune, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Inc, TechCrunch and VentureBeat.  www.vectr.co

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11x17-S5Consulting-20160505 copy

Click the image above to register!

This StartOut panel is an effort to showcase LGBTQ+ agriculturists in and around agriculture (and allies), a group that is rarely represented in either of the communities of which they are a part – the agriculture community or the LGBTQ+ community – for a unique conversation on how LGBTQ+ agriculture entrepreneurs are leading and transforming the agriculture industry through business and innovation. Check back soon for more information!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Helen Russell, Co-founder/CEO, Equator Coffees & Teas, Inc.

Helen Russell is the co-founder and CEO of Equator Coffees & Teas, Inc. in San Rafael, CA. Under her leadership for more than twenty years, Equator has grown from a small roaster and wholesale supplier into a national brand known for its values-driven approach, award-winning coffee, and impactful action around issues of environmental sustainability and economic empowerment. Helen led Equator to become the first coffee roaster in California to earn Certified B Corporation status and a reputation as an early champion Fair Trade practices and direct relationships. For 12 years in a row, Equator has remained on The San Francisco Business Times’ list of the Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses, and in 2016, became the first LGBT Certified business to win SBA Small Business of the Year for the State of California. After two decades in the wholesale business, Helen guided Equator towards deepening its relationships with the local community by opening three retail locations in the Bay Area. Equator’s constant innovation and focus on quality and culinary complexity has attracted a loyal cadre of prominent chefs and bakers including Thomas Keller of The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, Traci Des Jardins of Jardinière, Suzanne Goin of Tavern/Larder in LA, and Tyler Florence. The company also collected its most recent Good Food Award for the first harvest from Equator’s own high-altitude coffee farm in Panama, Finca Sophia. In addition to Helen’s focus on Equator’s success, she has volunteered her time and business experience to local and international organizations supporting women and the environment including La Cocina Community Kitchen in San Francisco, the International Women in Coffee Alliance, and Brown Girl Surf. Helen has led efforts to make Equator a socially and environmentally responsible company by investing in an energy efficient roaster, a biodiesel delivery truck, hybrid service vehicles, and by purchasing coffees and teas from growers who practice responsible land stewardship and bio-friendly farming techniques. Helen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University in Boston. Coburn Marcy Coburn, Executive Director, CUESA & The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

As the Executive Director of CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Markets, Marcy Coburn is a prominent force in shaping the food culture of the Bay Area. In addition to cultivating farmer-to-consumer direct sales, CUESA also develops free and low-cost youth and adult educational programs on food, farming, and cooking. Previously, Marcy was the founding Executive Director of the Food Craft Institute, based in Oakland. Marcy grew up in a farming family in Visalia, California and is an avid home cook with a large urban garden in the backyard of her North Oakland home.

Leclerc Rob LeClerc, PhD, Co-founder/CEO at AgFunder

Rob is the cofounder of AgFunder, the worlds largest equity crowdfunding platform for food and agriculture. Rob has been published in TechCrunch, Harvard Business Review, Financial Post, and twice in Nature journals (>260 citations across both publications). Rob has been invited to chair, speak, and keynote at dozens of global conferences on food & agriculture, technology, and finntech. In 2014, Forbes Magazine named Rob to their list of 'Up-And-Comers' , and the White House has extended special invitations to White House sponsored events. He is a judge for the National Ag Innovation Prize, the Verizon's $6M IoT Award for 2015, and sits on the advisory committee of the Ag Innovation Showcase, the world's first and longest running AgTech conference. Rob has been interviewed by CNBC, Forbes, LA Times, Entrepreneur, FastCompany, and Reuters. He has five degrees, spanning Philosophy, Computer Science, and Computational Biology, including a PhD from Yale University.

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[button font_size="22" color="#0096ff" text_color="#ffffff" icon="" url="https://secure.startout.org/civicrm/event/info?id=47329&reset=1" width="" target="_blank"]Register Now![/button]

Building a successful business starts with a dream, but without the requisite knowledge and tools, it can turn into a nightmare. Join us for a legal conversation with Morrison Foerster on the things to keep in mind when starting a business and looking for investors. You will learn tips and tricks from experienced entrepreneurs and untold stories.

LOCATION: MOFO Offices 425 Market Street, Floor 33

TIME:                    6:30-8:30pm


Arriola Profile 03 PSGeorgiana Arriola, CEO & Executive Creative Director, Minimalisms

Georgiana Arriola celebrates the renegade spirit of California by designing products and experiences that are - Human. Simple. Authentic. Currently, she runs a bespoke skunk works product design consultancy - Minimalisms. Working with craftspeople around the world Georgiana has designed iconic objects and experiences such as the world's first heirloom electronic - Runcible, by Monohm. Designed to be quiet. Fundamentally calming. Humanistic. Previously, Georgiana has led multidisciplinary teams of industrial design & CMF, visual & interactive design, and product management focused on product design at Apple, PlayStation, Sony, Theranos, Adobe. During her tenure with Sony, Georgiana was directly responsible for establishing, defining, and driving Sony's common UX across all 5-screens known as "genome" from Bravia 4K, Xperia, to Vita, ending with the PlayStation 4 console and connected experiences. When not working, Georgiana enjoys artisan sake brewing, culinary excursions, architecture, and hunting for the next best cup of cold brew coffee. Hustling on the side Georgiana is also working on her own line of Women's plus size, off the rack avant-garde asymmetric pieces, skirts, tops, and dresses. Soon to be followed up with coats and accessories based on parametric algorithms.

 AnneBezancon_Placecast-lg copyAnne Bezançon, Founder & President, Placecast

Anne Bezançon is the founder and President of Placecast, the leading enterprise platform for monetizing mobile location and user data at scale. The company specializes in providing proven, secure, privacy-first solutions for big data monetization to the largest Telecom (AT&T, Rogers, Telefonica), Financial Institutions and Media companies in the world. Over 400 brands have used the Placecast platform, including Starbucks, Subway, HP, JetBlue, McDonald’s, and Pizza Hut.

A native of France, Anne discovered her passion for technology when she helped develop the Minitel, a precursor to the Internet. Anne moved to the Silicon Valley in 1996. She has since started three companies and participated in the launch of two more. In 1995, she organized the NGO Forum of the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing, and pioneered private sponsorships from Apple and HP to enable training in word processing and email for 40,000 participants.

Anne was invited to meet with the French President during his official visit to San Francisco in March 2014. Anne was also named to the 2013 “Mobile Women to Watch” list from Mobile Marketer. In 2011, Anne attended the e-G8 Summit, an invitation-only summit of leaders in government and industry focusing on the Internet in the context of global public policy. She writes thought leadership pieces for leading tech and business publications, including Forbes. Anne holds a diploma from Sciences-Po Paris, and an LLM in Business Law. She is the author of several patents in the field of location-based technology, and speaks frequently at various tech industry and business events.

Alfredo SilvaAlfredo B. D. Silva, Associate, Morrison & Foerster LLP Fredo Silva represents private and public companies and investors in corporate in a broad range of corporate and securities law matters. In his private company practice, Mr. Silva advises emerging growth technology enterprises from formation through acquisition or initial public offering in matters including venture capital financing, debt financing and equity incentive compensation. He also represents venture capital firms and strategic corporate investors in their investments in startup companies. In his public company practice, Mr. Silva advises issuers on debt and equity offerings, corporate governance issues, compliance with the U.S. federal securities laws, and compliance with the listing standards of Nasdaq and the NYSE. Mr. Silva was recognized by The Recorder as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” for 2013. He received his B.S. degree, cum laude with distinction, in Engineering Sciences (Chemical) from Yale College in 2004. He received his J.D. degree from Yale School of Law in 2008, where he was chair of the Student/Faculty Alliance for Military Equality and helped establish the school’s Litigating for Gay Rights seminar. Mr. Silva is proficient in Mandarin Chinese, and spent a year at China’s Tsinghua University researching issues in intellectual property protection on a Fulbright Fellowship. MODERATOR:  headshotDiana Helander, Revinate

Diana Helander currently leads product and content marketing for Revinate, a startup focused on providing solutions to the hospitality industry. Prior to Revinate, she drove Lithium Technologies product marketing for social communities and gamification. 

Her startup experience includes being a co-founder for a dot com where she led marketing and ecommerce, as well as at Tribe Computer Works, a networking hardware startup where she headed marketing while guiding the company through acquisition. She's also held various marketing roles at larger companies including Adobe where she led go-to-market strategy for gaming, mobile tech and Acrobat, and at Autodesk where she led branding and product marketing for design team collaboration software that ultimately became buzzsaw (data management software as a service).

In her spare time, Diana enjoys traveling with her family, culinary adventures, music, and reading about the latest discoveries in ancient DNA.

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It's been a while but SV Social is back! Join StartOut and TriNet at BeatBox (314 11th Street) on Wednesday, April 13 to mix & mingle with LGBTQ employees from more than 80 leading Silicon Valley companies. 

To kick the evening off right, come early and enjoy a free drink on us. We can't wait to see you at BeatBox!

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Two networks are better than one! Meet LGBTQ entrepreneurs, growing entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs and the people who help make entrepreneurs successful, while getting to know about The Trevor Project, the leading national organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among LGBT youth.

There’s no agenda, so feel free to stop by and mingle: https://goo.gl/SpBfSkImportant note: attendance is limited to the first 100 RSVPs.

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This session will inspire and inform your strategy for political giving in this critical election year. We’ll learn from both election experts and savvy donors, and preview some of the biggest issues in the next election cycle, including a host of new anti-LGBTQ initiatives.


  • 6:00 – 6:30 pm – Reception
  • 6:30 – 8:00 pm – Panel



Amanda Keton General Counsel, Tides; Managing Director, The Advocacy Fund

Amanda keeps Tides in legal compliance, oversees Tides grantmaking operations, and manages organizational risk so our partners can focus on making social change. Amanda also serves as Managing Director for The Advocacy Fund, the 501 (c)(4) entity in the Tides family of organizations, where she oversees the programmatic and financial operations for the social welfare organization. Before that, she worked for Ernst & Young providing nonprofit organizations with tax consulting, advisory and compliance services. Amanda is on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center where she formerly served as co-chair, and she also serves on the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Northern California as well as Network for Good. Prior to law school, Amanda completed a Master of Arts in Education while teaching middle school and wrote her thesis on why culturally and linguistically diverse students opt out of gifted and talented programs. Amanda is a member of the California State Bar and graduated with a Master of Laws in Taxation cum laude and Juris Doctor from University of San Diego School of Law.



Stefanie G. Roumeliotes Founder & CEO, SGR Consulting

Stefanie, a native to the San Francisco Bay Area, has parlayed her passions for supporting political candidates and causes, and enhancing the welfare of others into a highly productive career as a seasoned strategist and fundraiser in the political and non-profit arenas. Recognized as a leader in her field, Stefanie has established an admirable reputation for handling each enterprise she manages with expertise and success.

In 2007 and 2008, Stefanie served as the Northwestern Finance Director for Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president of the United States, where she led a record-breaking fundraising effort for the region. Since then, she has served as the strategic development and finance consultant for several national organizations and campaigns. She is an influential facilitator in the Bay Area who continues to play a major role as a connector in identifying new growth opportunities, maximizing the investor pool, and expanding the supporter base for all her clients.


Emanuel Yekutiel Founder of ESY Strategies

Emanuel is a organizing, development, and strategic advising professional based in San Francisco, CA. He was recently the Northern California Deputy Finance Director for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign, serving as her main liaison to Silicon Valley and the tech sector in Northern California. Before that he was Chief of Staff of FWD.us, the political advocacy group formed by Mark Zuckerberg to advocate for immigration reform.

Emanuel started his career as a campaign manager for Equality California’s street canvassing operation in San Francisco and a White House intern for Brian Bond, President Obama’s Liaison to the LGBT community. He also received the prestigious Thomas Watson Fellowship to travel abroad for 12 months studying the LGBT rights movements in England, India, Australia, China, and Brazil.


Rick Zbur Executive Director, Equality California

Rick is a distinguished lawyer with a long history of advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and environmental causes. Zbur retired from Latham & Watkins, one of the world’s largest and most respected law firms, where he was a senior partner and practiced law for 29 years.

A lifelong LGBT trailblazer, Zbur was Latham & Watkins’ first openly gay attorney and first openly gay partner. He worked in all aspects of the firm’s environmental, land and resource practice, including leading the firm’s extensive work before the California Coastal Commission.

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Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Location: Orrick San Francisco, 405 Howard Street (corner of 1st)

Hosted by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

For many startups, raising money can be a long, uphill struggle.  Angels, venture capitalists, executive summaries, pre-money valuations, due diligence, term sheets – unless you’re a serial entrepreneur, getting financed can present daunting complexity, starting with how to find the right investors – but not ending there!

Join us on March 8th from 6:30 - 8:30pm as we hear from a diverse group of seasoned entrepreneurs and investors with practical tips for funding strategies, timing and approach.

About the Panelists

Serafina Palandech, HipChick Farms Serafina Serafina Palandech is President and Co-Founder of Hip Chick Farms [hipchickfarms.com], a groundbreaking frozen food company focused on providing organic, sustainable and humane meal solutions for busy families, based in Sebastopol, CA. Since launching in 2013, Palandech with her wife, Jennifer Johnson, have launched into over 1,000 outlets and achieved 900% year over year growth in 2015. Previously, Serafina spent more than fifteen years helping nonprofit organizations like AIDS Walk San Francisco access private funding streams for companies, and she founded and ran Tugboat Events, a boutique event production company which produced charity events for organizations. She currently serves as the Chairwoman of the AIDS Walk San Francisco Foundation Board of Directors, and volunteers with many other LBGT and family-led organizations.   David Blumberg, Blumberg Capital blumberg David Blumberg is the Managing Partner of Blumberg Capital. David has been investing in early stage technology companies for more than 24 years. His investment focus includes Internet (B2B and B2C), digital media, social media, mobility, SaaS, and Technology Enabled Services. David serves as a member or observer on the Board of Directors of Credorax, DoubleVerify, HootSuite, Legolas, Parse.ly, Addepar, VideoGenie, Cyvera, CaseStack, and Trulioo. He is a member of the Investment Committee of 137 Venture, a Board Member of the Lincoln Club of Northern California, a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and is on the Advisory Committee of StartOut. David's past investment exits include Siperian, Check Point Software Technologies, Teva, CREO, DSP Group, Electronics For Imaging, AbirNet, Conduct Software, Vista Research, and IP Infusion. Jared Fliesler, Matrix Partners jared fliesler Jared Fliesler is a General Partner at Matrix Partners, where he helps founders design and implement creative solutions to scale products, teams, and revenue. At Square, Jared optimized products and built programs to grow the company’s merchant and consumer bases and massively scale its product offerings. Prior to Square, he ran product and operations for the Slide team at Google and focused on building consumer products at the intersection of mobile, social, and local. At Slide, Jared led most of the company’s revenue-focused efforts and worked in nearly every area of the company: business and corporate development, advertising, payments, policy, and strategy. Prior to Slide, he managed business development and sales for a national investment firm. Jared is a highly motivated leader who enjoys wearing many hats, working to resolve complex problems, and eating great food. Specialties: Growth, product management, monetization, business development, risk, SMBs, competitive strategy, business strategy, partnerships, payments, contract negotiation, user acquisition, social media, Facebook applications, virtual goods, game mechanics, licensing, public speaking, competitive analysis, sponsorship management, training, new product initiatives, B2C & B2B sales, ad systems, DART, DFP.   Kyle Lui, DCM Ventures kyle lui Kyle Lui is a principal at DCM Ventures , where he helps entrepreneurs scale their companies and advises on product development across consumer internet & mobile, enterprise SaaS, and the “Internet of Things”. Kyle’s investments include AnyPerk, Eaze, Shift, Tapingo, and Wrike. Prior to DCM Ventures, Kyle was the co-founder and CEO of ChoicePass, where he led product management, user acquisition, partnerships, sales and operations. ChoicePass was an enterprise perks and rewards SaaS company backed by prominent angel investors, and acquired by Salesforce.com and Rypple. At Salesforce, Kyle served as Director of Product Management on the founding product team for Work.com, growing its business to over 1,000 enterprise customers.   Moderator – Mike Sullivan sullivan1-150x150 Mike Sullivan is a partner in Orrick’s Technology Companies Group.  He focuses on the representation of startups, from pre-incorporation counseling through angel and venture capital financings, to M&A and IPO liquidity events, and also counsel investors such as Blumberg Capital, IDG Ventures, Illuminate Ventures, The Roda Group and Walden Venture Capital. He has a particular focus on the representation of emerging companies in the software, mobile, internet, social media and games, consumer and healthcare spaces. He has handled hundreds of venture capital financings and more than 50 public offerings, including the IPO for PlanetOut (ticker symbol LGBT). He has also handled numerous mergers and acquisition transactions. Mr. Sullivan is a faculty member of the Practicing Law Institute’s Venture Capital series, and a contributor to Venture Capital & Public Offering Negotiation (Aspen Law & Business).   [post_title] => Raising Capital, Startup Financing – Practical Tips from the Experts [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => startup-finance-practical-tips-from-the-experts [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-01 16:10:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-01 23:10:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://startout.org/?post_type=event&p=11440 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => event [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [event_id] => 204 [post_id] => 11440 [Venue] => 0 [StartDate] => 2016-03-08 [EndDate] => 2016-03-08 [StartTime] => 00:00:00 [FinishTime] => 23:59:59 [event_schedule] => once [event_schedule_meta] => [event_frequency] => 1 [event_occurrence] => 0 [event_allday] => 1 [reoccurrence_start] => 2016-03-08 [reoccurrence_end] => 2016-03-08 [post_category] => 0 ) ) [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11584 [post_author] => 9642 [post_date] => 2016-03-29 11:59:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-29 18:59:06 [post_content] => Check back for more information! 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