Accelerators seeking LGBTQ founders

Steven Loeb · July 16, 2019 · Short URL:

They include StartOut Growth Lab, TechDiversity Accelerator and Backstage Accelerator

For startups, there are numerous paths for getting their name out there. One way, which Vator has been covering recently, are startup competitions, but another popular method to get a foot in the door, as well as some funding and traction, are accelerators. These are programs that provide companies advice, guidance and various forms of support for startups in their early stages. They also often invest in the companies, for a certain equity stake.

Need a list of startup competitions, challenges, accelerators, etc. from around the world? Check out VatorX. You can find them, or list yours!

There are some very well-known accelerators out there, including Y Combinator and 500 Startups, which have made their names through various successful alumni. Those programs fairly general, accepting companies from a variety of different spaces. 

For some companies, it may help to join an accelerator that only focuses on their specific area. That's especially true for those in more specialized spaces, which will have their own unique challenges and regulations.

Here are some of the accelerators seeking LGBTQ founders:



"StartOut Growth Lab is a startup accelerator that offers top quality office space, mentoring, education, and networking opportunities for young companies that happen to be founded or co-founded by LGBTQ entrepreneurs. The Lab was founded in 2017 as a partnership between Nixon Peabody LLP, a full-service nationwide law firm, and StartOut, the largest nonprofit organization for LGBTQ entrepreneurs."

Investment amount: Not specified 

Program benefits: 

  • Space in a premium, newly-built office suite with a conference room, coffee area, fully furnished workspaces, storage, and blazing fast Internet.
  • A premier downtown address on the 32nd floor of a flagship office building that enhances your company’s image to potential business partners, customers, and new hires.
  • A community of likeminded founders who support and motivate one another.
  • Mentoring from our entrepreneur-in-residence and direct access to StartOut Experts.
  • Free legal consultations from Nixon Peabody lawyers.
  • Monthly lunch & learns with guest experts covering a broad range of topics presented by founders, experienced professionals, and investors.
  • Founders only dinners hosted by investors, industry experts, and experienced entrepreneurs from the StartOut community.
  • A graduation event at the end of your term to celebrate your successes with the StartOut community.

Portfolio companies: BioLumen, Kyndoo, Snappr, GPSGAY


"Backstage invests in startup founders who identify as a Woman, Person of Color, and/or LGBTQ. We believe these founders are underestimated, and have the most potential for unlocking innovation and creating valuable businesses."

Investment amount: $100k USD capital in exchange for 5% equity.

Program benefits: 

  • Learn Fast

Invaluable content from experienced entrepreneurs, investors, operators, global executives, and leaders from prestigious educational institutions.

  • Build Community

Support from cohort founders, city teams, and access to the Backstage network.

  • Come Together

Free city co-work space during the 3-month program.

Portfolio companies: Civic Eagle, My Money My Future, REVRY, CapWay



"Startup52X is focused on grooming extraordinary startup founders to launch highly successful and profitable ventures. We especially like teams that have at least ONE founder from underrepresented communities in tech. These include people of color, women, entrepreneurs who are – veterans, with disabilities, immigrants, LGBTQ, etc. We hope to increase diversity in startup and tech spaces while launching outstanding ventures."

Investment amount: While we currently do NOT provide cash awards, we provide access to space, community, training sessions, investors and much more, in return for 5% of company’s equity.

Program benefits: 

  • One-on-one mentoring from successful experts, entrepreneurs and investors
  • Weekly dinners, speakers and pitch practice
  • FREE coworking space, conference rooms, and WIFI at LIU Downtown Brooklyn (first stop in Brooklyn)
  • High value add services including communications & PR, accounting & legal, HR & diversity advisory, business model dev & strategies, marketing & sales, growth hacking, operations, product dev & project management, branding, design & tech dev, talent recruitment & retention, motivation & holistic wellness
  • Industry specific sessions and panel discussions to help your company grow
  • Frequent exposure to leading Seed investors, Angel investors and Venture Capitalists during and after the program
  • Tailored support from Startup52 team to accelerate traction
  • Highly vetted college and high school interns to help you
  • Free and discounted perks and deals from partner companies including Amazon, TriNet, Microsoft, SendGrid, and many more
  • Showcase your venture to investors and the press during our DEMO Day event
  • FUN! You’ll work hard, but we all know that all work and no play will lead to burn-outs and crashes.

Portfolio companies: Not specified 


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"Tampa Bay Wave’s TechDiversity Accelerator program, powered by The Nielsen Foundation, is a ​90 ​day program designed for early stage tech companies 51% owned, controlled, and operated by a minority; woman; veteran or lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person or combination thereof."

Investment amount: Tampa Bay Wave does not currently take equity in any startups

Program benefits:

  • Access to our network of some of the best experts in the tech industry
  • Mentorship from seasoned tech entrepreneurs
  • Introductions to growth-driven investors who are passionate about helping tech entrepreneurs build, launch, and grow their businesses
  • Coaching and support to navigate the fundraising process
  • Exclusive access to Wave’s innovative events, including invite-only pitch nights with investors, mentorship sessions, and more
  • Access to coworking space
  • Technology perks (like Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Microsoft BizSpark, legal discounts, and more!)

Portfolio companies: Hoy Health, eTeki

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Hoy Health LLC


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An emerging health tech company that is transforming how primary care is delivered to underserved populations. We offer a comprehensive set of digitally accessible, bilingual, and culturally relevant cash-based healthcare access programs including affordable Rx drugs, chronic condition management, and telehealth/virtual care.


At Hoy Health we believe everyone deserves to have access to quality and affordable primary care regardless of their economic background or geographic location.


Medically underserved populations represent a significant challenge and cost for healthcare systems.
They are under- or uninsured groups that can’t afford primary care services. Many of them are from a diverse background. Rather than being served in a systematic way, they are lumped in with the general population, despite the majority of them experiencing a suboptimal experience in healthcare due to cost, language, and cultural differences.


Create simple, effective and affordable healthcare solutions that incorporate the best medicines, products, technologies and healthcare providers around the world and directly offer to consumers and their families in a culturally relevant way and in language of choice.