StartOut, the national non-profit organization dedicated to fostering and developing entrepreneurship in the LGBT community, will honor Cornerstone Capital Group Founder and CEO Erika Karp with the 2016 Wells Fargo Leadership Award in recognition of her accomplishments and personal commitment to support LGBTQ entrepreneurs. The award will be presented at a gala event on Sept. 23rd at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco.
In acknowledging the citation, Derek Yach, Chief Health Officer of the Vitality Group and founding Chairman of the Board of Directors at Cornerstone stated: “Erika’s consistent leadership in promoting LBGTQ entrepreneurship echoes her broader work aimed at advancing societal progress for all through capitalism imbued with societal purpose and impact. Richly deserved and a signal for others to join her.”
Jostein Solheim, CEO at Ben & Jerry’s, who serves on Cornerstone Capital’s Advisory Council added: “Erika is an outstanding entrepreneur and business leader who brings a sense of community and compassion to everything thing she does. Her vision for capitalism will bring real sustainability and equality for everyone along with a solid return for her investors. I am so proud of her achievements and this is a well-deserved recognition.”
“Erika’s advocacy – no matter what the cause – is posited kindly, strongly, humanely, and compellingly,” said Dan Bena, Senior Director at PepsiCo and Honorary Professor, Glasgow Caledonian University.
As the premiere nonprofit organization for LGBTQ entrepreneurs, StartOut supports economic empowerment by offering unique programs and resources that accelerate success, instill pride, and bring recognition for LGBTQ entrepreneurs across the United States and beyond. Each year, it recognizes individuals and organizations who are dedicated to advancing equality and have made a significant impact on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied individuals.
Recognition marks outstanding achievement and support of LGBT entrepreneurs
The Leadership Award recognizes an entrepreneur whose career and accomplishments have had a profound effect on the LGBT entrepreneurial ecosystem. Past awardees include actor/activist George Takei, tech columnist and author Kara Swisher, software entrepreneur Tim Gill, philanthropist Kathy Levinson and venture capitalist Amy Errett and former PayPal founder Peter Thiel.
“This feels like a wonderful affirmation of the vision we’re pursuing at Cornerstone. Together, through ‘impact entrepreneurship,’ we can re-ignite the engines of economic growth,” said Karp.
Among this year’s honorees: Chip Conley, Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy at Airbnb; Stephanie Lampkin, Founder & CEO of Blendoor, a recruiting application that mitigates unconscious bias in hiring; social marketing pioneer Jeff Ragovin (now at Ragovin Ventures); Joel Simkhai Founder and CEO of Grindr LLC, whose highly popular dating and social discovery apps include Grindr and Blendr; and Here Media, publishers of Advocate, OUT, pride.com and HereMedia TV.