For Immediate Release:

StartOut Joins Forces With LinkedIn’s Premier LGBT Group

There’s strength in our numbers and together we are stronger

May 9, 2017

New York, NY — StartOut, the largest nonprofit organization for LGBTQ entrepreneurs, is proud to announce a formal partnership with the leading LGBT group on LinkedIn – the LGBT/GLBT Network Leadership and Pride Group. Started in 2008, the original LGBT Pride Group was the first of its kind initiated by Group founder and out and proud Fine Art Finger Painting Artist entrepreneur, Dennis Velco ( This partnership is designed to flex the community’s muscle, showcasing LGBTQ business achievements on LinkedIn and engaging more LGBTQ entrepreneurs and role models to support each other through the StartOut programs.  

“Back in 2008, there were absolutely no LGBT groups of any kind on LinkedIn,” states Dennis Velco. “I kept seeing all these other groups  but wondered why there wasn’t an LGBT Group for professionals like me to network in a more private way. I saw an opportunity and was very persistent, diligent and dedicated and have remained so throughout the years with the same level of conviction as when I started this. It’s a must.” Through his determination and daily dedication over nine years, the LinkedIn Pride Group now boasts over 43,000 LGBTQ+ members from all over the globe – and continues to grow daily. He continues, ”StartOut’s programs are a perfect addition for those group members who want to make a difference through their own businesses. Our respective groups are very complementary.” 

“Dennis shares StartOut’s values of empowering the individual to have a sustainable impact on our society,” explains Andres Wydler, StartOut’s executive director. “This partnership is a two way street. The LGBT LinkedIn Group will be a platform to share our role models and their inspiring contributions, while StartOut will offer to the group members its own programs to accelerate business successes.” Through its online StartOut Community, the nonprofit organization offers a searchable member directory, an investor portal, a mentorship program, educational content, and online member forums. StartOut also hosts over 70 events annually in six major US cities and runs a Growth Lab in San Francisco, CA. The LinkedIn LGBT Network & Pride Group serves a global audience to further strengthen the LGBT community.

Kudos to Dennis Velco, a true LGBTQ+ pioneer helping to move our Community forward in the global professional circles. Read more on Dennis Velco’s unique story, including his talent as one of the country’s rare Fine Art Finger Painter shortly.

Please participate in this partnership and look for inspiring collaborations between these two empowering groups.


To join the LinkedIn LGBT Network Leadership & Pride Group:



To join the StartOut Community:



About StartOut:

Founded in 2009, StartOut is a national nonprofit 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 Contacts:

LinkedIn LGBT Group:

Dennis Velco


Mobile: (813) 297-6383



Andres Wydler, Executive Director

(415) 275-2446