The TAWANI Foundation Commits $25K to StartOut

CHICAGO – February 8, 2024 – The TAWANI Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that provides support in the areas of arts and culture, historical preservation, health and wellness, LGBTQ+ and human rights, education, and environmental initiatives, announces a donation of $25,000 to support StartOut’s efforts to quantify and amplify LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship.

The StartOut Index was established in 2019 and was created as an online tool that analyzes and displays the current state of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship and models where it can grow. The tool also shares data and LGBTQ+ statistics to understand the investment landscape in LGBTQ+ founders. The Index is powered by big data analysis and a corresponding AI-driven engine to both measure contributions in close to real-time and calculate where LGBTQ+ founders could be with equal access.

“As a founder who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, I recognize that it’s essential for advocacy in entrepreneurship to be clearly defined and inclusive for all leaders,” said Colonel (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), founder of the TAWANI Foundation. “We are proud to give to an organization that is making sure business owners in the LGBTQ+ community are supported. It’s clear that access to resources can help both the founder and their business become and remain successful.”

The mission of StartOut is to accelerate the growth of the LGBTQ+ community to drive its economic empowerment, building a world where every LGBTQ+ entrepreneur has equal access to lead, succeed and shape the workforce of the future.

“We are incredibly grateful to Col. Pritzker and the TAWANI Foundation for their generous support of the StartOut Index,” said Brian Richardson, CEO of StartOut. “Their commitment to empowering and advancing LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs is not just a gift; it’s a powerful investment in a more inclusive and innovative future. With partners like the TAWANI Foundation, we can continue our mission to create a world where every entrepreneur can thrive, regardless of their background. Together, we’re building a more diverse and resilient startup ecosystem that benefits us all.”

To learn more about the TAWANI Foundation grants, visit The TAWANI Foundation is a private foundation that accepts applications by invitation only. There is no open application period. 


About TAWANI Foundation

Founded in 2002 by notable philanthropist and entrepreneur Colonel (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), TAWANI Enterprises’ philanthropic organization, the TAWANI Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that provides support in the areas of arts and culture, historical preservation, health and wellness, LGBTQ+ and human rights, education and environmental initiatives. TAWANI Foundation’s vision is to make a sustained and measurable difference for organizations that focus on enriching knowledge, improving health and wellness, and promoting scientific understanding – all with a common goal of making a positive, long-term impact on individuals, communities, and the culture itself. To learn more, visit