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There are millions of entrepreneurs in the U.S., and in the last 20 years about 150,000 high-growth entrepreneurs have entered the ecosystem (defined as those who have raised VC funding, received at least $1 million in Angel funding, generated at least one patent and created jobs beyond the founding team, had an IPO, or been acquired by another company). StartOut and Socos Labs came together to measure the contributions and unrealized potential of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs among these high-growth entrepreneurs.  

In July 2020, with generous support from JPMorgan Chase, StartOut, Socos Labs, and Crunchbase launched the StartOut Pride Economic Impact Indexes (SPEII), the first of our Inclusion Impact Indexes created to gain insight into LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs’ economic impact. These indexes measure LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs’ impact in terms of job creation, patents, financings, and exits, and provide insight into what these metrics could be if these entrepreneurs had equal access to critical resources. 

untapped potential of LGBTQ+ founders infographic

Municipalities, investors, ecosystem builders, and grantors can use the quantitative insights of the Inclusion Impact Indexes to improve environments for founders of diverse backgrounds and reap the corresponding benefits. Notably, we also published this same index on female and “all” U.S. entrepreneurs for benchmarking purposes.

To start the data collection process for the Inclusion Impact Indexes, we’ve worked closely with Crunchbase to establish the core company-level dataset, leveraging their Diversity Spotlight data. The second phase of our Inclusion Impact Indexes will examine the intersectionality of founders as well. While we applaud the inclusion of ethnicity and/or race, we hope that at some point soon, data analysis companies will include LGBTQ+ identification as well to gain more insights for all to see. 

Startout inclusion impact indexes survey graphic

StartOut supports LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs along their entire journey. Our supporters and staff are passionate about helping and inspiring our members to pursue their dreams as they face challenges and expand their businesses. 

We take great pride that StartOut offers a safe place to connect through our online networking tools, the many virtual events happening for all to attend, and our online programs including our mentorship program and investor portal that connect our members with dedicated resources. In spite of our engagement, we know that our community’s contributions to the economy still face a lack of visibility.

As we continue to update and improve our Inclusion Impact Indexes and introduce intersectionality into our analysis, we encourage ALL entrepreneurs to get counted in our confidential survey. It’s a critical diversity & inclusion project that will help lift up all underrepresented communities. The anonymized findings are used to gain insights on LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented groups’ economic impact and quantify the economic value of under-utilized LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs in near real-time. And, best of all, we provide free access for everyone at

Thank you Crunchbase for being such a generous, committed and invaluable partner in this seminal project!

Happy Pride!

Andres Wydler

StartOut Executive Director

Andres Wydler executive director of startout quote card
Startout LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs fact sheet
  • Originally published June 18, 2021, updated October 12, 2021