StartOut News & Press

Serial Entrepreneur and LGBTQ+ Advocate Hernan Lopez Joins StartOut Board of Directors

SAN FRANCISCO, November 2023 – StartOut, the leading non-profit supporting LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, proudly announces the appointment of Hernan Lopez (he/him) to its Board of Directors. A visionary entrepreneur, investor, and fierce LGBTQ+ advocate, Hernan brings a wealth of experience and passion to the mission of empowering queer entrepreneurs. 

Hernan is the Founder and former CEO of Wondery, a prominent podcast publisher acquired by Amazon in 2021. Under his leadership, Wondery became the largest independent podcast company, producing immersive storytelling shows such as Dr Death, Dirty John, and Business Wars. With 31 #1 shows on Apple Podcasts and numerous podcast-to-TV adaptations, Hernan’s contributions to the industry are immeasurable, building on his two-decade career in television.

“We are thrilled to welcome Hernan Lopez to the StartOut Board of Directors,” said CEO Brian Richardson. “His remarkable achievements, unwavering advocacy, and commitment to diversity inspire LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs worldwide. With Hernan on board, we are confident that StartOut will continue to empower queer entrepreneurs and foster a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Following the success of Wondery, Hernan co-founded Danvas, an innovative venture dedicated to merging digital art with the real world, through luxury LED displays and groundbreaking software that were exhibited at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Pace Gallery and recognized in Fast Company’s Innovation By Design awards. 

In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Hernan is the Founder and Chairperson of the Hernan Lopez Family Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to promoting diversity in leadership from the demand side as well as the supply side. The Foundation advances its mission through targeted grants and a dedicated Fellowship program that has worked directly with 20 promising diverse professionals over the last three years. Hernan is also a former member of GLAAD and founding Governor of The Podcast Academy.

“Joining the StartOut Board of Directors is not just an honor;  it’s a profound commitment to championing the dreams of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs,” Hernan said. “StartOut is the leading force in shaping a more equitable future for queer founders and business leaders. I look forward to working with the Board to ensure this mission continues to flourish and that all entrepreneurs have the same resources to succeed.”

Just last year, Hernan was honored with our 2022 Trailblazer Award at the 11th Annual StartOut Awards.

Hernan’s appointment signifies a significant step forward in StartOut’s mission to support and elevate LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. His unique perspective, entrepreneurial insight, and passion for advocacy will undoubtedly shape the organization’s future initiatives, ensuring that queer entrepreneurs have the resources and support they need to succeed.

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