By John Kregler, StartOut

Franck Marchis (he/him) considers himself a scientist-turned-entrepreneur. The three-year StartOut veteran came to our community with the goal of creating a product so accessible that anyone could be connected with their love for astronomy. He had the background and vision, and all he needed was the support to dive in.

In 2017 Franck co-found Unistellar, whose primary product — the eVscope — provides a smart, digital telescope solution that gives people instant access to the planets and stars. …

By John Kregler, StartOut

Bridget Jones (she/her) could be considered a newbie to StartOut, joining as a member only four months ago. But in that short window of time, Bridget’s gone from a mentee learning from our community of experts to a fully-developed member of the StartOut Growth Lab’s 8th Cohort.

Bridget, the Founder and COO at Chisel Tech Lab, was introduced to StartOut by Growth Lab alumnus Demetrius Curry, the CEO and Co-Founder of College Cash. The two originally met through Melanence, an ecosystem that supports Black tech startup founders. …

By John Kregler, StartOut

Charlotte Bowens (She/Her/They) loves being outside. A few years ago Charlotte, like so many of us, decided to take control of her physical and mental health and found her motivation out on the hiking trails. By walking, jogging and running, Charlotte found her mission outdoors.

But that mission came with a challenge as Charlotte, a self-described ‘bigger-bodied woman,’ had trouble finding outdoor apparel that fit. Many retail options simply didn’t cater to sizes above a large and after searching far and wide with no result, Charlotte decided to do something about it.

That’s when she started…

StartOut Founders Reflect on Growth Lab’s Impact

By: Pete Holmberg

If there’s one thing the last year has taught us, it’s the importance of human connection. As we struggled in our professional and personal lives to maintain existing relationships, and cultivate the skills to build new ones with people we’d never met in person, the role camaraderie plays in success has never been more clear. …

We talk to StartOut members about how StartOut can better support Black LGBTQ entrepreneurs.

By: StartOut

We could all feel that this Black History Month was going to be different than those in previous years. We knew as an organization that the events of 2020 had a large impact on a lot of our members, especially those in the Black community who experienced the compounding of the COVID-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd in a more visceral way. We spoke to some of those members about how their business was affected by the events of 2020 and how…

Do LGBTQ Entrepreneurs Have a Unique Advantage in Facing the Challenges of COVID-19?

By Pete Holmberg

There’s no question that COVID-19 has brought great hardship beyond the lost lives, isolation, compromised living situations, financial devastation, and physical wreckage resulting from the virus. Even the most fortunate among us are struggling to adjust to a radically altered new normal. 2020 is a challenge for everyone, but the question on our minds is this: Have the entrepreneurs in our community acquired unique skills that are now playing a significant role in their survival process? …

StartOut Founders Tell Us How Their Heritage Has Influenced Them As Entrepreneurs

By: Pete Holmberg

We bring who we are to our relationships, to our day-to day-tasks, and most definitely to our careers. As entrepreneurs, our missions are born out of life experiences and DNA. With StartOut celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, we reached out to some of our Hispanic and Latinx Founders to hear about the role their culture plays in their daily lives and their identity as entrepreneurs.

For Maica Gil, Founder of Heroikka, a digital platform that connects women-led projects and their needs with global networks and social…

StartUp’s Network is Paving New Inroads Beyond and Within the LGBTQ Community

By: Pete Holmberg

Even though I’ve been out of the closet since high school, I spent years in the business world before I encountered gay colleagues, and well over a decade before I reported to someone who was a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Moving to New York City in 1992 at the age of 25, my homosexuality was hardly a secret, but any professional issues that needed to be navigated because of it felt intensely private. As if they were my own personal burden that I had…

Growth Lab Entrepreneurs from our Current Cohort Share Their Stories

By: Pete Holmberg

We hear it all the time: Being a founder can be a very lonely experience. When the past participants of The StartOut Growth Lab, sponsored by DLA Piper (we are currently on Cohort #6) tell us what they appreciate most, camaraderie always makes the top of the list. In addition to compassionate high-level mentoring, a key component of the StartOut value proposition is the safe harbor that develops when highly ambitious entrepreneurs discover like-minded people with whom they can be vulnerable. …

Chris Young, StartOut’s Board Chair, discusses the launch of the StartOut Pride Economic Impact Index (SPEII), two years in the making with Socos Labs.

About 5 months ago — before COVID-19 upended everything — I wrote a blog post about the StartOut Pride Economic Impact Index, commonly referred to as the SPEII. Today we are officially taking it out of beta mode and launching this living, breathing platform to help drive economic growth and empowerment!

The index, generously supported by JPMorgan Chase, has been in both development and in public beta for well over a year in a partnership between…


StartOut’s mission is to increase the number, diversity, and impact of LGBTQ entrepreneurs.

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