The first in a series of panel discussions featuring LGBT members of the start up community took place in London yesterday evening, hosted by the InterTech Diversity Forum.

Yesterday’s panel discussion was the first event in the InterTech Diversity Forum Talk Nerdy To Me speaker series hosted at Google’s London Central Saint Giles offices on Google’s 15th Birthday.

Speaking were inspiring members of the LGBT start-up community, each sharing their experiences and advice on the various stages of starting up.

The panel include Isaac Pinnock, the Founder of Made by Many, Alex Wood, the Editor at Tech City News, Robyn Exton, Founder of Dattch Dating, and Sarah Drinkwater, the Head of Google Local EMEA, Google Campus London.

Introducing the panel was Kelly Allison International Director for gTech Partner Solutions at Google.

He said: “This summer Googlers, Gayglers (gay Googlers), and their families and friends took this spirit to the streets in Pride parades and celebrations around the globe including New York, San Francisco, London, Singapore and for the first time in Sao Paolo and Budapest.

“Since 2007 Budapest Pride has been a small political march behind police fences, banned from public view and threatened by unopposed violence. This year, Google, together with Hungarian software start-ups Prezi and Espell formed WeAreOpen – making a stand for diversity and inclusion in a difficult political environment.

“We silently launched the website and hoping for 5 other companies to join, the team was overwhelmed when in just 2 weeks 487 other organisations joined the initiative, from major media outlets and multinationals like Morgan Stanley and Microsoft, to local shop owners and entrepreneurs. A record 8000 people joined the Budapest parade, 3 times more than ever before and over 17,000 people viewed our live Pride Hangout On Air.

“It’s not just through pride that we show our support for the LGBT community.  In Sydney we hosted two Queer Thinking seminars… 1 on Activism in the Internet Age and the other about Queer Careers.   Google London also recently hosted a ‘Legalise Love’ Conference, partnering with organizations to identify ways to decriminalize homosexuality and eliminate homophobia around the world.  Earlier this year, we also enhanced our transgender-inclusive benefits available to Gayglers to cover transitioning procedures more than doubling the previous coverage limits to $75K.”

In attendance were Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Gilbert, who asked a question about what the Government can do to help the tech sector, Stephen Williams, Lib Dem MP, and Labour assembly member Tom Copley.

The InterTech Diversity Forum is a professional network which encourages LGBT+ diversity and inclusion in the UK technology sector for the benefit of the individual, the organisations they represent and the industry overall