Growth Lab

StartOut Growth Lab is a startup accelerator that offers top quality mentoring, education, and networking opportunities for companies that happen to be founded or co-founded by LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs.


graduated companies


in funding raised


new jobs

Our Impact

Since our founding, the 74 graduated companies have raised $892M in funding and created over 4,216+ new jobs. Those numbers are a testament to the quality of entrepreneurs we accept and the extent of the resources we offer to them.

We are making a real impact promoting diversity within startup communities across the nation. StartOut Growth Lab (“SGL”) hosts a new virtual cohort of early-stage companies every six months. Up to ten companies are selected for each cohort. Think your company has what it takes?

Each cohort is a 5-month long program. Our next Cohort will start on September 3, 2024. 

Application for Cohort 14 are due July 12, 2024

How to Apply for Growth Lab

To apply to the Growth Lab, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Create an account with StartOut: Click here to create an account.

Step 2: Complete the Founder’s Application: This standard application covers details about yourself and your business.

Step 3: Answer Growth Lab-specific questions: At the end of the application (Page 6), respond to the questions related to the Growth Lab Application.

Step 4: Submit your application: Click ‘submit’ on Page 7.

This entire application process is designed to be quick and should take no more than 20 minutes.


What We Offer

  • A virtual community of LGBTQ+ founders who support and motivate one another.
  • Mentoring from our entrepreneur-in-residence and direct access to StartOut Experts.
  • Weekly digital lunch & learns with guest experts covering a broad range of topics presented by founders, experienced professionals, and investors.
  • A graduation event at the end of your term to celebrate your successes with the StartOut community.
  • Semi-annual in-person events to connect with present and future cohort members

What We Expect

  • A commitment from your company’s founder(s) to participate in the entire 5-month program while working full time on your startup company.
  • A spirit of collaboration, volunteerism, and joy in giving back to your peers and others who contribute to your success.
  • Long hours and hard work to make the most of your tenure at SGL
  • Mandatory attendance at monthly Lunch & Learn events.
  • Participate in an in-person kick-off event in San Francisco

What Makes an Ideal Candidate

  • Company or a subsidiary is registered in the US
  • Product or service is established in the marketplace
  • Business runway is 9+ months (not a requirement)
  • Generating revenue
  • High-growth companies with a path to scalability

Companies Not Suited for the Growth Lab

  • Consulting services
  • Cannabis-related, sex-tech, or firearm companies
  • Brick-and-mortar businesses
  • Pre-MVP
  • Non-profit organizations
  • A company where the founder is not working full-time in the business

Thank You to Our Growth Lab Sponsors

Join StartOut

Almost every LGBTQ+ entrepreneur has encountered unequal access to key resources needed to advance their business.

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.