Boston News

New Venture Fund Targets LGBT Led Startups

LGBT Venture Fund Venture Out

A new Boston based venture fund called Venture Out is looking to invest in 15-20 seed stage startups. While that goal is nothing new in the world of venture firms or even in Boston, what is new is the fact that they’re looking for startups founded by the Lesbian, Gay, BiSexual and Transgender community.

While socially motivated startups are good, the VentureOut fund is looking for any startup with potential that is headed by LGBT founders.

“So many more folks are out of the closet in the business world than were even five years ago,” Said Greg Wiles, the managing director of the VentureOut Fund. Wiles and the folks behind the VentureOut fund know that many LGBT founders may be struggling with outreach in the entrepreneurial startup community and on the path to raise venture captal.

The fund is a joint venture between Boston based Launch Angels and Wiles who is based on the west coast. Wiles had an idea to raise around $10-$15 million dollars in venture capital for LGBT founded and led startups. Shereen Shermak the CEO at Launch Angels thought they should test the waters with a $2 million dollar fund.

“A lot of folks are skeptical that there are enough LGBT entrepreneurs out there to support a successful venture capital fund. But we are confident that there are,” Wiles told betaboston.com

By their sheer nature many LGBT founders are accustomed to overcoming obstacles and while they don’t want to be signaled out for their sexual orientation, the VentureOut fund could remove one hurdle to launch, which of course is raising money.

Are LGBT founders worried about being identified as gay, and a label it may put in them? Evidently not, Wiles told betaboston.com “That’s a very minor concern among most of the folks that I’ve spoke to,”

There are several funds out there that target women entrepreneurs, Black entrepreneurs and even Jewish Entrepreneurs. The VentureOut fund is definitely a good thing for the startup ecosystem at large.