First Ever LGBT Entrepreneurship Awards

StartOut to Host First-Ever

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LGBT Entrepreneurship Awards

Featuring Keynote Speaker Peter Thiel

Mark your calendars for the First Annual StartOut Awards, to highlight and celebrate exceptional and innovative entrepreneurs in the LGBT Community. StartOut will honor these business leaders for their accomplishments and personal commitments to both the entrepreneurial and LGBT communities.

Please wear your Thursday best (business casual) on Thursday, March 8th, 2012, beginning at 5pm (Awards Dinner begins at 7pm) to celebrate the first-ever LGBT Entrepreneurship Awards in the swanky Great Room, at the W Hotel in San Francisco.

The evening’s festivities include a cocktail reception, keynote presentation by Peter Thiel, awards ceremony and dinner. Awards will recognize exceptional entrepreneurs for their vision, leadership and achievement in entrepreneurship, and for providing inspiration to the LGBT community. Award categories include: Leadership Award, recognizing an inspiring entrepreneurial role model; Advocate Award, recognizing a champion for LGBT business leadership; Disruptor Award, recognizing an innovator who is revolutionizing an industry; and the Next Generation Award, recognizing a young entrepreneur of great accomplishment.
Event proceeds go to StartOut, a national organization that is building the next generation of LGBT business leaders through entrepreneurship.

To purchase tickets & tables click here. To sign up as a Table Captain or Sponsor please contact Darren Spedale at Darren.Spedale@startout.org.

About Peter Thiel

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Keynote Speaker: Peter Thiel is a technology entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. Thiel co-founded PayPal and was its CEO. He currently serves as president of Clarium Capital, a global macro hedge fund. Mr. Thiel was an early investor in Facebook, the popular social-networking site, and sits on the company’s board of directors. Building on his personal success as a venture capital investor, Mr. Thiel co-founded and manages Founders Fund, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital fund that has pioneered new methods of venture financing that benefit founders. Through Founders Fund, as well as through his private investing, he has helped build the next generation of tech companies, such as SpaceX, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zynga, RoboteX, and Spotify. Mr. Thiel has also established the Thiel Foundation, dedicated to defending and promoting freedom. He lives in San Francisco.

About StartOutStartOut is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating great business leaders by fostering LGBT entrepreneurs. With over 3,000 participants nationwide, it is focused on educating the LGBT community about entrepreneurship, helping aspiring and current entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, and inspiring the LGBT community through the engagement of successful LGBT entrepreneurs and business leaders as role models and mentors. www.startout.org

To purchase tickets & tables click here. To sign up as a Table Captain or Sponsor please contact Darren Spedale at Darren.Spedale@startout.org.

This year's four 2012 honorees include:

·       JPMorgan Chase Leadership Award: Peter Thiel
·       Pillsbury Winthrop Advocate Award: Kathy Levinson
·       Wells Fargo Next Generation Award: Geoff Lewis
·       Google Innovation Award: Ramona Pierson

We were inspired by these individuals for their achievements. We invite you to learn more about them:

JPMorgan Chase Leadership Award: Peter Thiel

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Peter Thiel is a technology entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. Thiel co-founded PayPal and was its CEO. He currently serves as president of Clarium Capital, a global macro hedge fund. Mr. Thiel was an early investor in Facebook, the popular social-networking site, and sits on the company's board of directors. Building on his personal success as a venture capital investor, Mr. Thiel co-founded and manages Founders Fund, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital fund that has pioneered new methods of venture financing that benefit founders. Through Founders Fund, as well as through his private investing, he has helped build the next generation of tech companies, such as SpaceX, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zynga, RoboteX, and Spotify. Mr. Thiel has also established the Thiel Foundation, dedicated to defending and promoting freedom. He lives in San Francisco.

Pillsbury Winthrop Advocate Award: Kathy Levinson

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A highly accomplished operational strategist and philanthropist with three decades of experience, Kathy Levinson has held prominent C-level positions with Fortune 500 corporations including E*TRADE Financial and Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Ms. Levinson stepped down as E*TRADE's Chief Operating Officer and President in 2000 in order to start her own foundation and concentrate on her philanthropic and venture capital interests. She was repeatedly named one of the top businesswomen in Silicon Valley by publications such as inter@active Week Online, the San Francisco Business Times, and the Gay Financial Network.
An active supporter of LGBT rights, Kathy Levinson launched the Lesbian Equity Foundation in 2000, a California-based organization that has led a number of social justice campaigns over the past decade. As part of her civil rights work, Ms. Levinson has held prominent positions in the Democratic Party, and was appointed as a co-chair of the National Finance Committee for President Obama's re-election campaign in early 2011.

Wells Fargo Next Generation Award: Geoff Lewis

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Geoff Lewis, 29, is an entrepreneur, investor, and business advisor.  Most recently, Mr. Lewis served as the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Topguest, a disruptive technology company enabling the world's largest loyalty programs to engage with and reward members via mobile devices and social networks. Founded in 2010, Topguest has already been adopted by loyalty programs reaching over 260 million members, including United MileagePlus and Hilton HHonors. In Dec, 2011, Mr. Lewis sold Topguest to Switchfly, Inc (formerly ezRez Software) in a multi-million dollar transaction.

A noted expert on emerging marketing technologies, Mr. Lewis has appeared as an expert commentator on CNBC Power Lunch, MSNBC Your Money, TechCrunchTV, TV Globo (Brazil), and CBC (Canada). He's been a featured speaker at Web 2.0 Summit, Gamification Summit, EyeForTravel, New Digital Future, and numerous other events. He is a regular contributor to The Business Insider, and is currently developing a scripted drama series set in Silicon Valley.

Google Innovator Award: Ramona Pierson

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Ramona Pierson is an entrepreneur, neuroscientist and educator, and TED speaker. Ramona was the Founder & CEO of SynapticMash, the venture-backed educational and learning innovation company behind  LearningQube, an end-to-end education management platform that melds the power of a learning management system and a virtual classroom – all in one application. SynapticMash was acquired by Promethean in 2010, and Ramona has since served as Promethean's  Chief Science Officer until her departure in 2012.

Ramona and her team are developing next generation “Big Data” innovation R & D Platforms and algorithms for open analytics and automation within her current company, Pierson Labs.  She is also continuing to develop concepts and processes for intelligent learning designs and learning recommendation engines within Pierson Lab and the Learning Genome. Ramona is also actively involved in developing the national levels strategies for personalization of learning at scale across the globe.

Diamond Sponsor

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Platinum Sponsor

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Gold Sponsor

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Presenting Sponsors

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