December 6, 2016 — San Francisco, CA and New York, NY

StartOut, the national non-profit organization that supports, educates and connects LGBTQ entrepreneurs, today announced the launch of its mentorship program, generously supported by AT&T. The AT&T StartOut Mentorship Program is designed to connect LGBTQ entrepreneurs with experienced StartOut members who have “been there, done that” across a wide variety of industries and business functions.

StartOut’s mission is to accelerate success of LGBTQ entrepreneurs, no matter where, at what stage, or in which industry. Powerful mentor-mentee pairings are a critical factor in achieving growth and success. Built up over seven years and nationwide reach, StartOut can count on the most influential and supportive LGBTQ entrepreneurs to share their experience and advice for the benefit of the next generation of business leaders who create jobs, pay taxes, and contribute to their own communities.

“StartOut has been at the forefront of the economic empowerment of the LGBTQ community for years. With our focus on diversity and inclusion, we at AT&T are thrilled to play an important role in the roll out of this program for the LGBTQ community,” said Ken McNeely, President of AT&T California.

“We appreciate AT&T’s generous support and are excited to offer this critical feature to our members,” said Andres Wydler, the organization’s executive director. “The StartOut Community is amazingly supportive of each other. Tapping into its collective knowledge will help give our community a powerful boost, one entrepreneur at a time.“

To ensure effective matching, both mentors and mentees are asked to complete an online application with detailed questions including preferences and relative weighting of various criteria. StartOut then pairs its member experts with mentees and monitors success over a six-month period. Over time and with sufficient data, algorithms will enhance the human matchmaking process. StartOut staff will evaluate and solicit mentors from its member base until every mentee finds a suitable match.

The AT&T StartOut Mentorship Program is a part of the StartOut Community, a digital portal to accelerate the ability of LGBTQ founded and run companies to reach sustainable success, showcase the significant contributions StartOut members make to societies all over the world, and help level the economic playing field for LGBTQ entrepreneurs. The StartOut Community’s educational content, research, and forums are free of charge. The Mentorship Program, a premium feature, follows the launch of the first-of-its-kind LGBTQ entrepreneur directory. An investor portal to connect LGBTQ-friendly investors with member entrepreneurs will round out the online StartOut Community.

To engage and support the ongoing development and program management for this groundbreaking portal, you may join the StartOut Community at Your generous donation will help StartOut continue to build on its tremendous momentum and extend engagement among LGBTQ entrepreneurs and their supporters worldwide.





Founded in 2009, StartOut is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization fostering and developing entrepreneurship in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (“LGBTQ”) community. StartOut helps aspiring LGBTQ entrepreneurs start new companies; supports current LGBTQ entrepreneurs as they grow and expand their existing businesses; and engages successful LGBTQ entrepreneurs as role models and mentors. StartOut’s goals are to support, educate, inspire and connect members of the LGBTQ community around entrepreneurship and business leadership. For more information, please visit


Media Contact:

Andres Wydler, Executive Director
Phone: 415 275 2446