“But as I talked to them, and they read books on it, and got to know more gay people, it helped them to understand it better.” Yet securing additional funding for a gay business presented Belkin and company with challenges from both straight and gay investors.
“I might go to a straight investor who’d say, ‘I don’t know about this market, talk to a gay person.’ And it’s a cliché to assume that a gay VC will invest just because you have a gay company.” “I met with a gay VC and after our meeting he said, ‘At first I approached the meeting with skepticism, but I was really impressed by your understanding of the business and the market.’ I want people to invest regardless of their sexuality, because it’s a great idea that just happens to be gay.” Belkin’s personal goals and his business plan are one and the same. As a community, we have challenges and setbacks to overcome,” he says.
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“I think we need to step up a bit more and make it better for others.” “Gay causes are very important to me, and supporting LGBT youth is personally gratifying,” he says.
“It’s the idea of having this positive impact, along with the general excitement of building a start-up, that keeps me motivated every day.” ### The first national network of LGBT entrepreneurs is here to help you accelerate your ideas.
“Some of our investors became involved through Start Out, we made more connections within the LGBT community, and we got to know other company founders which helped us too.” “Gay youth are now coming out in middle school and high school.
Written By Adam Sandel | Powered by Start Out Michael Belkin first came out to a couple of friends, and to himself, in 2006 as a 19 year-old undergraduate at Cornell University.
“On that day I was instantly part of this new community and movement,” he says.
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