Seven organizations in Venture Capital launch Diversity Data Alliance

Diversity VC, ​All Raise, ​2Gether-International, ​BLCK VC, ​Somos VC, ​StartOut and Vets in Tech Release Whitepaper to Standardize Demographic Data Collection

May 15, 2024 — San Francisco, CA — Today, seven organizations focused on diversifying the tech ecosystem have announced they have joined forces to form the Diversity Data Alliance. The alliance aims to leverage its collective industry data to identify and fill funding gaps for underrepresented investors, founders, and operators.

Representing multiple underrepresented groups in tech and VC, the alliance settled on a set of data to capture across each of their respective organizations, starting with a uniform approach to demographic data collection. The group began standardizing its demographic data collection and creating an agreed-upon data format in the spring of 2023 and finalized implementation in the spring of 2024. See the paper outlining this approach.

This alliance was created because ​the venture capital and entrepreneurship communities remain fairly homogenous, with limited representation of historically marginalized persons with regard to race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, educational attainment, religious and military affiliation, and more. For several years, various organizations in the venture capital and entrepreneurship ecosystems have collected data and published reports highlighting the continuing inequity of capital allocation and access to resources within the industry. ​However, to date, the underlying data and analysis have been siloed by the demographic focus at each individual organization. Further, establishing connections between them — such as who is funding whom — has remained out of reach.

“I am incredibly proud of the work and commitment from these seven organizations to come together to standardize data for the collective good of our joint mission of bringing diversity and inclusion to the venture and startup ecosystem,” said Sarah Millar, COO Of Diversity VC and a founding member of the Diversity Data Alliance. “By standardizing our data and linking it together, we could uncover some yet-to-be-seen connections between funders and founders and see trends across communities. Further, we can measure the effectiveness of our programming and track trends over time to help all of our organizations better serve our communities.”

With this new standardization, data sharing across these organizations becomes possible as information is now compatible. The alliance is inviting others to join this effort.

Here is what the group had to share:

“We can’t change what we do not measure. This initiative is fundamental in advancing our shared goal of fostering a more diverse venture and tech ecosystem.” — Paige Hendrix Buckner, CEO of All Raise

“Standardizing demographic data collection is a pivotal step towards creating a more equitable venture capital landscape by creating data integrity. Better quality data means we can accurately track against our goals to diversify the venture ecosystem. BLCK VC is proud to partner with other organizations through the Diversity Data Alliance, so we can collectively drive meaningful change and foster greater inclusion in the venture and tech ecosystem.” — Naima Warsame, COO of Black VC.

“At SomosVC we are transforming the face of venture capital. With Latinos/as representing just 1.6% of investors in the venture capital ecosystem relative to the 19% of U.S. demographics, data helps us keep the industry accountable. Standardizing, synthesizing, and leveraging insights from our collective can help ensure that every investor is represented regardless of their background.” — Mariela Salas, Executive Director of SomosVC

“Our research at StartOut has shown that only 0.5% of VC funding goes to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. However, one thing we’ve been curious about is how much funding goes to underrepresented intersectional entrepreneurs and this type of improved demographic tracking will be vital for us to understand this underreported community and further underreported metric. We are excited to be part of the Diversity Data Alliance to collectively agree upon how to request demographics in a thoughtful manner. Each organization in the collective brings their unique perspective and lived experiences. We are excited to deepen our relationship with the other ecosystem builders to provide and share best practices and better understanding of the communities we represent.” — Irene Tang, Director of Data and Insights at StartOut

“We are thrilled to announce our foundational and active role in the Diversity Data Alliance, which aims to gather, analyze, and standardize data across the venture capital sector. VetsinTech remains committed to highlighting the significant contributions of Veterans and Military Spouses in this field. By collaborating with outstanding partners and founders, we can truly make an impact.” — Ikram Mansori, COO of VetsinTech

“As the Founder, CEO and Chief Disabled Officer of an organization dedicated to supporting Disabled Entrepreneurs with tools and resources to thrive, I’ve seen firsthand the gap in data on funding for underrepresented founders, especially for founders with disabilities,” said Hardly any data on investment capital awarded to founders with disabilities exist, but with the Data Diversity Alliance, I trust we can help to flip the narrative and shine a light on both the needs, and accomplishments, of this business community.” — Diego Mariscal, CEO & Chief Disabled Person at 2Gether-International

This work represents an opportunity to build the most comprehensive, detailed data set on diversity in tech to date and work with public and private industries to share diversity data and progress. The alliance encourages all groups collecting data to follow this standard format — collecting comprehensive and compatible data across organizations to then be centralized in one accessible database.

Those who wish to join the coalition should download the guide for data collection and implementation.

To learn more about Diversity Data Alliance visit:

About Diversity Data Alliance (DDA):
​The Diversity Data Alliance is a coalition of organizations working across the VC and startup ecosystems to build the largest, most comprehensive, and most intersectional data set on diversity in VC and startups. Originally conceived by seven non-profit organizations in early 2023 (Diversity VC, ​AllRaise, ​2Gether-InternationaL, ​BLCK VC, ​Somos VC, ​StartOut and Vets in Tech), the group has developed a standard methodology for diversity data collection built with human-centered design and inclusivity from the start. The DDA is in the process of building a platform to facilitate clear and easy data collection and reporting for VCs and the founders they invest in. To learn more about Diversity Data Alliance visit:

StartOut Growth Continues with Charlotte Hamilton and Miguel A. Lopez Elected to Board of Directors

May 8, 2024 – StartOut, the leading national nonprofit committed to empowering LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, announced the election of founder Charlotte Hamilton (she/her) and attorney Miguel A. Lopez (he/him) to its board of directors.

“Charlotte and Miguel each bring deep knowledge, hard skills and a track record of success to the StartOut Board of Directors,” said StartOut’s CEO, Brian Richardson.  “They also bring their individual lived experiences as members of the LGBTQ+ community – experiences that will help guide StartOut, as we work to empower entrepreneurs across the nation.”

Charlotte Hamilton

Born and raised in Alaska, Charlotte is a lifelong entrepreneur who has co-founded and led five hard technology startups and currently serves as the CEO of N5 Solar. To date, she has raised over $24 million in venture capital and already enjoyed one exit. Charlotte was also a member of the inaugural edition of The Gaingels 100 that honored 100 leading LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs after she publicly identified herself as a transgender woman in 2021.

“Being a diverse founder running a hard tech start-up, I understand firsthand the challenges and triumphs of the LGBTQ+ entrepreneurial journey,” remarks Charlotte Hamilton. “Joining StartOut’s board is an honor, and I am excited to leverage my experiences in the startup space to help the next generation of LGBTQ+ founders succeed.”

Charlotte currently resides in Syracuse, New York. Her work has been featured in the WSJ, The Independent, CleanTechnica, USA Today, and other publications.

Miguel A. Lopez

Miguel is a partner at Littler Mendelson, a full-service employment firm. He has extensive experience working with clients in the software, sciences, and healthcare sectors, among others, and has a special interest in startup and gig-economy businesses. Miguel is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Columbia University.

“Joining StartOut’s board aligns perfectly with my mission to drive economic empowerment within our community,” says Miguel Lopez. “As a gay man and first-generation American, I know that it takes a special type of effort to forge a career outside the traditional legacy networks. I want to ensure every LGBTQ+ entrepreneur has a real chance to enjoy real success.”

Miguel’s leadership extends beyond his legal practice through his service as Co-Chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Trade Secrets Committee and contributes to LGBTQ+ advocacy through the New York State Bar Association. He lives in New York City.

Charlotte and Miguel were each elected to two-year terms, effective immediately.

Welcoming StartOut’s Newest Team Members

April 24, 2024 StartOut welcomes four new hires to their national team, furthering the nonprofit organization’s ability to champion LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship and to build a more inclusive economy for all. 

“At StartOut, we’re not just building a team,” said CEO Brian Richardson (he/him). “We’re building a movement that will foster innovation and progress for LGBTQ+ people across the nation. With the addition of these incredible leaders to our movement, our impact will only grow – creating more opportunities for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and our entire community.” 

Phillip Ozaki (he/him) – Chief Development Officer
With a distinguished background in civil rights advocacy and a passion for empowering marginalized communities, Phillip joins StartOut as our first Chief Development Officer where he will develop and lead the organization’s fundraising strategy, including corporate partnerships and donor engagement. Based in San Francisco and Atlanta, Phillip’s journey is deeply rooted in a legacy of resilience and activism, and has shaped his dedication to fighting for justice and equity.

“My family has a long history of both entrepreneurship and fighting for social justice,” Phillip shared. “It is an honor to combine those two parts of myself and work at StartOut.  I look forward to getting to know our members, partners and friends so we can ensure StartOut has the resources necessary to advance queer entrepreneurship.”

Phillip most recently served as the Development Director at the Japanese American Citizens League. Previous roles included Lambda Legal and Infosys. He holds an MBA from Esade Business School in Spain, where he founded the school’s first LGBTQ Business Club. 

Bethany B.  (they/she) – Digital Marketing Associate
Residing in Texas, Bethany’s expertise in digital communications and strategy, combined with their passion for fostering connected and collaborative communities, makes them an invaluable addition to our team. Through their previous nonprofit experience at organizations like ConnectUp! Institute, CloseKnit and OutFront Minnesota, Bethany brings a creative and innovative approach to our marketing efforts. 

Ben Haberman (he/they) – Development Associate
A recent graduate from UC Berkeley, Ben Haberman provides a fresh perspective and a strong commitment to community development. He has interned at a variety of nonprofit organizations in development and communications roles, and at Chasing Rainbows, the LGBTQ+ focused venture capital firm. In his new role at StartOut, he will support development and fundraising. Ben lives in Berkeley, California. 

Erica Lee (she/her) – Data & Insights Fellow
Erica is a Senior Associate Consultant at Bain & Company based in Houston, Texas. She joins StartOut with a mix of corporate consulting and nonprofit experience, and will be serving as the Data & Insights Fellow as part of an externship program with Bain & Company. Erica has led many women and LGBTQ+ advocacy initiatives in her professional career which include Pride at Bain Houston. Following her fellowship at StartOut, Erica will join the MBA program at UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Danielle Wiggins (she/her) – Access to Capital Manager
In addition to the new team members, Danielle has been promoted to Access to Capital Program Manager, where she will oversee the growth of StartOut’s program connecting LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs directly to potential investors. Danielle first joined StartOut as a Program Associate. 

“In just one year with the StartOut team, Danielle has proven what a thoughtful, dynamic, and talented team member she is,” Richardson continued. “I am thrilled that she has agreed to take on this new role and look forward to working with her – and the entire team – to grow our impact.”

Prior to joining StartOut, Danielle joined a fellowship for entrepreneurs with Future Founders and worked in consulting at trepwise. Originally from Newark, New Jersey, Danielle currently lives in New Orleans.

We look forward to the incredible contributions our newest team members will make to StartOut and the communities we serve. Welcome aboard!

Mohit Jolly Elected Board Chair Of Startout, Rick Kleczkowski Joins As Newest Board Member

March 13, 2024StartOut, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, is thrilled to announce the election of Mohit Jolly (he/him) as Board Chair. A longtime executive at Google and a marketing expert, Mohit brings not only a wealth of experience but also a passion for fostering inclusivity in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to this role. Immediately prior to his election as Chair, Mohit served as Board Co-Chair for one year. 

Mohit serves as Senior Director of Global Ads Marketing at Google and is the Executive Sponsor of PRIDE at Google, Google’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group. He is also on the advisory board of CapitalG, Alphabet Inc’s growth fund that invests in growth-stage tech companies. 

“StartOut stands at the intersections of innovation, business and the queer community, ensuring opportunity for more people to launch and scale their businesses,” said Mohit Jolly. ” I am excited to build on StartOut’s incredible track record to ensure more opportunities for future LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs.”

Prior to his role at Google, Mohit worked in management consulting at the Boston Consulting Group. Mohit currently lives in San Francisco and holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

“Mohit has been a leader in the tech and entrepreneur worlds for more than a decade,” said Brian Richardson, StartOut CEO. “Our community is lucky to have such a committed and talented voice guiding StartOut toward a future of even greater impact and success.”

In addition, the Board of Directors also elected Rick Kleczkowski (he/him) to a two-year term on the board, making him the newest member. Rick is an accomplished entrepreneur and respected senior executive with experience from the agency world to adtech and fintech. Rick has led multiple start-ups through funding, scaling and successful exits. As a board advisor, Rick has stayed at the center of tech innovation across sectors and at companies including IRIS.TV, OhWaiter and ABXR Engine.

“Rick brings his experience as a successful entrepreneur to our board, helping ensure our strategy and vision continues to hew to our mission of empowering and championing the next generation of LGBTQ+ founders,” says Genesis Garcia (she/her), Board Vice Chair and Chair of the Nominating Committee.

“I know how hard it is to turn an idea into a success, but I know that with access to skills, capital and community, success is attainable,” Rick said. “That is why I am privileged to serve on the Board of StartOut, to ensure everyone in our community has that access and chance to succeed.” 

Rick started his career in investment banking, spending nearly a decade at Lehman Brothers and Credit Lyonnais. He currently lives in New York City.

“With leadership and vision from Mohit, Rick and our entire Board, StartOut will be able to expand our impact, strengthen our partnerships and create more opportunities for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs everywhere,” Brian continued. 

StartOut and J.P. Morgan Announce Startups Selected to Join Growth Lab Accelerator

 LGBTQ+ founders gain access to peer network, mentorship and business resources to support long-term growth

March 4, 2024 (NEW YORK) – Today, StartOut and J.P. Morgan welcomed the newest cohort of companies to the Growth Lab Accelerator. With less than one percent of startup funding being allocated toward LGBTQ+ founders in 2023, as found by a recent StartOut study, this five-month program is critical in providing resources and education to help entrepreneurs grow and compete. 

Seventy-four companies have participated in Growth Lab since 2016, raising more than $892 million in funding and creating more than 4,216 jobs. As co-lead sponsor of the program, J.P. Morgan provides Growth Lab participants with access to the firm’s network of global experts and resources.  

“The founders in Cohort 13 are problem solvers, developing unique products and solutions across a range of industries, from technology and software to food and beverage,” said David Barbee, Head of LGBTQ+ Initiatives, J.P. Morgan Commercial Banking. “As they continue to scale, these companies will need access to resources like capital and banking solutions, investors and business advisors. We are proud to join forces with StartOut to provide mentorship and access to our firmwide capabilities to help them reach the next level.” 

The companies selected to join Cohort 13 are:

  • (Washington, D.C.): Generates custom visual identities and marketing materials for startups. 
  • Gay Water (New York, NY): Offers mission-driven lifestyle products that celebrate and empower the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Growbie (Boston, MA): Delivers career support for international students in the United States.
  • Hera Solutions, Inc. (Atlanta, GA): Supports delivery companies’ operations with performance tracking, automated coaching and vehicle management.
  • Merify (Portland, OR): Empowers people managers through a community-based skills assessment platform. 
  • Modica (Louisville, KY): Offers a superfood cocktail and mocktail mix for consumers.
  • PopViewers (New York, NY): Provides media consumers a platform to react and engage with TV and movies.
  • Rare Candy (New York, NY): Enables card collectors to trade cards on a digital platform. 
  • Studious (New York, NY): Helps individuals study through an AI-driven, gamified learning assistant. 

“Each Growth Lab introduces us to an inspiring new cohort of founders, bringing fresh ideas, breaking barriers and expanding our vibrant, global StartOut community,” said Brian Richardson, CEO of StartOut. “We’re delighted to continue this vital work with J.P. Morgan and look forward to another exciting five-month journey.”

To learn more about the StartOut Growth Lab, including details on the application process for the next cohort, visit:

For more information on the financial solutions available to guide business growth, visit:

Learn more about JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community at

You can view the original press release here.

About StartOut
Founded in 2009, StartOut, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the largest national organization to support LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs with over 28K members nationwide. Its mission is to accelerate the growth of the LGBTQ+ community to drive its economic empowerment, building a world where every LGBTQ+ entrepreneur has equal access to lead, succeed, and shape the workforce of the future. StartOut helps aspiring LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs start new companies; supports current entrepreneurs as they grow and expand their existing businesses; and engages successful entrepreneurs as role models and mentors, on its online portal and through targeted events nationwide. For more information, please visit

About JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading financial services firm based in the United States of America (“U.S.”), with operations worldwide. JPMorgan Chase had $3.9 trillion in assets and $328 billion in stockholders’ equity as of December 31, 2023. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management. Under the J.P. Morgan and Chase brands, the Firm serves millions of customers in the U.S., and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients globally. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

Media Contacts

JPMorgan Chase
Elizabeth Connerat 

Jonathan Ochart 


Serial Entrepreneur and LGBTQ+ Advocate Hernan Lopez Joins StartOut Board of Directors

SAN FRANCISCO, November 2023 – StartOut, the leading non-profit supporting LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, proudly announces the appointment of Hernan Lopez (he/him) to its Board of Directors. A visionary entrepreneur, investor, and fierce LGBTQ+ advocate, Hernan brings a wealth of experience and passion to the mission of empowering queer entrepreneurs. 

Hernan is the Founder and former CEO of Wondery, a prominent podcast publisher acquired by Amazon in 2021. Under his leadership, Wondery became the largest independent podcast company, producing immersive storytelling shows such as Dr Death, Dirty John, and Business Wars. With 31 #1 shows on Apple Podcasts and numerous podcast-to-TV adaptations, Hernan’s contributions to the industry are immeasurable, building on his two-decade career in television.

“We are thrilled to welcome Hernan Lopez to the StartOut Board of Directors,” said CEO Brian Richardson. “His remarkable achievements, unwavering advocacy, and commitment to diversity inspire LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs worldwide. With Hernan on board, we are confident that StartOut will continue to empower queer entrepreneurs and foster a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Following the success of Wondery, Hernan co-founded Danvas, an innovative venture dedicated to merging digital art with the real world, through luxury LED displays and groundbreaking software that were exhibited at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Pace Gallery and recognized in Fast Company’s Innovation By Design awards. 

In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Hernan is the Founder and Chairperson of the Hernan Lopez Family Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to promoting diversity in leadership from the demand side as well as the supply side. The Foundation advances its mission through targeted grants and a dedicated Fellowship program that has worked directly with 20 promising diverse professionals over the last three years. Hernan is also a former member of GLAAD and founding Governor of The Podcast Academy.

“Joining the StartOut Board of Directors is not just an honor;  it’s a profound commitment to championing the dreams of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs,” Hernan said. “StartOut is the leading force in shaping a more equitable future for queer founders and business leaders. I look forward to working with the Board to ensure this mission continues to flourish and that all entrepreneurs have the same resources to succeed.”

Just last year, Hernan was honored with our 2022 Trailblazer Award at the 11th Annual StartOut Awards.

Hernan’s appointment signifies a significant step forward in StartOut’s mission to support and elevate LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. His unique perspective, entrepreneurial insight, and passion for advocacy will undoubtedly shape the organization’s future initiatives, ensuring that queer entrepreneurs have the resources and support they need to succeed.

Nasty Pig Founders David Lauterstein and Fred Kearney to Receive the 2023 Advocate Award

Being an advocate isn’t just a title; it means living your values daily. Advocates believe in change and then work their magic, tearing down barriers, challenging preconceived notions, and paving the way for others to follow. 

This year, StartOut is ready to roll out the rainbow carpet to honor two advocates who have torn down barriers and changed the face of business and marketing for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs everywhere: David Lauterstein and Frederick Kearney, the couple behind the iconic Nasty Pig brand.

Nasty Pig was founded by David and Frederick (Fred) in 1994. When the two met in New York City, their shared passion for design and love of the LGBTQ+ community inspired them to start a clothing line that fearlessly celebrated queer sexuality – at a time when the AIDS epidemic continued to ravage our communities and queer sexuality was seen by many as a dangerous vulnerability for any new company. 

With an initial investment of fifty dollars without any business experience, the couple began buying fabric and making clothing for their friends in the underground club and leather scenes of the early nineties. David and Fred persisted, growing that fifty dollars into an international juggernaut, changing apparel companies’ approach when designing and marketing their products. Over the last 30 years, they have continued to give back to the community, regularly hosting fundraisers for LGBTQ+ organizations that support youth, people experiencing homelessness, and others. 

“Dave and Fred are a testament to the power of queer innovation, resilience, and drive,” said CEO Brian Richardson. “They challenged conventional wisdom, celebrated sexuality, and transformed an industry. Through every stitch and design, they empower everyone to embrace their unique identities unapologetically.”

Today, Nasty Pig is widely considered the original sex-positive queer sportswear brand. Lauterstein and Kearney, co-founders and husbands of 28 years, never lose sight of why Nasty Pig exists: to design clothing for the community they love and help their customers feel sexy and empowered.

For more information on the 12th StartOut Awards and our 2023 awardees, visit our website.
Are you interested in attending in person? Purchase tickets for October 12th here!’s Joseph Schneier Joins StartOut Board of Directors

StartOut is thrilled to announce that Joseph Schneier, a visionary leader in global education, healthcare, and insurance technology, has joined the StartOut Board of Directors. With over two decades of groundbreaking work, he’s been a trailblazer in shaping the future of care and support for our older adult population.

Since 2012, Mr. Schneier’s primary focus has been on the older adult population. Joseph founded three companies in this space—Cinematic Health, that trains CNAs, Home Health Aides, and Personal Care Assistants; BellAge (with James Firman, the former CEO of the National Council on Aging), a company working with Area Agencies on Aging on longevity initiatives; and a company focused on connecting sales, marketing, and member experience for the 150m Americans that receive insurance through Medicare, Medicaid, or Marketplace plans. 

“In the 20 years I have been working as an entrepreneur, I have had countless people and organizations help me along the way, including StartOut which was instrumental in the earliest days of my current company,” said Schneier. “I am so very proud to be able to join with them further the great work they do to support LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs at every step of their journey.”

Mr. Schneier has spoken at TedMed, Lake Nona, and JP Morgan Healthcare. He is a mentor at New York University, Wharton, Cornell, Bill and Melinda Gates Pivotal Ventures Longevity Program with Techstars, Northwestern Mutual Black Founders Program, CUNY and various other academic institutions.  Mr. Schneier sits on the board of AvanleeCare, a Caregiver company, The Sam and Devorah Foundation for Transgender Youth, Superbia Credit Union (an LGBTQ credit union), Stonewall Community Development Corporation (a non-profit focused on LGBTQ senior housing), and is a member of the LGBTQ+ Biden Council and the LGBTQ+ Queens District Attorney Council.

Inclusive LGBTQ+ Policies Improve Economic Outcomes, New StartOut Report Finds


New data and policy insights reveal how multiple states could have created thousands of jobs and raised billions of dollars in additional funding if they passed non-discriminatory laws.


September 26, 2023 (SAN FRANCISCO) – Today, StartOut released the 2023 State of LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurship Report, revealing how specific states and metropolitan areas could have achieved greater economic success if they implemented more inclusive LGBTQ+ public policies. 

Key public policy findings from the report reveal that between 2010 and 2020, there is very strong evidence that:

  • Texas could have created 121,000 additional jobs, and
  • Florida could have created 55,000 additional jobs

if policies like State Employee Benefits Coverage for Transition-Related Care were implemented.

  • Texas could recover $42B in funding,
  • Alabama could recover $10B in funding, and
  • Oklahoma could recover $10B in funding 

if policies like “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” Laws were repealed.

“Discrimination is harmful to people’s lives and local economies,” said Irene Tang, Director of Data and Insights at StartOut. “Previous studies have shown that areas with higher LGBTQ+ populations also have higher economic outcomes.”

“With the new report, we’ve taken this notion one-step forward by using a difference-in-differences analysis to provide evidence that anti-LGBTQ policies hurt their local economies,” Tang continued. “We analyzed 10 years of economic data, comparing states and metros that did and didn’t pass prejudicial policies to show that LGBTQ-exclusion policies harm entrepreneurship outcomes.”  

The 2023 State of LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurship Report gathered data from a variety of sources, including the StartOut Index, Crunchbase, and Pitchbook, to identify insights about LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. StartOut analyzed data from 142,000 startup founders and 95,000 companies that have raised at least $250,000 in funding between 2000 to 2022 to develop the report. 

Highlights from the report show that: 

  • Only 0.5% of the $2.1 trillion in startup funding was raised by LGBTQ+ founders, while nationwide, 7.1% of the population identifies as LGBTQ+.
  • LGBTQ+ founders created 36% more jobs, 114% more patents, and 44% more exits, despite raising 16% less funding compared to the average founder.
  • Of the funding raised by LGBTQ+ founders, 85% was raised in only five metros with San Francisco raising six times more than New York City or Los Angeles and 12 times more than Denver, CO, or Austin, TX. 
  • The largest metros without any LGBTQ+ founders are Orlando, FL, Charlotte, NC, and Birmingham, AL, all of which are located in states without comprehensive non-discrimination policies for LGBTQ+ people. 

“We’ve set out to measure not just the barriers and challenges facing these entrepreneurs, but the millions of jobs and thousands of life-changing inventions they are already creating across the U.S.,” said Dr. Vivienne Ming, inventor of the StartOut Index and Chair Emeritus of StartOut. “Even beyond those numbers, the StartOut Index maps the potential increase in jobs, innovation, and economic activity that come from passing state and local policies that celebrate how each of us add to our communities rather than how we conform.”



The report includes insights from the StartOut Index, an interactive resource that provides data on the landscape of investment in the LGBTQ+ community. The new policy feature in the index reveals how public policies impact entrepreneurship and jobs created. This data offers unprecedented insights for government officials, nonprofits, and economic decision makers, helping them identify key policy changes that can promote or hinder LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship and economic activity.

StartOut collected monthly entrepreneurial data from its own sources as well as Crunchbase and Pitchbook from 2000 onward.

To develop the StartOut Index’s policy feature, StartOut collected data for the years 2010 and 2020. Some data were aggregated through the decade for a cumulative value.  

To view the 2023 State of LGBTQ Entrepreneurship Report, please visit To learn more about StartOut’s methodology, please visit


About StartOut

Founded in 2009, StartOut, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the largest national organization to support LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs with over 25,000 members nationwide. Its mission is to accelerate the growth of the LGBTQ+ community to drive its economic empowerment, building a world where every LGBTQ+ entrepreneur has equal access to lead, succeed and shape the workforce of the future. To learn more about StartOut, visit

About Socos

Socos Labs was created by Dr. Vivienne Ming after a career founding companies and nonprofits to overcome challenges in education, the workforce and health. Socos Labs is a mad science incubator that explores messy human problems. Socos experiments with whole new visions of work, education, innovation and inclusive economies to inform more human-centered policy. To learn more about Socos, visit

About StartOut’s Sponsors

This research was made possible by a grant from Comcast NBCUniversal.

If you’d like to contribute as a data partner, financial sponsor, researcher, or project contributor, you can reach StartOut at


Media Contact
Jonathan Ochart


inKind’s Johann Moonesinghe to Receive the 2023 Next Generation Award

By definition, the entrepreneurship ecosystem is focused on tomorrow. This is why every year, StartOut honors a forward-looking leader who is helping redefine tomorrow for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs with our Next Generation Award. 

These leaders embody catalysts for change in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. They embrace diversity, collaborate across borders, and harness technology to address global challenges. They are not bound by traditional hierarchies but instead prioritize transparency, empathy, and inclusivity in their leadership styles. 

This year, we will honor Johann Moonesinghe (he/him) of inKind as our 2023 Next Generation Award recipient.

Johann is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor with seed level investments in companies including Uber, Twilio and All Birds. He personally invested in 30 restaurants before founding and operating a restaurant incubator from 2015-2020 to help chefs run their businesses. 

“Johann isn’t just an entrepreneur and investor, he is redefining both entrepreneurship and investing for the next generation of entrepreneurs,” said StartOut CEO Brian Richardson. “He enjoyed his own personal success as a founder, but is now using that experience to change the system. Johann is making sure LGBTQ+ founders and others have a real chance to create their own success. That’s leadership that transcends generations.”

As CEO/co-founder of inKind, he combines his finance experience, restaurant expertise, and passion for food. Under Johann’s leadership, inKind has funded over 1,000 restaurants with 450,000 users. inKind co-founder and Johann’s younger brother, Rajan Moonesinghe, was killed in November 2022. This tragic event has caused Johann to double down on the purpose of inKind – to help restaurant owners be financially sustainable. 

Earlier in the year, inKind committed to fund $250mm to independent restaurants, 75% of whom are minority, female, LGBT or veteran owned. Along with inKind funding, inKind provides technology, partnerships, and other support to ensure that the restaurants are successful.

For more information on the 12th StartOut Awards and our 2023 awardees, visit our website.
Are you interested in attending in person? Purchase tickets for October 12th here!

Happy Pride!

This year, StartOut is celebrating our 15th anniversary! There is no better time to donate to our Pride Campaign and join our legacy of empowering the next generation LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs.