“Being a tireless salesman seems to be in my blood, and I don’t like to take no for an answer.”

The life hack I swear by: SiriMy happy place: Family. My husband Mike and our daughters.

Eran Amir

BLENDING HIS BACKGROUND INTO SOMETHING BIGGER. For Eran Amir, starting his own family was never even a question. Growing up in a large family in Israel, it was his fond memories of gathering around the dinner table every Friday that propelled his desire to have children of his own.

In fact, Eran was so steadfast about starting a family that he laid a marker in the sand: if he hadn’t met his life partner by his 40th birthday, he would embark on the journey alone. The day after his landmark birthday, research began. As a gay man keen to continue his lineage, surrogacy was the natural option.

The journey was complex and convoluted. Finding the right surrogacy agency, signing up to numerous egg donor databases, searching for an IVF doctor and a fertility lawyer was, he says, “exhausting, stressful and very expensive - unaffordable to most people. You can spend $200,000 really quickly.”

Determined to simplify the process, Eran quit his job after 20 years in software development to found GoStork, a first-of-its-kind fertility marketplace that helps consumers find, compare, and connect with fertility providers. The one-stop shop concept offered the very thing missing during his own journey: transparency.

Eran admits it was terrifying, not least because he launched in March 2020, just as COVID hit. Another dilemma arrived when initial feedback suggested the fertility world wouldn’t excite investors. However, after overcoming the initial hurdles, it wasn’t long before he’d raised one million dollars over Zoom.

“I had a feeling that my background in technology and my passion for fertility would create a successful company and will help thousands of people trying to build their families. Not just for the LGBTQIA+ community, but for everyone from straight couples struggling with infertility to single moms and single dads.”

LEAVING A LEGACY FOR HIS FAMILY. When Eran moved to New York in 2008, surrogacy for LGBTQIA+ people in Israel was illegal (it was legalized in 2022). That aside, he embarked on his surrogacy journey solo in the US. Six months in, his world changed again when he matched with the man who would become his husband and co-parent.

The LGBTQIA+ community was integral in the launch of GoStork. One of Eran’s best decisions was joining StartOut, a non-profit helping LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs grow their businesses from scratch. “The biggest thing that I gained from them was meeting my CFO. Finance was my Achilles heel, though I’ve worked hard to grow in this area, with his help.”

Eran still actively embraces his Isralie roots. He credits his upbringing not only with making him a good entrepreneur (“Though I'd never done it before, being a tireless salesman is in my blood - I don’t like to take no for an answer”), but also for being a great parent. “I learned a lot from my parents. Together, they helped me in life and also to build a better company.”

Eran believes the success of GoStork, particularly in its early days, has been defined by others - from customers using and recommending their services to happy employees who know they are making a difference in people’s lives. And personally? “I'm a father. I'm a husband. We’re now starting our third surrogacy journey, and together we’ve built a beautiful family that I'm very proud of.”

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Presented with Pride Here is the first collection of one hundred incredible and inspiring LGBTQIA+ venture-backed entrepreneurs featured in this year's Gaingels 100.