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February 21, 2024 34 mins

A study done by StartOut found that LGBTQ+ founders created 36% more jobs, 114% more patents, and 44% more exits, despite raising 16% less funding compared to the average cis founder.

In this episode of The Business Gay Podcast, host Calan Breckon speaks with Brian Richardson.

In March 2023, Brian was named the CEO of StartOut, the national nonprofit organization that accelerates the growth of the LGBTQ+ community to drive its economic empowerment, building a world where every LGBTQ+ entrepreneur has equal access to lead, succeed, and shape the workforce of the future.

Previously Brian worked for Lambda Legal, Google, the Democratic National Committee, the U.S. Senate and as a public school teacher. He earned his MBA from UC Berkeley and his BA from the University of Chicago. Brian reads voraciously, dances like no one is watching, loves to travel, and currently lives in Chicago with his 10-year son, Nico.

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Key Takeaways for quick navigation:

  • [00:17] StartOut supports LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs nationwide.
  • [02:08] LGBTQ+ founders face funding barriers, receiving only 0.5% of VC funding.
  • [04:54] Discrimination hinders LGBTQ+ founders in pitching, impacting funding prospects.
  • [08:19] Economic independence is crucial for authentic leadership and social change.
  • [12:43] StartOut's theory aims for economic justice and social equality for the LGBTQ+ community.
  • [15:40] Empowering entrepreneurs fosters inclusive environments, eliminating compromises.
  • [18:01] StartOut's programs, including the Growth Lab, are open globally, fostering LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship.
  • [19:25] StartOut encourages mentorship engagement, connecting LGBTQ+ founders with 500+ mentors.
  • [21:59] StartOut's investor portal connects LGBTQ+ founders with 400-500 investors, recognizing their value.
  • [25:44] StartOut builds a supportive LGBTQ+ community, addressing entrepreneurial loneliness.
  • [29:06] StartOut hosts events, fostering networking opportunities for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs.
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