Lunar Startups creates opportunities and access for underestimated entrepreneurs. The deadline to apply to Cohort 2 is January 13.

Amanda Heyman and Danielle Steer of Lunar Services and Lunar Startups
Amanda Heyman and Danielle Steer of Lunar Services and Lunar Startups

Danielle Steer, Managing Director of Lunar Startups, describes the events leading to the formation of their organization as a “serendipitous perfect storm.”

In 2017, the Knight Foundation became interested in supporting underrepresented, underserved entrepreneurs, such as women, people of color, and LGBTQ entrepreneurs.

Around this same period, the late Glen Nelson bequeathed a gift to help American Public Media to invest in the future of journalism. This led to the launch of the Glen Nelson Center.

Also, around this same time, Ecolab moved their global headquarters, leaving their former building vacant. Ecolab CEO Doug Baker worked with the building owners to sell the building to a group of entrepreneurs who had a vision for an entrepreneurial center.

“So, we had space. We had the funding from the Knight Foundation. We had the organization who was willing to be the home of this startup,” says Danielle. It was from this confluence of events that Lunar Startups was born.

Lunar Startups is a year-long incubator dedicated to serving underestimated entrepreneurs such as women, people of color and LGBTQ. Danielle says that she borrowed the term “underestimated” from famed venture capitalist Arlan Hamilton.

Amanda Heyman is the Director of Lunar Services at Lunar Startups. Lunar Services provides business and legal technical assistance to those within Lunar Startups cohorts. “The underestimated founders that we work with often don’t have those informal networks to key service providers,” Amanda explains. “For example, they may not have an uncle who is a lawyer, or a neighbor who is a CFO, or a friend who is a software developer. The idea behind Lunar Services is to provide access to that sort of help early in the journey.”

Cohort 2 Applications Closing

The deadline to apply to Cohort 2 is January 13. If accepted, startup founders will receive the following:

  • Dedicated office space
  • Access to investors
  • $5,000 travel, technology, and marketing reimbursement fund
  • Access to an expert network of professionals providing pro-bono support
  • Access to state-of-the-art equipment for video conferencing and podcast development
  • Weekly startup-specific programming based on the needs of the cohort
  • A peer network

And more.

Applications close January 13. To learn more about the criteria and to apply, go here:

Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Amanda Heyman and Danielle Steer

“It came out of my background as a lawyer for startups and as a co-founder of a startup myself.” @AmandaHeyman @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “Those underestimated founders that we work with don’t always have informal networks to key service providers that startups need.” @AmandaHeyman @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “They may not have an uncle who is a lawyer, or a neighbor who is a CFO, or a friend who is a software developer” @AmandaHeyman @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “That’s my personal motto: Helping people do good better.” @DaniellejSteer @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “I was hungry to get back to my program design roots.” @DaniellejSteer @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “We have doubled down on the idea that the strength of someone’s social network is increasingly important.” @DaniellejSteer @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “If you don’t come from a community of entrepreneurs, it’s hard to know where to start.” @DaniellejSteer @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “I truly believe that entrepreneurs have the best eye for identifying innovation.” @DaniellejSteer @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “We work hard to build a trusted, robust peer network.” @DaniellejSteer @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “Gender diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform the national industry median. And ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform.” @DaniellejSteer @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “We’re leaving money on the table, both from the investor’s perspective and from a business opportunity perspective.” @DaniellejSteer @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “There is a huge gap between who has access to funding and resources to help them scale up and meet more market opportunities.” @DaniellejSteer @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “Some people are just a couple of steps ahead of you and can help you understand the opportunities and challenges.” @AmandaHeyman @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “Lunar Services is a startup, within Lunar Startups, which is a startup itself.” @AmandaHeyman @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “The members of the initial cohorts will get more individualized support.” @AmandaHeyman @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “We are working to help companies that have achieved a certain level of traction, really blow it up.” @AmandaHeyman @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “The really hard point for startups is the scale point.” @AmandaHeyman @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “We don’t take equity or guarantee investment.” @DaniellejSteer @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “Not everyone can afford to take off and pursue just their dreams only.” @DaniellejSteer @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “You’ll never see programming here that’s at the same time as daycare pick up.” @DaniellejSteer @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “Think bigger.” @AmandaHeyman @LunarStartups Click To Tweet “Being a steward and customer of startups is the single most important thing we can be doing.” @DaniellejSteer @LunarStartups Click To Tweet

Social Entrepreneurship Resources:

Leadership Development Expert
About the Author
Tony Loyd is a leadership development expert. He is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, and coach. He helps purpose-driven business leaders to thrive so that they can connect and contribute at a deeper level. Find out more at

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