Business » Corporate

StartOut Launches Global LGBTQ Entrepreneur Network

Thursday Oct 19, 2017

StartOut, the largest national non-profit organization to support, educate and connect LGBTQ entrepreneurs, announced Wednesday the launch of the Global LGBTQ Entrepreneur Network, powered by Citi Ventures. The Global Network empowers the LGBTQ community by connecting entrepreneurs and their business partners, investors, and mentors with each other, in a safe and secure environment.

Built on the organization's private online directory, the Global Network will include Citi and Citi Ventures employees and leading LGBTQ entrepreneurs and business partners across the world. The network's goal is to inspire entrepreneurs and build global connections through premier, direct access to like-minded professionals in order to accelerate job creation, broaden one's network through direct referrals to others including LGBTQ-friendly investors, and gain access to new distribution channels to build powerful businesses. Members, including Citi employees that opt in, will receive access to StartOut's private global directory, online forums, mentorship program, and investor portal.

"Bringing a range of perspectives and experiences to the table is not just the right thing to do, it's simply better for business because it leads to more creative solutions and ultimately stronger results," said Vanessa Colella, Head of Citi Ventures and Chief Innovation Officer at Citi. "Partnering with StartOut is a natural next step for Citi Ventures as we continue to broaden and diversify our support for entrepreneurs. With Citi's worldwide presence, we can help unite and support entrepreneurs everywhere."

"Our driven LGBTQ entrepreneurs deserve the same access and success as their straight counterparts, to benefit the communities in which they live," said Andres Wydler, executive director of StartOut. "We are excited to team up with these leading networks and honored that Citi, with its tremendous reach and services for entrepreneurs, chose to support this joint program."

At launch, the program will reach 40,000 professionals in 8 countries, all of whom are invited to participate and engage with one other. The Charter organizations include:

StartOut - USA
LGBTech - Israel
The Golden Gate Business Association - USA
Lezervations - Canada and USA
Fruits in Suits - Japan
Unicorns in Tech - Germany
Series Q - United Kingdom
Queer-Tech-MTL - Canada
Manhattan Chamber of Commerce - USA
LFME LGBT - Mexico
Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce - USA
PINKeLAB - Taiwan

StartOut plans to expand the Global Network to all major entrepreneurial hubs in the US and abroad, and will also join forces with other leading LGBTQ entrepreneur organizations. LGBTQ entrepreneurs and their friends who are not members of our participating organizations are welcome to sign up individually at

Citi Ventures accelerates innovation at Citi through a strategic focus on investing in, piloting and commercializing new solutions with the potential to transform the future of financial services. Headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in San Francisco and New York, Citi Ventures aims to cultivate next-generation experiences for Citi's customers by investing in startups, experimenting with new technologies through its global lab network, and driving enterprise-wide, lean startup-based growth initiatives across Citi's businesses.

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. To support StartOut, please visit . Your generous donation will help StartOut continue to build on its tremendous momentum and extend engagement among LGBTQ entrepreneurs and their supporters worldwide.


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