Current Landscape & Importance of Women Investing in Women
Founder of Backstage Capital, Author and venture catalyst
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 $15million and invested in more than 175startup companies led by underestimated founders. In 2018, they launched a four-city accelerator program in Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, and London.
Arlan is the author of, "It's About Damn Time", an inspirational and tactical business book for budding entrepreneurs and aspiring investors. She hosts the popular podcast, Your First Million, and has been featured on CNN, PBS, and others, and in 2019 became the first Black woman to have an entirely devoted episode of Emily Chang's Bloomberg 1.0.
In October 2018, Arlan was featured on the cover of Fast Company magazine as the first Black woman non-celebrity to do so (following Oprah, Serena, and Beyonce).
In 2019, Arlan and her mother, Mrs. Earline Butler-Sims, announced their new scholarship program, which kicked off with Oxford University's first-ever undergraduate scholarship for a Black student, as well as a commitment to fund a full-ride scholarship for a Psychology student at Mrs. Sims' alma mater, HBCU Dillard University.
Arlan's company, Backstage Capital, produced and released 'jOURney', a documentary celebrating the five year anniversary of the firm, highlighting the people and companies who made it what it is today and released an impact report highlighting the strides Backstage has made in changing the venture capital scene. They also launched Backstage Crowd, a funding platform giving access to the best diverse deal flow in VC. Backstage ended 2020 having made over 30 investments in underestimated founders.
To cap the year, Arlan's Academy was launched. Arlan recruited experts from across the tech universe to teach and give insight into what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Now anyone can learn what was only available to those 'in-the-know' in Silicon Valley.
Arlan's favorite tv show is General Hospital, and her favorite musician is Janet Jackson.