The Business Gay Podcast with Host Calan Breckon
The Business Gay
LGBTQ+ Founders Create 36% More Jobs
LGBTQ+ Founders Create 36% More Jobs - Brian Richardson - StartOut

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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Welcome to the Business Gay podcast, where we talk about all things business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. I’m your host, Calan Breckon and on today’s episode, I have guest Brian Richardson. In March of 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 US Senate, and as a public school teacher. He earned his MBA from UC Berkeley and his BA from the University of Chicago. Brian reads ferociously, dances like no one’s watching, and loves to travel, and currently lives in Chicago with his ten year old son, Nico. I’m excited to find out more about StartOut and how they work towards supporting the LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship space. So, let’s jump in.

[00:01:44] Calan Breckon: All right, welcome to the show, Brian. I am so excited to have you. How are you doing today?

[00:01:49] Brian Richardson: I’m doing well. Thank you so much for having me, Calan, and I’m excited to be on.

[00:01:52] Calan Breckon: Yeah, I’m really excited to dive into all the topics that we have today. You’re joining us from start out, and I’m really excited about what startout does. So how about you dive in and tell us a little bit more about what startout does and what you folks are doing over there?

[00:02:07] Brian Richardson: Yeah. So start out is a national nonprofit based in the United States, and we focus on helping queer entrepreneurs get their businesses up and running and grow them to scale and turn their dreams into a reality.

[00:02:19] Calan Breckon: Nice. Okay. So very clear. And know, I know of the NGLCC, which is, I believe, another non for profit, and they’re business organization and a.

[00:02:29] Brian Richardson: Great partner of ours, too.

[00:02:30] Calan Breckon: Okay, cool. So you guys all play in the same field, but you’re very entrepreneur focused, and you do a lot of things like I know the start out growth lab. Can you tell me more about that specifically?

[00:02:43] Brian Richardson: Yeah, totally. I can take a step back a little bit more, too, and talk about start out in general. I know that was a quick summation of what we do and what we do relative to NGLCC, too. I think NGLCC has been a great partner of ours because they really focus on small businesses and helping them get certified and learn their trades and move forward there. Startout is really focused on the startup sector and entrepreneurs who are looking to grow a company to scale. And what I didn’t realize until I first learned about startout a little over a year ago was how many barriers to entry still exist for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. Through our data, we’ve discovered that in the United States alone, $2.1 trillion have been invested in startups over the last 20 years from VC funding alone. Venture capital funding. Of that $2.1 trillion, 0.5% have gone to openly LGBTQ founders. That’s ridiculous. That is a disparity because we know, at minimum, we’re 8% of the population.

And so our goal is to try to shift those numbers and shift that narrative because there are so many great, talented LGBTQ plus people out there with great ideas and an ambition to grow their companies.

And so we come in and provide them with skills and development, with access to capital, with research and insights, and most importantly, with community to help them do that.

And I am happy to break down those four areas of which the growth lab is a key component and really one of our standout programs as well.

[00:04:17] Calan Breckon: Yeah. So how does that program look when somebody comes to start out and they’re like, okay, I want to be a part of this growth lab. Tell me more about that process and how that works.

[00:04:26] Brian Richardson: Yeah, so specific with growth lab. Growth Lab falls into our skill and development area. So we’ve got a number of programs that essentially provide the skills for folks to start their company or to grow their company, because we know not everyone who has a great idea has the privilege or the resources or the background or the networks to turn that idea into a reality. And so we’ve got a mentorship program. We’ve got an expert office hour program. We’ve got virtual online education programs, and we also have the growth lab. Growth Lab is our accelerator lab. So if you’re in the founder space, you know what accelerators are. But if you aren’t, an accelerator lab is really for those founders who’ve launched their company, who may be making a little bit of money, who may have started raising a little bit of funding, but haven’t gotten that far along. The accelerator is to help those founders accelerate their growth and accelerate their business planning. So our growth lab is the only LGBTQ plus specific accelerator that we know of, and we have applicants apply. Usually the last round, we had about 150 applicants apply for ten spots. And once you’re in the growth lab, you’ve got five months of an intense curriculum with the other members of your cohort, with start out staff, with graduates of the training, and with mentors from around the world, helping you develop that next 18 month plan, helping you figure out how to refine your pitch deck or refine your business plan, and then helping you go out there and making those connections. So you can raise those dollars, or you can hire those staff, or you can make your company the success you want to. We run two cohorts a year through the growth lab, and the folks who’ve graduated. We just graduated a class two weeks ago. We’ve had 85 graduates, and together they’ve raised, gosh, I can’t remember, I think, over $700 million in funding. They’ve hired hundreds and thousands of new staff folks, and they’ve grown their companies and turned them into real successes and become part of the economic system and the entrepreneurship system and the LGBTQ plus community.

[00:06:31] Calan Breckon: Yeah, it blows my mind that only 0.5% of that funding has ever gone to openly LGBTQ because I know we’ve had Ben Stokes on the show before, and he is all sorts of full of the stats as well. And something like 75% of people go back in the closet when they start their funding. Have you seen numbers around that and your experience?

[00:06:56] Brian Richardson: Yes, it’s hard to track those numbers, but what I’ve seen is anecdotal evidence. And I remember. So I joined start out as CEO about ten or eleven months ago, and my very first event was in Los Angeles. We had this great reception. About 100 and 150 people showed up at the Abbey in West Hollywood from all backgrounds and all parts of the community, all with brilliant ideas to start and launch their companies. And there was one person in particular who started talking to our mentorship manager and shared that she was thinking about her next hire as background this founder, brilliant lesbian, self described butch black woman, PhD, great track record of success, great product.

And she shared with our mentorship manager that she was thinking about her next hire and that she may have to hire a cis white man.

And then the question was, well, why? And the answer was, because I need him to go in and make these pitches because I’m not getting an invitation to pitch my company to investors. Or when I do get that invitation, people don’t listen to me when I walk in the door. That’s ridiculous.

It’s more than ridiculous. It’s heartbreaking. It’s infuriating. It’s all of the things.

And our goal is to make that issue never happen again.

But in reality, that’s the place in which we live and the world in which we live. And she’s focused on making her business happen, making her dream a reality. And so she’s got to ask those hard questions.

Similarly, other founders have to ask the question, can I be out when I make a pitch? Can I talk to my potential investors about who I’m dating or who I’m in love with or my gender identity? Can I present, as I am, a full, authentic person? And we know from all of the data that if you live your authentic life, if you present your authentic self, you are going to be a better manager, you’re going to be a better founder, you’re going to be a more content, fully realized human being. But we also know from all the data that there’s a lot of discrimination still going on in our country and still going on in our world and still going on in these sectors. And so how do we help break through that so folks don’t have to ask those hard questions?

[00:09:29] Calan Breckon: The pendulum is still very slowly swinging back, and it’s just barely begun. That swing back. And that, I think, is part of the hard part for a lot of folks is that it takes generational change to change these things. They don’t just happen overnight. They are not just going to change instantly. And just because you live in a world internally and around you, you build this bubble that we live in sometimes in the queer community doesn’t mean that it’s going to be reflected out there in the real world. And so these are still things we have to deal with and that we have to acknowledge.

[00:10:05] Brian Richardson: You’re absolutely right. And sometimes it’s implicit bias. Sometimes it’s explicit bias.

It’s someone who goes in and says, no, I don’t want that person. But other times, we know, a lot of times, it’s microaggressions or just assumptions that are being made about people. And those are the things we continuously, as a movement, have to confront and challenge and append.

And I applaud everything the LGBTQ movement has done over the last several decades on the legal front, on the policy front, on the media front.

And so as legal equality has shifted in our direction. We also have to focus on the lived equality and experience. And that’s why we’ve got to continue to point out these foibles and continue to have organizations like start out fighting for what’s right and fighting for every founder have the opportunity to succeed or fail based on the merits and who they are as a person.

And it’s going to take a lot of work because these issues are still happening.

[00:11:01] Calan Breckon: Yeah, it’s going to take a lot of work and time and dedication. And part of it is that we don’t have the data and the research available yet because we have to go in the order of steps. It’s been a certain world we’ve lived in for so long that I’m throwing an event in Vancouver in April, a vc event for LGBTQ founders. A VC approached and said, hey, we don’t have this. And we’re like, ok, well, let’s bring it together. Ben Stokes is a part of that, and I put it into a text group I have with other entrepreneurs. And one person’s immediate response was, oh, that’s nice. It’s all men. And I was like, I don’t know any female LGBTQ vcs. I don’t even know any female vcs.

[00:11:43] Brian Richardson: I do. I’ll connect them to you after the.

[00:11:45] Calan Breckon: Show, which is great, but to organize and to start out, you search your network and you see your things. But that is part of the reality of, like, yes, we’re getting there, but first, it’s almost like you have to tend your own garden first to then reach the hand down to help others up. You can’t fill others from an empty cup. You have to fill your own cup. And I think that that’s what people get. I get mad about it, but that’s what a lot of people get angry about. They’re like, well, what about me? Or what about this specific way that I’m looking at something? And it’s like, we have to go in order of the steps because we can’t just skip over everything. There has to be that process that comes through so that somebody can reach behind and go, okay, cool, let’s pull you up. But the problem is sometimes people don’t look behind to do the pulling up. And that’s what I think a lot of the work also needs to be done on is the reminder of, like, Kate, now it’s your turn to turn around and help somebody else.

[00:12:38] Brian Richardson: Yes. And I think as we help one another, we can help all of us at the same time. It’s not necessarily getting there and then turning around. But how do we work together and move forward? We work regularly with black and Latino and BIPOC organizations similar to ours. We work regularly with women led organizations focused on female entrepreneurs, where the numbers are even more alarming.

And people in different geographies and in different countries as well, too, because this is not a fight or a challenge unique to LGBTQ plus folks.

And so we’ve got to work together in order to solve this challenge for all of us. And in fact, I’m inspired so much every day by other civil rights movements and why I think startout’s mission and our theory of change is so important. I’ll talk about our theory of change, but then I’ll talk about kind of that background of why I think it’s so important. Our theory of change is essentially when we provide economic opportunity to an individual entrepreneur and they launch and grow their business. They’re hiring staff, they’re filling out their board, they’re changing their market, and they’re querying that business sector. Right? When we provide that economic opportunity at scale to more and more and more entrepreneurs, then that many more entrepreneurs are starting to queer the business place and inspiring more people to start. And eventually that economic opportunity for those individuals at scale becomes economic justice for our community at large. So then LGBTQ plus people aren’t just pigeonholed into a certain sector of industries or certain jobs, but have the entire economic system available for us to participate in, which is still not the case today. And in order to have true social justice and lived equality and equity, we’ve got to have economic security. We’ve got to have economic justice. And you can’t have that conversation, especially in societies like ours, but in any society without that financial and economic security. So that’s our theory of change.

But what it reminds me of and what inspires me of and why it’s so important to work together across all these different civil rights and social justice movements takes me back to middle school. It’s a story I tell regularly. My middle school social studies teacher was in high school in the grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and she was a black woman in the Birmingham high school. She would tell us stories about how she would leave school for protests as walkouts against segregation in the state, and she had fire hoses and police dogs attack her as a 1716 year old student. Harrowing stories.

But she fought for civil rights. She also taught us a lot about the civil rights movement. And one of the things I remember she talked about was how in most cities, it was usually the preacher who led the local civil rights movement. And she would ask, why was it the preacher? And the answers would be, oh, because they’re good orators or they’re morally righteous or they’re community leaders. And she said, yes, all that’s true.

But what is also true is that the preachers had the economic independence and security because they were one of the few members of the community who were not beholden to getting their paycheck from a white person. Their paycheck was written by the community members directly. And as a result of that economic independence, they could lead the protests, they could be in the streets, and they could make a difference without losing their jobs. Other people were so worried about putting dinner on the table that it was a challenge. And so if we as a queer community can learn that lesson from what the black civil rights movement led with, then we create economic independence and opportunity for everyone in our community. And that gives us more independence and more opportunity and a chance to be ourselves, which is really our end goal.

[00:16:46] Calan Breckon: It’s that safety of being able to do that. I’ve never thought about it in that. Thank you for explaining it like that. I’ve never thought of it in that context. But it does make a lot of sense that there’s that safety, that they could be out front because they didn’t depend on their paycheck from the powers that be, whereas a lot of other people in corporate and other stuff like that, you are beholden to other people. And SEO, maybe you have to stay in the closet to survive. And so you might be a head person somewhere, but you can’t pull others ahead with you because you still have to keep your own safety in mind, which is exactly part of our community’s experience that a lot of people, if you’ve not been through that experience, you don’t know. You don’t quite process it the same way. You’re like, oh, okay. But when you’ve gone through something like that and you’ve experienced having to be in the closet or not hold your partner’s hand walking down the street, or all these other experiences, if you don’t know what that feels like, white, typical cis, typical white men, generally heterosexuals, don’t know what it feels like to truly be fearful in their life. Therefore, they don’t know how to empathize with other people who express that fear of being themselves.

[00:18:03] Brian Richardson: Exactly. And everyone should be able to be themselves, and everyone should be able to choose their own opportunity or their job and work to get to that point. Another example I think about regularly. A really close friend of mine used to work at a local lgbt health clinic here in Chicago, and she’s a local black trans leader. And I remember her telling me one time that at the clinic, she would talk to some of the other trans women on the staff there and ask them how they were enjoying their job. And oftentimes the response was, I don’t like my job. He said, well, why are you working here? And the response was, because I’m a trans woman who doesn’t have the opportunity to walk into a bank based on how I look and present and be able to get the job at the bank that I really, really want. But I know that I can come here and be myself, and so I’m here being myself because that’s what’s most important to me.

We need to create a society in a world where that’s not a choice, where you can be yourself and still pursue the job that you want or still pursue the life that you want.

[00:19:15] Calan Breckon: And that comes with empowering entrepreneurs to create their businesses, to be able to hire people who are of our community and every community to create that more diverse base. You mentioned in that earlier that you kind of branch out to different communities, different countries, different places. Does that mean, like, Canadians can apply to programs that you run or other people?

[00:19:36] Brian Richardson: In fact, our growth lab, we had a founder from Vancouver just graduate two weeks ago as well, too. So yes, there are a few requirements about where your company is incorporated, but we also had a founder based in Mexico as well, too. And so there are a few requirements for the growth lab. Just go to and then click through to the Growth lab and you can find those details. But most definitely a lot of our work, especially post pandemic, is virtual. So I mentioned our mentorship program. We’ve got about five or 600 mentors from around the world who are experts in their field, some of whom are entrepreneurs, some of whom are HR experts, some of whom are marketing folks. We connect founders with those mentors for whatever topic or area that they need that mentorship in. And we’re always looking for new mentors, regardless of their geolocation. And that’s also an opportunity for founders, regardless of their geographic location, to get involved with us and get paired with a mentor, too.

[00:20:33] Calan Breckon: That’s awesome. And I know that applications for your next.

[00:20:40] Brian Richardson: Cohort. There we go.

[00:20:42] Calan Breckon: My braid is canadian accent for a second. Is going to be opening May 2024, is that correct?

[00:20:49] Brian Richardson: That is exactly right. So people got actually, and in fact, keep an eye. I’m not sure when the podcast is coming out, but we are going to be announcing this cohort, which is an incredible group of ten founders, just in the next week, I believe.

[00:21:06] Calan Breckon: I think this might come out somewhere around in there. So maybe it might be out, maybe not.

[00:21:11] Brian Richardson: Well, regardless, go to at startout on any of your social medias or start out and find out.

[00:21:17] Calan Breckon: Yes, please. You were just talking about mentorship program, so that’s different. So the start out growth lab is one thing which has mentorship part of it. What about just general mentorship within the startout ecosystem? How does that work?

[00:21:31] Brian Richardson: Yeah, well, and I’ll go back, I talked about those four tenants. We provide skills and development, access to capital, research and insights and community. Those are our four areas of support for founders. So on the skills and development and access to capital side, that’s where a lot of our programs exist.

So it’s the growth lab which is for an application only. But then we also have a series of other programs for our general founder members. So if you’re a founder and you meet some basic criteria, then you get unlocked to these other programs, including mentorship, expert office hours and access to capital. Mentorship, it’s a six month program. We hand match you with a mentor based on what you’ve told us that you’re looking for and where you are in your process and who our mentors are. And then a couple of hours every month for that six month period, you’ll get a chance to meet with that mentor, talk to them, get their advice, get to know them, and that’s the minimum. I was talking to someone just a couple of weeks ago who said that they met their start out mentor three years ago and now they still talk every single week. Sometimes about work things, sometimes about life things. But they ended up becoming a mentor professionally, but also a personal friend as well too. And it’s a really great way to get connected to someone in the community or an ally in your sector or in an area of interest. And we’ve had some great relationships grow from there. We also have an expert office hour section, which is not as intense as that six month program. We’ve got about 15 to 20 experts in their field who volunteer a set amount of time every single month with open office hours. And you can sign up for those office hours who have a discrete challenger issue. So for example, HR, we have a couple of folks on the HR side as expert office hours. You’re a founder, you’re going to hire your first staff. Oh my gosh. What do you do? How do you go about doing that? What sort of policies do you put in place? How do you make sure that you’re recruiting in an equitable way? All those sorts of questions, you can go to these expert office hours and sign up. Those fill up quickly because there’s a lot of folks who are looking to connect with these expert office and these experts. Then on the access to capital side, we’ve got an investor portal with four or 500 investors who’ve come to us because they know that LGBTQ founders are a better vet. Even though we only get 0.5% of the funding. And when we get funded, we only get eighty four cents on the dollar relative to our straight cis counterparts. Even though when we do actually get funded, we end up hiring more staff, filing more patents, having a better economic impact in our communities and a better return on investment for our founders.

That’s good business. These investors know, they’ve joined our investor portal, they’ve told us what they’re looking for, and then we connect our founder members to those investors when there’s alignment and make that warm introduction, because anyone who’s a founder who’s tried to raise money before knows the cold call is a tough sell, but a warm introduction will make all the difference. And so we’re here to make that warm introduction.

[00:24:38] Calan Breckon: And that, I have to say, is one of the most difficult parts about being LGBTQ entrepreneur. And my personal experience is that I didn’t come from a family where I could go to school further my education, be put into those systems where you meet those people who are going to future help you later on. I didn’t have that to lean on. I didn’t have that ecosystem. And until I found the CGLCC in Canada, I felt completely and utterly alone. I’m like, how do I even find anybody in this world to even ask? Because then the gay and all the other things come up. I’m like, I don’t know how to navigate that. I don’t have access to that. And that was the most important thing to me. And I feel like that’s the most important thing to a lot of queer people because a lot of us also come from a space where if you’re doing your first rounds, your friends and family are usually your first round. If you don’t have that or you also come from a very low economic background who they ain’t going to have it for you either. Even if you do. What do you do in that case?

[00:25:39] Brian Richardson: Yes. And I think you hit the nail on the head there. And when you said access, because LGBTQ people face disproportionate issues of access, especially if, perchance, you were someone who got kicked out by your family, you’re not going to be able to have friends and family around. Or you’re right. Also like economic disadvantage. No, I don’t have buckets of cash. And so how do we help support those of us in our community? Which was the other word I heard you say was alone, that you felt alone. And that’s why when we have our four tenants, skill and development, access to capital, research, and community, that fourth one arguably is the most important. And that’s community, because, as any founder will say, being a founder, being an entrepreneur, is a lonely job. You’re sitting there toiling through your days and nights trying to create something, sometimes from nothing.

And there may not be anyone in your immediate network or your family or friend group who knows what you’re going through. If you’re lucky enough to make a little money and you hire a staff person, you can’t necessarily go to that staff person and say, oh, my gosh, I don’t know if I want to make payroll next week because that’s going to freak them out as well, too. And so being a founder is exceptionally lonely. And I think that is where startout makes such a huge difference in the lives of our founders, is because of that fourth tenet of building community. We’ve had founders who’ve come to us and said, I didn’t know what I was doing.

You helped teach me that. But what you really gave to me was a tribe and a community, and that’s why I was able to succeed.

And so we’ve got chapters in eight different cities, all in the US currently, where we have programming boards, local programming boards, who are volunteers, who plan events. The events can be education panels, talking to attorneys or founders or fundraisers, but a lot of times, they’re just networking, happy hours and chances to get out and meet people.

We’ve got events online as well, too, but just chances for people to make friends. You go to one of our happy hours or one of our networking events or one of our education programs. Chances are you might meet a co founder, you might meet your first investor, you might meet someone, you’ll hire onto your team, you might meet your future ex girlfriend or future ex boyfriend. There’s just so many opportunities when our community comes together. And I think queer people are pretty magical, which is why we’re a better investment for those investors as well, too. Why we’re better founders. We’re resilient, we are thoughtful, we are flexible. All the things that we had to be growing up to survive and to thrive are the same traits that make us great founders. But it’s also the same traits that make us great connectors and community members. And that’s why startout exists and why start out started was how do we bring our community together to help one another and support one another so we can all succeed together.

[00:28:38] Calan Breckon: I couldn’t agree more with everything that you just said, because when I first went to my first conference for the CGLCC, walking into that room, being able to be myself and be in business and talk about the things that normal friends in your life, their eyes just glaze over and they don’t care about, it was completely life changing. And then I went to the NGLCC conference in Denver, and it was the same. Just like all these amazing people in business or doing business and supporting each other. And when you talked about things, people got excited about it, and you’re like, I can be myself and do this here. And there’s such a different feeling to it because I don’t know my experience of the queer community. We’re very huggy and touchy and kissy and more family oriented. And I think that just comes from our history of a queer community, of we have to be there for each other and support each other. We are family. Therefore, it translates over into that business aspect as well. So it doesn’t surprise me that we actually do better in business when we have the access to the funding and the capital and the mentorship to actually get it done completely.

[00:29:43] Brian Richardson: And it’s been so thrilling to watch that community grow and thrive over the last several years. Yes, we still have a long way to go, but because of things like the NJLCC and chasing rainbows and angels and all of the different investor groups that are starting to pop up and grow, there’s so many more opportunities for us.

And every time we have more opportunities, you realize, oh, there’s even more people out there that want to do this, and representation matters. And when we can be seen or when you can go back and talk about what happened at your first chamber conference, all of a sudden your friends are thinking, oh, I can do this, too. And that’s empowering. And it’s really wonderful to be able to bring the best of the business world and entrepreneurship and the best of the queer world in our community together. Because then the sky is the limit, definitely.

[00:30:35] Calan Breckon: So how often do you have these in person events that people can attend, let’s say, like a major, kind of significant one, not like the everyday.

[00:30:43] Brian Richardson: Okay, good. I was about to say we had about 90 to 100 events last year, but the significant events, we are working on a big conference out in the bay later this year, and we’ll announce details about that soon. It’s kind of just a half day conference, and then we have our start out awards every October in New York. It’ll be October 10 this year. So if you’re in the New York area, please go to our website, look it up. We’d love for you to join, too, calan, if you’re around.

And then each of those different eight cities have major events throughout the year. They’ll have a demo day and bring out about 50 or 100 folks or. I was back in Los Angeles about a week ago, and there was a happy hour that we had about 100 people out for as well, too. I’m based in Chicago, and they’re working on a half day event for about 75 or 100 people in April as well, too. So there’s a lot of events and a lot of programs that happen all the time around the country. We’ll be at south by southwest, too. So if any of your listeners are at south by this year, go to our website. And we’re going to be having a great reception down there on March 10 as well, too. So there’s a lot of opportunities to meet and greet and connect.

[00:31:52] Calan Breckon: Awesome. And I can assume that all this information is on your website for Perfect. And where else can everybody find you.

[00:32:02] Brian Richardson: On just about all the social medias at startout or start out community?

And then if anyone’s listening wants more details specifically, they’re always happy to email me directly. It’s just Brian. [email protected]. As well.

[00:32:16] Calan Breckon: Amazing. Well, Brian, this has been a riveting conversation. I love what you’re doing. Thank you so much for what you’re doing. And I’m very excited to see what the future brings for all these LGBTQ entrepreneurs who are going to change the world because, I mean, look at GPT for real.

[00:32:33] Brian Richardson: Yes. Yes, it’s true. Not to mention Apple. Well, and thank you, too, Calan, because I think one of the biggest challenges is just getting these stories out there and letting our people know what a difference LGBTQ plus founders are making in every single sector and every single part of the economy. And the fact that you’re hosting this podcast and talking to the movers and shakers and the founders themselves is huge and really exciting. So thank you for all that you’re doing, too.

[00:33:03] Calan Breckon: Well, thank you. Yes, I saw a need for somebody to tell the stories and to collect them and to get the access and the information of all these kinds of little things that are starting all over the place, but where people could go to find them all collectively. So that’s kind of my goal, is to bring all the information to the people.

[00:33:22] Brian Richardson: That’s great. Well, and I will also mention not as a competitor, but a collaborator, we actually just launched a podcast this week as well, too.

[00:33:30] Calan Breckon: You should give me a shout. Give me a shout. I have lots of tips and things you need to do with a podcast to how to do it properly.

[00:33:37] Brian Richardson: Oh, that’s great. I will most definitely, yes. Thank you for that offer. I’m going to connect you to our phenomenal producer and host who have been doing a great job putting our first season together. But I know that they would love to hear your thoughts.

[00:33:48] Calan Breckon: Awesome. Cool beans. Well, it’s been a pleasure, Brian. Thank you so much for being on the show today.

[00:33:53] Brian Richardson: You too, Calan. Thanks so much.

[00:33:55] Speaker B: This is exactly why I started this podcast. I wanted to prove that we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re doing amazing things in business. And just as Brian said, we deliver when we show up.

I want to thank you again for tuning in today. And don’t forget to hit that subscribe button. I really appreciate it. And if you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure to give it a star rating and possibly share it with a friend. I would really love it. Thank you.

The Business Gay podcast is written, produced and edited by me, Calan Breckon. And if you’re looking to get some SEO advice, you can head on over to or just click the link in the show notes. That’s it for today. Peace, love, rainbows.

Calan Breckon
Calan Breckon

Calan Breckon is an SEO Specialist and host of "The Business Gay" podcast. He has worked with companies such as Cohere and Canada Life and has been a guest on the "Online Marketing Made Easy" podcast with Amy Porterfield as well as featured in publications like Authority Magazine and CourseMethod.

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