500 Startups has always prided itself on backing a diverse set of founders and startups. That includes investing in female founders, startups from the international community, and members of the LGBT community. To further support that last group, the investment firm is introducing a new, monthly meetup series called Rainbow Round to bring together members of the LGBT tech community.
The idea for the gathering follows the investment firm’s first LGBT meetup, which it held last fall. During that event, 500 Startups invited some founders to share their stories with each other.
It was so successful that the firm has decided to create a monthly speaker series in which it will invite LGBT founders, employees, and investors to give talks about what they do in tech and some of the challenges they’ve faced.
To launch the series, 500 Startups has partnered with nonprofit StartOut, which is dedicated to fostering lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender entrepreneurs, and Galvanize, a tech entrepreneurial ecosystem that incorporates capital, curriculum, and community.
The first Rainbow Round event (RSVP here) will be held March 19 at the Galvanize headquarters (543 Howard Street) in San Francisco. The inaugural speaker will be Transh4ck founder Kortney Ryan Ziegler, who will be speaking about increasing transgender acceptance, education, and support in the tech community.
Future meetups will include other founders, venture capitalists, and leaders from the tech community. Those who are interested in suggesting future speakers can email Mark Saldana at firstname.lastname@example.org.