StartOut Index

To encourage allies and organizations to support our community, we are delivering the quantitative case why support not only matters, but benefits society at large. Explore LGBTQ+ demographics and data as they relate to business and the economy in the StartOut Index.

Top Insights

  • Only 0.5% of all the $2.1T in funding raised for startups went to LGBTQ entrepreneurs while the nationwide LGBTQ+ population stands at 7.1%.
  • LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs created 36% more jobs, 114% more patents, and 44% more exits, despite raising 16% less funding compared to the average entrepreneur.
  • Of the funding that went to LGBTQ founders, 85% was raised in only 5 metros (San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, and Boston). San Francisco LGBTQ entrepreneurs received 6 times more funding than those in New York and Los Angeles.
  • The largest entrepreneurial metros without LGBTQ founders are Orlando (FL), Charlotte (NC), and Birmingham (AL). These metros are located in states without comprehensive non-discrimination policies for LGBTQ people.

What is the StartOut Index?

The StartOut Index empowers investors, researchers, government administrators, and people interested in supporting high-growth entrepreneurs with data and LGBTQ demographics to understand the landscape of investment in LGBTQ entrepreneurs. We calculate from our counted numbers an estimated value which represents a value that is closer to the actual value of the target population, as well as the achievable values for our measures of economic impact (i.e. funding, jobs, patents, and exits), for our underrepresented groups. We aim to show what could be the unrealized potential for underrepresented groups with equal access to resources.

This research project is led by StartOut and Socos Labs.

What is a high-growth company or entrepreneur?

A startup company is defined as high-growth based on meeting one of the following criteria:

1. Received any amount of Venture Capital funding, or
2. Received at least $250K in Angel funding, or
3. Generated at least one patent and has created jobs beyond the founding team, or
4. Had an IPO or been acquired by another company.

An entrepreneur or founder is considered high-growth if they are a member of the founding team, i.e. anyone present at the company before its first round of funding, of a high-growth startup company.

What is the Entrepreneurship Equity Score?

The Entrepreneurship Equity Scores shows:

1. How well represented target entrepreneurs are in a region, e.g., LGBTQ entrepreneurs, and
2. Whether there is a gap in what we estimate to be achieved and what we have measured with reported data.

A high Entrepreneurship Equity Score shows this given location performs well in terms of minority representation and achievement in terms of funding, jobs, patents, and exits.

Where can I find more information?

Read more on our methodology page on how to use our tool as well as an in-depth explanation of the methodology in creating this visualization.

How can I contribute?

If you’re an LGBTQ+ entrepreneur, you can self-identify to be included in our dataset by filling out our Entrepreneur Diversity Survey.

If you’d like to contribute as a data partner, financial sponsor, researcher, or project contributor, you can reach us at StartOut is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Key Contributors and Supporters






This research was made possible by the JPMorgan Chase & Co. through Small Business Forward, a five year, $150 million philanthropic initiative connecting underserved small businesses with the capital, targeted assistance, and support networks to help them grow faster, create jobs and strengthen local economies. The views and opinions expressed in this resource are those of StartOut and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of JPMorgan Chase & Co. or its affiliates. Click here for more information about our sponsors.

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