Through empowerment and dedication, Arlan Hamilton, Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, is transforming the venture capital industry by investing in underrepresented founders.
Arlan Hamilton is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. Started from scratch in 2015, Backstage has now raised more than $15 million and invested in more than 175 startup companies led by underestimated founders. In 2018, they launched a four-city accelerator program in Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, and London.
Arlan has been featured on the cover of Fast Company magazine as the first Black woman non-celebrity to do so, and is the author of “It’s About Damn Time” and host of the weekly podcast “Your First Million”. Arlan and her mother, Mrs. Earline Butler-Sims, announced their scholarship program which kicked-off with scholarships for Black students at Oxford University and HBCU Dillard University.
“For underrepresented founders, our existence is challenged daily. Everyday, to walk down the street is something. There is a systemic issue and that continues because people think that certain people aren’t capable.”
On this week’s Startup Women Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Arlan discusses investing in underrepresented founders, the roadblocks in traditional VC funding, and building a long-lasting legacy.