Friday, May 20

National Pride Month: 7 Global Startups by Non-Binary Founders

Every year, cities such as Amsterdam, Chicago, London, Mexico City, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and São Paulo commemorating the Stonewall riots, celebrate National Pride Month to advocate for the human rights of the LGBTQIA2S community. 

Also known as Gay Pride, thousands of people participate in the National Pride Month, honoring the LGBTQ+ population and their right to a meaningful existence. Pride is about people that come together to demonstrate and celebrate how far gay rights have progressed. 

Countries such as Jerusalem, Moscow, and Warsaw reserve resistance to the LGBTQIA2S community even today. The Indian subcontinent and countries with conservative religious mindsets continue to criminalize and discriminate against the non-binary people at work and in society.

The history of PRIDE has been of subjugation and constant erasure. Since 1969 these people have been denied equality, acceptance, and understanding. They have been forbidden to marry, adopt children, create families, combat injustice, offensive speech, and hate crimes. 

But today, it is a slightly better story. The community’s activism has gained substantial attention. Members of the LGBTQIA2S communities have built businesses, created employment, and significantly mobilized global issues. Here is a (non-exhaustive) rainbow list of seven startups by non-binary founders winning many hearts.

Dan Smith and Sidd Gavirneni co-founded ZeguroDan Smith and Sidd Gavirneni co-founded Zeguro in 2016. The company provides resources and knowledge needed to manage and monitor cybersecurity continuously. Their virtual platform analyses threats and uses technology, training, and appropriate methods to mitigate them. Furthermore, Zeguro ensures that its clients adhere to data privacy laws and contractual responsibilities. With Zeguro’s customized cyber insurance, organizations can recover with minimum disruption. Zeguro is proud of its diverse staff, including 60 percent LGBTQ+ employees, 50 percent LGBTQ+ advisors, and representatives from five nations. 

Matthieu Jost founded misterb&bMatthieu Jost founded misterb&b in 2014. It’s a travel and social media company specializing in providing rental housing to the entire LGBTQ community. The website offers an online archive of short-term accommodations of homes, rooms, and apartments, as well as LGBT+ friendly hotels and motels. The idea came into existence after Jost had a bad experience while traveling with his partner and felt unwelcomed by the host. The firm has grown to become the largest global ‘homosexual hotelier,’ with 310,000 hosts in 135 countries. misterb&b conducts exclusive events for gay men, such as Gay Cruises, Gay Ski Weeks, etc.

Fran Dunaway and her wife, Naomi Gonzalez, launched TomboyXFran Dunaway and her wife, Naomi Gonzalez, launched TomboyX in 2012 with a simple objective: creating a comfortable and durable button-up shirt. TomboyX, founded in Seattle, has evolved into a gender-neutral brand. The brand caters to all genders, with sizes ranging from extra small to 6x. TomboyX’s procedures are also environmentally beneficial, as the company uses eco-friendly, nontoxic textiles and only works with women-owned factories. The label rebranded in July 2016 with a fresh style and touch, focusing entirely on underwear and bras. According to reports, the year 2020 was TomboyX’s breakthrough year.

Evren Ay and Oytun Tez founded MotaWordEstablished in 2014, Evren Ay and Oytun Tez founded MotaWord. It is a cloud-based, collaborative business translation technology that is the world’s fastest and cheapest. Essentially, MotaWord uses a cloud-based translation infrastructure to combine the work of human translators. The collaborative parallel-processing translation approach is powered by 100 percent human, 100 percent language professionals, and backed by AI systems. Collaborative translation cuts the translation lifecycle time in half, increases communication, and automates repetitive management work. At the click of a button, you can access 80+ languages and 12000+ linguists.

Jacob Levine founded Chorus ConnectionJacob Levine founded Chorus Connection in 2013 to develop technology for choirs. There are an estimated 300,000 choirs in the United States. These organizations have various administrative concerns, including managing singers, funders, websites, tickets, multiple marketing channels, music licenses, and more. Chorus Connection’s mission is to become a popular digital service provider to choirs. It helps enable them to deliver richer experiences for their singers, patrons, and communities and engage with them more efficiently. Chorus Connection’s features include a bulletin board, email communications, member’s directory, ticketing, and member payments.

Justin Smith founded The Evolved TravelerAfter 30 years of experience in the travel and cruise sectors, Justin Smith founded The Evolved Traveler in 2016. The company designs customized adventures that combine the best of both worlds, integrating exquisite service and lodgings with the ability to immerse yourself in your trip while also giving back to local communities. The Evolved Traveler, in its recent addition, introduced Evolved Retreats, a wellness travel subsidiary. They create custom-tailored luxury vacations that promote humanitarian initiatives, allowing discerning visitors to live out their aspirations while helping others in the global family do the same.

Elizabeth Galbut and Pocket Sun founded SoGalElizabeth Galbut and Pocket Sun founded SoGal in 2015 to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and investors. The SoGal Foundation is the world’s largest platform for investors and entrepreneurs of all kinds. Their objective is to address the gender gap in entrepreneurship and venture capital by spanning six continents and providing hyper-local programming in over 50 cities. It holds educational programming, provides funding possibilities, trains investors, and encourages founder health. SoGal has a measurable influence on the worldwide gender and diversity gap. 

Feature a Startup by a Non-Binary Founder

It used to be extremely difficult for startups by non-binary founders to obtain funding until a few years ago. The problem has not been erased completely, but there’s a positive change. Many individuals and organizations strive to enhance LGBTQ+ and other under-represented communities’ access to resources and funding. As a result, there is considerable growth in LGBTQ+ businesses and leaders in the game. This year marks Pride Month’s 51st anniversary; what’s a better way to celebrate than supporting startups by non-binary Founders? 

Disclaimer: The use of LGBTQIA2S and LGBTQ+ denotes a broad inclusion of the non-binary spectrum.
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