32 Remarkable LGBTQ Companies to Watch Happy LGBTQ Pride month! StartOut is the national non-profit dedicated to fostering and developing entrepreneurship in the LGBTQ community, and today we are highlighting companies owned or operated by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary and queer folks as part of our mission to empower LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. Enjoy a brief description of each company as well as a fun fact in the spirit of #LGBTQ+ Pride! TomboyX is an innovative e-commerce company rethinking underwear, loungewear and swimwear — creating garments that are higher quality, more comfortable and offer a better fit. TomBoyX www.tomboyx.com TomboyX started as a shirt company housed in the founders’ one car garage. misterb&b is the the largest gay hotel brand in the world with a community 250,000 strong and 100,000 hosts in over 135 countries misterb&b helps connect the global gay community by enabling gay men to earn money from their spare space and affordably travel the world feeling welcome anywhere they go. Traveling with misterb&b, gay men develop a sense of belonging to the global gay community. misterb&b www.misterbandb.com misterb&b is a 500 Startups alumni. Matthieu Jost, misterb&b co-founder & CEO, was the person to pitch at demo day. Unknown to all was his very intense stage fright. Yet, as it turned out, Matthieu was awarded best demo pitch from the batch! Launched in 2016, revolucion offers a full range of high quality fitness apparel for women and men. But revolucion is much more than fitness apparel; it’s a commitment to a better world. revolucion partners with non-profit organizations committed to social justice and the quest to end poverty. revolucion www.revolucionla.com The co-founders of revolucion are married and met in a spin class years before launching their fitness brand. Ever been planning to go out with a group/with your family/with your client and can’t decide where to go? We solve that problem. And then we help you book and get all relevant deals. SquadCierge squadcierge.co One component of our platform is to highlight LGBTQ-owned businesses to those interested. SquadCierge was also selected as one of 24 invitees (by far the earliest stage) to present to a crowd of 15k+ at Money 2020 in Las Vegas. PridePocket is a crowdfunding platform + resource center for disadvantaged individuals in the community. PridePocket’s goal is to provide a safe space to find accurate information on LGBTQ-related issues to anyone in need. Pride Pocket www.pridepocket.org Everyone working on PridePocket identifies as an LGBTQA individual. As a Public Benefit Corportation, PopUpster’s mission is to spark community and economic development by fostering entrepreneurship, especially in low-income, minority and other disadvantaged communities. Our vision is that everyone should be able to start a business, and every business should start as a PopUp! PopUpsters www.popupsters.com You left your heart in San Francisco, and then it PoppedUp! PopUpsters is a Westly Young Innovator, Peoples Choice in the 1776.vc Challenge Cup and Global Urban Innovator in the New Cities Foundation. Coming Out is a 501c3 non-profit, open-source library of stories for the LGBTQA community. Coming Out NFP www.comingout.space Coming Out is a young organization (just over a year old) dedicated to building a massive, diverse collection of stories that makes it easy for anyone to find a story they can relate to. Submit yours on the site! If you want to get involved, they have room for volunteers and Board members. First brand of men’s shoes sold via quarterly subscription. Raised $28K via Kickstarter in late 2015, ran a beta test in 2016, now need capital to scale up after multiple early indicators of strong market interest! King & Stone www.kingandstone.com King & Stone was only able to get started after the US Supreme Court legalized marriage equality. One of the Co-Founders is from the Netherlands and he could not risk his work visa to live in the USA until he got his green card via legalized marriage equality! The first genuine social and resources mobile app designed for the LGBT community. Chippr is the most authentic and entertaining new way for you to engage and meet like-minded friends in your local community. Chippr www.chipprapp.com The name Chippr (chipper) came about when the founder was searching for synonyms of “gay” and “happy”. Investing in real estate is a great way to build wealth, but it remains out of reach for many people living in cities with a high cost of living. Limited inventory, vacancy, turnover and tenancy issues also frustrate the process. DwellCity solves this problem by partnering with developers to deliver high-quality brand new rental inventory and GUARANTEEING RETURNS TO INVESTORS via our hands-off process — investors buy, sit back and collect income! DwellCity www.dwell.city The founder started DwellCity because he loved engineering, construction and interior design — those three parts of himself combined well, into Dwell…City! After owning a few homes, he wanted to make the processes of investing and leasing real estate seamless, so that is what DwellCity is doing! Zeguro’s mission is to empower every business to withstand the unknown! It proactively reduces your risk from cyber attacks and insures your business against such attacks. With simplicity at it’s core, you do not need to be a cyber security expert to protect your business — Zeguro does it for you. Zeguro www.zeguro.com Zeguro has a proud, diverse team — 60% LGBTQ team, 50% LGBTQ advisors, and 5 countries represented! Wimbify is the first Social Travelsharing App especially designed for the LGBT Community by Sonders&Beach. A safe and trusted community of real LGBT travelers where meet travel companions and local guides, to experience destinations like a real Lgbt local. Wimbify www.wimbify.com/ Wimbify will be the protagonist of the Milan Gay Pride in Italy! 67 big screens around the city will showcase our gay-friendly video ads and our mascot will attend the parade wearing the LGBT Local Hero costume! sharewithpride.com Bravely is the “Switzerland” of employee relations — partnering with company leadership and HR departments to offer independent, off-the-record guidance to their workforce, about everything from coworker conflicts to performance reviews. Bravely www.workbravely.com Bravely’s co-founders met in the early days of Gilt Groupe, when one was an intern & the other his chosen friend in HR for daily harassment about his full-time job offer. Siyea provides intelligent accounts receivable. Most people need more payment options besides pay all, now. Siyea creates realistic payment options tailored to customers’ current financial pictures using machine learning and AI. Siyea www.siyea.net Not only does Siyea follow the 1–1–1 company culture policy, they also follow the lesser known B-B-B: burgers, burritos, and Boston Terriers. Charm is a digital wallet of prepays that allows consumers to store money with merchants and receive higher return yields than other kinds of medium-term investments. Charms for recurrent transactions (subscriptions) and single purchases with targeted time-periods (gifts, goals) are available to buy and trade within the Charm app and website. Capitao www.capitao.org The founder came up with Charm while thinking about how to help farmers in Africa. As he spoke with friends in NYC, he realized that we all can improve our lives with Charm. TuckrBox is the first farm-to-lunch box meal program and food education app just for kids! Their mission is to create a healthier generation through food and technology. TuckrBox www.tuckrbox.com TuckrBox has a children’s character mascot named Tobi Tuckr, who is “hangry” for healthy. Tobi’s silly antics help kids get excited about trying new foods. Meghan Carreau (CEO/Co-Founder) created the androgynous character based on her childhood self. Growing up Meghan, unbeknownst to her parents, was gluten intolerant and would have mood swings that went from hyper, silly, happy to “hangry, grumpy and tired.” Tobi Tuckr is an alien monster who is not used to our commercial food world with its unhealthy empty foods. He helps kids understand that what you eat everyday can have a big affect on your energy levels, brain power and even your mood! Campus Bike is a new take on the existing bike share model. As opposed to offering a network of shared bikes that can be costly & unpredictably available, they lease branded bikes, directly to college students, for personal use for the entire school year. Campus Bike www.campus.bike The Consciousness Economy is a big part of Campus Bike. At the end of each school year, riders from each campus will choose a local charity, within the sponsor’s business segment, and the company will donate a percentage of the profits, which helps improve the community. We believe that giving back to the local community is an important aspect of our business, while also promoting a healthy lifestyle while in college. Blendoor is B2B SaaS that mitigates unconscious bias in hiring: hides data that’s not relevant (name, age, photo, etc) & highlights data that is. Human resources subject to human nature means NOT hiring the best talent. Natural ignorance trumps artificial intelligence. Blendoor www.blendoor.com The founder, Stephanie Lampkin, qualified to compete in the junior Olympics in downhill ski racing when Stephanie was 16. B-Change’s bold mission is to build an app that makes the world a more inclusive place. They’ll achieve this by cultivating a market for inclusive businesses and diverse communities. B-Change Group www.b-change.org B-Change’s inclusion app initiative received an encouraging nod last April when Fast Company magazine named the app as a finalist in this year’s World Changing Ideas Awards. The app’s journey towards global launch begins this June when public beta-testing kicks off in Southeast Asia. Circadian Risk creates software for security/safety consultants and professionals to help them analyze risk on a daily basis at a company’s physical building. The platform helps companies understand what their risk is of a theft, fire, an active shooter scenario and many other types of risks. Circadian Risk Inc. www.circadianrisk.co The Founder, Daniel Young, was the Co-Chair of Michigan Pride for 6 years. Circadian Risk also was a part of the U of M Desai Accelerator Winter 2017 Cohort. AdvisorConnect is a sales enablement application that replaces outdated and manual processes with a digital solution built specifically for the insurance agent and financial advisor of the future AdvisorConnect www.advisorconnect.co AdvisorConnect investors include a number of StartOut members, Harvard Business School Alumni Angels and has been featured in Forrester Research, Investment News, Valley Watch, Venture Beat, and Tech Crunch. We believe that luxury travel and communityengagement are not mutually exclusive. Ourpersonalized journeys are designed with thebenefits of both in mind, intertwiningimpeccable service and accommodations withthe opportunity to truly experience yourdestination in-depth and give back to localcommunities at the same time.The Evolved Traveler has also just added Evolved Retreats, a subsidiary focused on wellness travel that implements the same core values of responsible travel. The Evolved Traveler www.evolvedtraveler.com The Evolved Traveler has just added Evolved Retreats, a subsidiary focused on wellness travel. GPSGAY aims to revert the incorrect image that many people still have about the gay community, which provokes isolation to 10% of the human population. It seems that most of the online services for LGBT are dating and sexual encounters apps, focusing specially on men. Yes, sex is part of our lives, but is not the only thing. GPSGAY is a for-profit with social impact, looking to become the epicenter of the LGBT culture online. GPSGAY is a collaborative space for the LGBT community, available in Mobile Apps (Android & iOS) and also via website, that provides a safe space where the whole community can interact with each other, find content, movies, NGOs for support, events, and places to go out to. Available in Spanish, English and Portuguese, it also works as a channel for companies that wish to reach the LGBT community. Companies and organizations that are already working with GPSGAY include Dove (Unilever), IBM and the United Nations. GPSGAY www.gpsgay.com/ GPSGAY was the first app directed to the LGBT community to be recognized as one of the “Best Up and Coming Apps in the World” in the Mobile Premiere Awards in Barcelona in 2015 . GayStay offers a fresh and inclusive way for LGBTQ globetrotters to travel the world. GayStay is a LGBTQ owned and operated online marketplace that puts the needs of the LGBTQ community front and center. Through our platform, users can browse, list and book accommodations. At GayStay, we pride ourselves on offering environments that our users find welcoming and safe. GayStay www.gaystaybnb.com GayStay serves as a portal to connect with the global LGBTQ community and proudly affirms that LGBTQ spaces matter. MotaWord does language translation, fast. Powered by 100% human, 100% language professionals, and supported by AI systems to bring order to the collaborative parallel-processing of our translation method. 80+ languages and 12000+ linguists, all at the click of a button (www.motaword.com). MotaWord www.motaword.com/ MotaWord’s recent funding round was picked up by the press after someone spotted reference to it in our open letter to French President Macron (he set up their incubation program in Paris). LGBT Media Inc. is The Digital Media Company that Connects the entire LGBTQ Community. LGBT Media Inc. owns two mobile apps: LGBTQutie and QutieLife, available for iOS and Android. LGBTQutie is an LGBTQ Social App. The app is a game changer in the LGBTQ social landscape due to its inclusivity and focus on meaningful connections rather than hook-ups. The app is community based providing a space for users to interact with the latest LGBTQ news, blogs, events and social causes. LGBT Media Inc. will soon be launching QutieLife, a rebranded LGBTQ themed game, (acquired from Atari Inc.) to pair with its social app allowing users to have a fun, engaging and interactive experience. QutieLife is a social simulation game centered on the celebration of LGBTQ culture and pride. The game allows users to build their own city and spread fun by running pride parades. LGBT Media Inc. www.LGBTQutie.com LGBTQutie was published in 23 editorials. High end chocolate & confections from concept to final product. BASEL B INC www.baselbinc.com Basel B Inc. was featured on fox news for Chocolate Salon 2017. Monkey Business: 101 RANGA TANK www.rangatank.com Ranga Tank was invited to audition for Shark Tank! TurnOut connects volunteers with LGBTQ+ causes. Their mission is to support the full infrastructure of queer nonprofits and to promote volunteerism and community engagement among LGBTQ+ people and allies. We work with LGBTQ+ groups at high schools, colleges, and companies to help volunteers meet their service goals and help nonprofits meet community needs. TurnOut www.turnout.org A lot of folks don’t realize how many different ways volunteers support our community. You can wash puppies that provide emotional support to LGBTQ+ people with life-threatening illnesses; you can usher at an international LGBTQ+ film festival and get free tickets to festival events. And if you wanted a date to join you for the movie, you wouldn’t be the first person to leave a volunteering event with a phone number in your pocket. Hot Mess aims to reconnect LGBT nightlife and culture. Hot Mess www.hotmess.social Hot Mess trademarked “Hot Mess” two years ago but don’t worry, everyone can still say it ;-) Chorus Connection builds technology for choirs. There are an estimated 300,000 choirs in the US alone, and numerous administrative challenges face these organizations: managing singers, donors, websites, tickets, various marketing channels, music licenses, and more. The goal of Chorus Connection is to be the go-to technology solution provider for choirs, enabling them to provide richer experiences for and connect more effectively with their singers, patrons, and communities. Chorus Connection www.chorusconnection.com Not only does Chorus Connection serve choirs, but we sing, too! Check out the ChoCo Puffs, our (2 person) employee choir on YouTube . Jack Turner Productions mission is to provide edgy, thought provoking, and gay affirming theatrical and film products. Jack Turner Productions www.lubemusical.info Jack Turner Productions created an online “Which Lube Character Are You” on Facebook at https://apps.facebook.com/lube-quiz.
Happy LGBTQ+ Pride 2017!
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