Alliances are important in corporate America, and nowhere may they be more important than for LGBTQ business owners.

Those alliances with companies inside and outside of a business owner’s industry can provide any number of meaningful connections, everything from sales to insight and mentoring and meaningful discussions about the state of the economy.

As the Valley, Arizona and national LGBTQ communities have grown in prominence as both consumers and business owners, more of these connections have formed, but local leaders say more are needed

But doing business in the region means reaching out beyond narrow borders, something the LGBTQ community says is vital to their businesses’ survival. Experts say it’s also vital for businesses outside the LGBTQ community to establish connections within that community, with its estimated $900 billion worth of U.S. consumer spending, while looking for places to buy products and services.

As part of the annual Business of Pride coverage focusing on LGBTQ issues in the business community, the Business Journal focused on those relationships and how they function.

A good example of that is how Jamison Manwaring and John Kobierowski are on a mission to democratize commercial real estate investment. In the process, they’ve created a diverse company as well.

Manwaring comes from the corporate world. He started at Goldman Sachs as an equity analyst before joining Tempe-based LifeLock Inc. after the company went through its initial public offering in 2012. Kobierowski is a longtime commercial real estate operator in the Valley, specializing in multifamily properties.

When Manwaring left LifeLock in 2017 and was looking at getting into real estate with a plan to develop a crowdfunding platform to allow small investors into the game, he connected with Kobierowski and the duo launched Neighborhood Ventures in 2017.

Manwaring is gay, Kobierowski is straight, and they’re an example of how alliances can work. The partnership works because neither man says he spends a lot of time thinking about it.

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