StartOut Awards 2014 – September 11th, 2014

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San Francisco Marriott Marquis

6:00 pm – Check-In Begins at the SF Marriott Marquis

6:00 – 7:00 pm – VIP Cocktail Reception (included with VIP Admission)

6:00 – 7:00 pm – Cocktail Reception & Entertainment

7:00 pm – 2014 StartOut Awards Gala Begins

-Business Attire-

Mark your calendars for the Third Annual StartOut Awards, to highlight and celebrate exceptional and innovative entrepreneurs in the LGBT Community! On Thursday, September 11th, 2014, StartOut will once again honor entrepreneurs and business leaders for their accomplishments and personal commitments to both the entrepreneurial and LGBT communities.

The festivities will include a cocktail reception, awards ceremony and dinner, and an exclusive keynote interview with the recipient of the 2014 Leadership Award. Each award will recognize exceptional entrepreneurs for their vision, leadership and achievement in entrepreneurship, and for providing inspiration to the LGBT community.

We have some BIG names joining us at the StartOut Awards that you won’t want to miss:

 LANCE BASS, LGBT advocate, entertainer, radio DJ, and entrepreneur will be your host through the most exciting night of awards for the LGBT community.

KARA SWISHER,  game changing technology and digital trends journlalist, conference producer, and executive editor ofRe/Code joins us as a special presenter.

DAN SAVAGE, author, radio host, media pundit, journalist and co-creator of the It Gets Better Project joins us to interview our Leadership Award winner, George Takei


This Year’s Honorees:

George Takei

Recieving the Leadership Award, recognizing someone who has demonstrated the entrepreneurial spirit in service of the community

5611 copyGeorge Takei is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the acclaimed television and film series Star Trek. He’s an actor, social justice activist, social media mega-power, star of the upcoming Broadway musical “Allegiance,” host of the AARP-produced YouTube series “Takei’s Take” and subject of “To Be Takei,” a documentary on his life and career.

Takei’s acting career has spanned five decades, with more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television guest-starring roles to his credit. Takei is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Actors’ Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

With the outbreak of World War II, Los Angeles, California, born Takei and his family were placed behind the barbed-wire enclosures of United States internment camps along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans. Takei spent most of his childhood at Camp Rohwer in the swamps of Arkansas and at wind-swept Camp Tule Lake in northern California. At the end of the war, Takei’s family returned to their native Los Angeles. Inspired by this difficult chapter of American History, George Takei developed the Broadway-bound musical “Allegiance”, an epic story of love, family and heroism in which he stars alongside Tony Award winner Lea Salonga. Allegiance’s record-breaking world premiere at the Old Globe theatre in San Diego in 2012 won multiple awards and will be followed by an upocoming Broadway run.

Now a community activist, Takei serves as chair of the council of governors of East West Players, the nation’s foremost Asian Pacific American theater. He is also a member of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender political organization. Takei is Chairman Emeritus of the Japanese American National Museum’s Board of Trustees; a member of the US-Japan Bridging Foundation’s Board of Directors; and served on the Board of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission under President Clinton. In recognition of his contribution to the Japan-United States relationship, Takei was conferred with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan in 2004.

“To Be Takei,” a Jennifer M. Kroot documentary on the life and career of Takei, premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2014 and was released in select theaters across North America on Aug. 22, 2014.

Takei shared a Grammy nomination with Leonard Nimoy in 1987 in the “Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Recording” category. Takei also received a star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame in 1986. And in 1991 he left his signature and hand print, in cement, in front of Grauman’s Chinese His first book, his autobiography, To the Stars, was published in 1994, and in 2012 and 2013 he published his second and third books, Oh Myyy! There Goes The Internet, and its sequel Lions And Tigers And Bears, The Internet Strikes Back – both about his forays on social media and the Internet, making the Amazon e-book and paperback best-seller lists in 2012 and 2013.

Takei and his husband, Brad Takei, were married at the Japanese American National Museum on Sept. 14, 2008.

Amy Errett

Receiving the Trailblazer Award, recognizing an innovator who is revolutionizing an industry

Amy is a horseback riding, fly-fishing, black-diamond snowboarding, wine collecting, SF Giants-loving Californian. She founded Madison Reed with years of business and operating expertise as a leading entrepreneur, senior executive, venture capitalist and social-mission visionary.

Amy’s multifaceted career has ranged from investing and operating in consumer marketplaces, both online and offline, and has stretched as far as volunteer nonprofit leadership. Most recently, she was a General Partner and ran the Bay Area office of Maveron, a leading venture capital firm focusing on investing in consumer-facing companies. Prior to Maveron, Amy was the chief executive officer and an owner of Olivia, repositioning the travel business as a complete lifestyle company. During her time at Olivia, she was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern California. Prior to Olivia, she founded and served as chair and chief executive officer of The Spectrem Group, a worldwide strategic consulting, information, and M&A advisory firm. Amy sold Spectrem to an IPG subsidiary, NFO Worldwide (NYSE:NFO). After the sale, she joined the senior management team at E*Trade where she diversified the company’s business beyond brokerage and ran a $200 million business that encompassed the management of E*Trade’s growth areas.

Among Amy’s citations is the Israel Fellows Award, presented by the San Francisco–based Jewish Community Federation. A passionate humanitarian, Amy is chair of the board of Glide Foundation, San Francisco’s largest nongovernmental, direct social services organization. Amy is also a member of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast chapter of YPO, and serves on the boards of Wharton West, Common Sense Media, Lightt, Say Media, and Vacatia.

A New York native, Amy earned an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in liberal arts from the University of Connecticut. She is a fanatical UCONN Huskies fan where she was a student athlete. She and her partner live in San Francisco with their daughter.

Dave McClure

Recieving the Advocate Award, recognizing a champion for LGBT business leadership

Dave McClure is a venture capitalist & founding partner at 500 Startups, an internet startup seed fund and incubator program in Mountain View, CA. He likes to hang out with entrepreneurs, and occasionally invest in startups foolish enough to let him. He has been an investor in over 800 companies including, Twilio, Wildfire Interactive, SendGrid, SlideShare, Credit Karma, and MakerBot, among others.

Dave has been geeking out in Silicon Valley for over twenty years, and has worked with companies such as PayPal, Founders Fund, Facebook, LinkedIn, Simply Hired, O’Reilly, Intel, & Microsoft. Years ago he used to do real work like coding, marketing, and running conferences, but these days he mostly does useless stuff like sending lots of email and hanging out on Facebook and Twitter.

Dave also likes to play ultimate frisbee when his knees don’t hurt.

Li Han Chan

Receiving the Next Generation Award, recognizing an emerging entrepreneur of great accomplishment

Li Han’s developmental journey as an entrepreneur has taken varied paths: she once — regrettably — worked for an international arms dealer; she once led snow-tubing operations at a Tahoe ski resort (though not at the same time).

Now, as co-founder and CEO of hardware start-up DynaOptics, she and her team are working to bring you an optical zoom camera that’s so thin, it will come built inside one of your future mobile devices. Not only will consumers love it as it enables better photos and videos in a slim form-factor, phone OEMs love it as it employs established high-volume manufacturing techniques and off-the-shelf materials.  

Prior to spinning out the university technology that became DynaOptics, Li Han ran a clean energy technology incubator, mentoring researchers and entrepreneurs to license and commercialize early-stage technologies. Before that, she was a strategy consultant at Marakon Associates, a boutique top-tier management consulting firm in London, where she advised Fortune 500 clients in the oil and gas, energy and hospitality industries. Li Han cut her teeth at ST Engineering, Singapore’s largest defense and engineering company, and successfully led sales and business development efforts in Singapore, Australasia and Europe. 

Li Han is a graduate of Stanford University and sits on the Selection Committee of the Sierra Angels, a 50-person angel-investing group based in Lake Tahoe. She enjoys working with nascent companies to help them with strategy, fund-raising and company development. In her student days a nationally-ranked competitive tennis player, Li Han has now graduated to the being-one-with-nature sports: she has a deep love for rock climbing, snow-boarding, tele-skiing, biking, paddle-boarding and ice-climbing. 

She lives in domestic bliss in Oakland with her partner, Tandy, their dog and their cat.  

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Event proceeds go to StartOut, a national 501(c)3 charitable organization that is building the next generation of LGBT business leaders through entrepreneurship. The tax deductible value of a dinner ticket is based on the fair value of services rendered, estimated at $100. The excess amount of any single admission is fully tax-deductible. As part of the purchase each donor will receive a receipt for the purchase stating the tax-deductible portion of their contribution.

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