LGBTQ startups learning the keys to success

It's a quick way to get businesses that extra boost they need, particularly, startups by members of the LGBTQ community.

AUSTIN, Texas -- This weekend, members of the LGBTQ community in tech are learning how to grow their startups. 

It's all part of the Startup Weekend HackOut, hosted by StartOut, TechStars and Lesbians Who Tech.

Michael Washburn is one attendee who is hoping to grow his company TripCited, which is still in its beginning phases.

"TripCited's goal is to solve the fragmented travel planning," Washburn said.  

The website would allow people book and plan their entire vacation itinerary in one place. It will even have a feature where you can share your stay with family or friends you're traveling with.

"This has been an idea I've been pretty passionate about for a couple years," Washburn said.  

So far, Washburn said he's had some trouble getting it off the ground.

"I've just kind of sat on it and then I saw the posting for the HackOut," Washburn said.  

"Our mission and vision for the HackOut was really to help entrepreneurs in the LQBT community grow and take an idea from just a concept and turn it into a valid business venture," organizer Samantha Needham said. "It's the first ever startup weekend for the LQBT community specifically."

Organizers say the HackOut is an excellent opportunity for the LGBTQ community to learn in a safe environment. They meet with mentors, investors, founders, and sponsors from across the country who look at businesses like Washburn's and find ways to grow it.

"What's the best route to get our message across and to sell it?" Washburn said.  

Washburn said he knows he still has a lot of things to work on before his business is a success, but feels that attending this weekend's event makes it more possible. He said he plans to keep in touch with the mentors he's met and continue using their input as he works toward his dreams. 

 
 

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