LGBTQ Venture Capitalists and Startup Advisors
Venture capitalists provide the funding required to launch innovative new projects where there is a substantial amount of risk of success. These projects might be new ideas, or they might be an expansion of an existing business. The hope for the venture capitalist is that the ideas or products are hugely successful and generate a substantial return on their investment in a relatively short time period.
The world of venture capital is not commonly perceived as inclusive and diverse. Much of the activity by LGBTQ venture capitalists is affinity based investment where they put money into companies whose values they support and are led by people with whom they have a sense of community and connection.
For LGBTQ entrepreneurs, being out themselves creates challenges right from the beginning. Research shows that they face greater obstacles than their straight counterparts by adversely affecting their ability to line up suppliers, customers, hire employees, and so on. Thus, it is more challenging for them to get funding for their ventures. However, being out conveys a certain honesty and integrity being applied to the venture that is appreciated by funders. It also means that location of the venture is important to success for an LGBTQ entrepreneur, and more LGBTQ ventures are founded in supportive areas such as Boston, California, New York, or Washington.
For an LGBTQ entrepreneur, having a relationship with an LGBTQ venture capitalist or startup advisor can make a big difference in the process of starting up their business. Because of the high degree of risk in the success of the venture, trust is an important ingredient to the relationship between the entrepreneur and the funder. A trusting relationship can translate into success for the venture itself. The relationship between the two parties is very close.
Having a pool of LGBTQ venture capitalists and startup advisors available to the LGBTQ community can translate into more startup activity by the LGBTQ community. In their absence, a young LGBTQ person might forego their innovative startup idea for a more secure job at a company that accepts, or even celebrates, their identity.
Startup communities offer opportunities for collaboration that lead to a greater potential for success. A strong network of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, advisors and advocates helps. They can also help develop products and services that are tailored for the LGBTQ community itself, such as travel, app development, health and beauty products, and so on.
Embarking on an entrepreneurial venture is easier with accommodating partners and role models who act as inspiration. Though the community is small, they play an important role.
We have identified the following notable LGBTQ venture capitalists and startup advisors. Simply click on their names to read their fascinating biographies.
- Vincent Viollain, My French Startup
- Alice Weidel, Goldman Sachs
- Wanda Goldwag, Smedvig Venture Capital
- Cyan Banister, Long Journey Ventures
- David Beatty, Gaingels
- David Blumberg, Blumberg Capital
- David Bohnett, Baroda Ventures
- Tom Coates
- Patrick Chung, New Enterprise Associates
- Amy Errett, Maveron
- Casey Gerald
- Paul Grossinger, Gaingels
- Arlan Hamilton, Backstage Capital
- Chris Hughes, General Catalyst Partners
- Thomas McAfee
- Keith Rabois, Khosla Ventures
- Peter Steinberg, Gaingels
- Gary Stewart, Wayra Open Future UK, Telefónica
- Sarah Tavel, Benchmark Capital
- Peter Thiel, Clarium Capital Management
- Lorenzo Thione, Gaingels
- Monique Woodard, Cake Ventures, 500 Startups
- Brian Vahaly
- LGBTQ Chief Executive Officers of Business Enterprises
- LGBTQ Chief Information/Technology Officers
- Union Leaders Who Identify as LGBTQ
- LGBTQ Economists
- Noteworthy LGBTQ Individuals in the Accounting Profession
- Human Resource Professionals Who Are LGBTQ
- Marketing Professionals Who Identify as LGBTQ
- Prominent LGBTQ Philanthropists and Donors
- LGBTQ Billionaires