Awards Celebrate Exceptional LGBT Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders

Thursday November 5th at Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco

San Francisco, CA/New York, NY—9 October 2015: StartOut, the leading organization inspiring, educating, and supporting LGBT entrepreneurs across the US, is pleased to announce the 2015 StartOut Award Honorees. Honorees are selected by the Board of StartOut based on their business success and contributions to the LGBT community.

Past honorees have included: Peter Thiel, Amy Errett, Dave McClure, Ramona Pierson, Tim Gill, and Zoe Dunning, among other outstanding LGBT leaders and allies.

“We’re delighted this year to honor Kara, Andrew, Patrick and Serafina for their individual and collective vision, leadership and standards of accomplishment,” said Patrick Grasso, chair of StartOut. “Each has exceled while also serving as role models for LGBT entrepreneurs. Diversity has been a hot topic recently in the tech world and we’re thrilled to celebrate four individuals who are doing amazing things and blazing trails for countless others.”

StartOut celebrates:

Kara SwisherReceiving the Leadership Award, recognizing an entrepreneur whose long term and outstanding coverage has had a profound effect on the entrepreneurial & technology ecosystem

Kara Swisher is the executive editor of Re/code, host of the Re/code Decode podcast and co-executive producer of the Code Conference. She has been one of the most authoritative media voices covering Silicon Valley for two decades. She has

interviewed President Obama, Hilary Clinton and Lena Dunham, among many others. “Out” for her career, she has been a visible role model for many.

Andrew Tobias—Receiving the Wells Fargo Advocate Award, recognizing an entrepreneur, political leader and investor with a powerful voice

Author of The Best Little Boy In the World and The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need, among his dozen books, Harvard MBA and venture-investor Andrew Tobias has been on the mastheads at New York, Esquire, and Time. He has authored best-selling personal finance software and served for the past 17 years as the first openly gay officer of either of America’s two main political parties. He invites you to guess which one.

Patrick Chung—Receiving the Trailblazer Award, recognizing an innovator in the venture capital industry

Patrick is a founding partner of Xfund, the early-stage venture capital firm with offices in Silicon Valley and Cambridge. Patrick was previously a partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and led the firm’s consumer and seed-stage investment practices. He is a director of 23andMe, Curalate, Euclid, MeCommerce, Philo, and Ravel Law, and is actively involved with CrowdMed, IFTTT, Rock Health, and Upworthy. Past investments include Pulse (acquired by LinkedIn), Loopt (acquired by Green Dot), GoodGuide (acquired by Underwriters Laboratories), Xfire (acquired by Viacom), and Xoom (NASDAQ: XOOM). He is a member of the New York and Massachusetts bars, an elected director of the Harvard Alumni Association, and a director of Harvard Student Agencies.

Serafina Palandech—Receiving the Kevin J. Mossier Next Generation Award, recognizing an emerging entrepreneur of accomplishment

Serafina Palandech is President and Co-Founder of Hip Chick Farms [], a groundbreaking frozen food company focused on providing organic, sustainable and humane meal solutions for busy families, based in Sebastopol, CA. Since launching in 2013, Palandech with her wife, Jennifer Johnson, have introduced Hip Chick Farms into over 1,000 outlets and achieved 900% year over year growth in 2015.


Awards schedule:


Hotel Kabuki San Francisco

6:30 pm – Check-In Begins at Hotel Kabuki, a Joie de Vivre Hotel 6:30 – 7:30 pm – VIP Cocktail Reception (included with VIP Admission) 6:30 – 7:30 pm – Cocktail Reception & Entertainment
7:30 pm – StartOut Awards Gala & Afterparty Begins
-Festive Attire

Tickets available at:

StartOut is pleased to recognize Wells Fargo as the lead sponsor for the Awards; and thanks Pillsbury, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and USBank; and the Kevin J. Mossier Foundation for their valued support of the organization.

About StartOut:

StartOut is the national non-profit organization dedicated to fostering and developing entrepreneurship in the LGBT community. StartOut empowers aspiring entrepreneurs to start new companies, helps current entrepreneurs to grow and expand their businesses, and engages successful LGBT entrepreneurs as role models and mentors for the next generation of business leaders. With six city chapters across the US, StartOut produces annually over 50 programs on education, networking, and access to capital, and mentors entrepreneurs, serving an LGBT network of 14,000 (and growing).

For more information, visit and follow @StartOut For Media Inquiries & Interviews:

Andy Morris
Code Morris for StartOut 917.710.1802

Katie Campisano
Code Morris for StartOut 908.247.8678

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