The StartOut Growth Lab, a startup accelerator aimed at advancing companies founded or cofounded by LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, has welcomed its fifth cohort of companies, each focused on transforming their respective industry. The Growth Lab is housed in DLA Piper's San Francisco office and is the only such accelerator located within a global law firm.
StartOut, the nation's largest nonprofit organization for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, oversees the accelerator, which provides participating entrepreneurs with support for their emerging companies through custom tailored programs. This assistance includes advice and mentoring from DLA Piper lawyers and other professionals, education, access to capital sources and networking opportunities.
Since the Growth Lab's founding in 2017, 25 companies have graduated from the accelerator, raising a combined US$46 million in funding and creating 200 new jobs.
"The Growth Lab companies are carefully selected every six months and, through mentoring and support, are able to grow their businesses," said Andres Wydler, executive director of StartOut. "We couldn't be prouder of our graduates, and we know the current cohort will produce equally impressive results."
"The results we've seen the last few years are further proof that economic empowerment is crucial in the success of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs," said Thomas Gaynor, a partner in DLA Piper's Corporate practice, an advisory board member of StartOut, and co-founder of the Growth Lab. "I am thrilled DLA Piper supports this important endeavor, and I look forward to seeing all that the fifth cohort of companies will accomplish."
The fifth group consists of the following companies:
Bay Area PLS specializes in drawing blood in the comfort of a person’s home or work, for both personal and corporate needs. The company's vision is to provide humanized healthcare on-demand.
MERAZ is a next generation alcoholic beverage startup. The company seeks to transform the massive US$300 billion alcoholic beverage industry, the last frontier that remains untouched by digital consumer transformation.
YourChoice Therapeutics is developing a highly effective, on-demand, non-hormonal contraceptive for women.
SocialTable is a social dining platform that connects strangers over dinner, by allowing an individual to book and pay for a seat at a group table at a restaurant.
A company, currently in stealth mode, is looking to disrupt the mental health industry.