StartOut and Socos Labs announce the launch of the StartOut Pride Economic Impact Index

July 15, 2020 1:30 am
Written by: StartOut
Initiative quantifies the economic value of under-utilized LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who will be integral in re-energizing the US economy, quantifying the potential for job creation and innovation post-COVID 19.

New York, NY (July 15, 2020) – StartOut and Socos Labs are proud to launch the StartOut Pride Economic Impact Index™ (SPEII) to quantify the economic value of under-utilized LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs in near real-time, an industry first. Funded by JPMorgan Chase as part of its $150 million Small Business Forward philanthropic initiative to invest in underserved entrepreneurs, this project is further supported by Ogilvy, Google, Crunchbase, Reaching Out, and the Movement Advancement Project.

The goal of the SPEII is to quantify the unrealized potential of “out” high-growth LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, for the benefit of the US economy at large. While integration of underserved entrepreneurs, including the LGBTQ+ community, may have progressed over the last decades, but their access to critical resources is still far from equal.  This is due in part to the lack of reliable data on the contributions of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who create jobs, raise capital, and innovate, and the impact they could have had with equal access. The SPEII fills that gap at a time when the US needs all talent available to kickstart the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative shows that over the last 20 years, for example,

  • More inclusive access to resources would have created over 2 million jobs in the U.S.
  • Over two of every three US metro areas with at least 50 high-growth entrepreneurs did not show a single one who identifies as LGBTQ+, which presents major growth opportunities for these metro areas.
  • Only about one in ten high-growth LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who would have been expected to close $1M+ in funding actually raised it, illustrating a major opportunity for investors.
  • Metro comparisons reveal big discrepancies in leveraging the economic potential of high-growth LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. While San Francisco benefited from over 15,000 jobs, the numbers in Boston and Chicago were a tiny fraction of that.
  • LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs raised 5 billion in funding. San Francisco, a traditional hub for both entrepreneurship and LGBTQ+ culture, accounted for $3.9 billion of that funding. Funding LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs in the rest of the country is thus a major growth and investment opportunity.

Municipalities, investors, ecosystem builders, and grantors can use the new SPEII to improve environments for founders of diverse backgrounds and reap the corresponding benefits. This product can help decisions based on economic impact and comprehensive quantitative data. Free for anyone to view and dynamically updated at least monthly, the product considers data on a total of five million U.S. entrepreneurs, identifies the approximately 86,000 high-growth entrepreneurs among them who typically raised $1M or more in funding, and compares actual and potential economic output of “out” LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs with their peers. The platform offers views and comparisons by metropolitan area.

“The launch of the SPEII, two years in the making, could not be more timely. Each entrepreneur who has what it takes to drive the recovery of the US economy must get a fair chance to contribute,” added Andres Wydler, StartOut’s executive director. “We are immensely proud to offer, with our partners, an actionable tool for decision makers nationwide who recognize the need to include and leverage all entrepreneurial talent that is able and willing to rise to the occasion.”

An industry first, the initiative utilizes big data analysis and a corresponding AI-driven engine to both measure contributions in close to real time, and calculate what they could be with equal access, thus quantifying the unused potential for job creation and innovation by LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. The easy-to-use platform visualizes growth opportunities by metro areas in terms of jobs, patents, fundraising and company exits.

Dr. Vivienne Ming, founder of Socos Labs, said: “Our big-data driven, close to real-time approach takes the guesswork out of decision making for interventions. Over time, we can evaluate trends and differences with the data at hand and will gain deep insights into which programs and regulations impact opportunities for underrepresented communities, positively and negatively.”

Ted Archer, head of Small Business Forward at JPMorgan Chase, added: “Now more than ever, it is critical to create an environment free of marginalization where all have a chance to share in the economic opportunity that business ownership can provide. SPEII and its near real-time data will enable decision-makers to make data-driven investments that support the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem as we recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis. We are proud to support StartOut in this groundbreaking endeavor that helps put into focus the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community.”

As Diversity & Inclusion is increasingly recognized as a driver for innovation, business success and ultimately shareholder returns, the SPEII allows business leaders and investors to increase impact by integrating LGBTQ+ talent across industries, nationwide.

The StartOut Pride Economic Impact Index is publicly available for free at .




About StartOut:

Founded in 2009, StartOut, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the largest national organization to support LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs with 17K members nationwide.  Its mission is to increase the number, diversity, and impact of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and amplify their stories to drive the economic empowerment of the community. 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 Socos Labs:

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 Labs, email us at 

About JPMorgan Chase:

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.1 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at

About Ogilvy:

Ogilvy has been producing iconic, culture-changing marketing campaigns since the day its founder David Ogilvy opened up shop in 1948. Today, Ogilvy is an award-winning integrated creative network that makes brands matter for Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses across 132 offices in 83 countries. The company creates experiences, design and communications that shape every aspect of a brand’s needs through six core capabilities: Brand Strategy, Advertising, Public Relations and Influence, Customer Engagement and Commerce, Digital Transformation, and Partnerships. Ogilvy is a WPP company (NASDAQ: WWPGY). For more information, visit, or follow Ogilvy on Twitter at @Ogilvy and on

About Crunchbase:
Crunchbase is the leading platform for professionals to discover innovative companies, connect with the people behind them, and pursue new opportunities. Over 50 million professionals— including entrepreneurs, investors, market researchers, and salespeople—trust Crunchbase to inform their business decisions. And, companies all over the world rely on Crunchbase to power their applications, making over a billion calls to our API each year.

About Reaching Out:
Reaching Out MBA’s mission is to increase the influence of the LGBT+ community in business by educating, inspiring, and connecting MBA students and alumni. Over 20 years Reaching Out has grown to include year-round programming including the ROMBA conference, as well as a Fellowship program including 60 top business schools.

Media Contacts:

Andres Wydler, Executive Director
Phone:  415.275.2446

Socos Labs
Sasha Newton, COO
Phone: 510.488.9949

JPMorgan Chase
Haley Dorgan

Tara Mullins
Phone: 212.880.5243