Arlan Hamilton built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a fund that is 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 170 startup companies led by underestimated founders. In 2018 Arlan co-founded Backstage Studio which launched four accelerator programs for underestimated founders in Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and London.
Hamilton’s commitment to inclusivity has challenged the status quo in the venture capital world. Despite facing countless obstacles and rejection, she has brought attention to the lack of diversity in the industry and actively works to bridge the gap. Her efforts extend beyond investing capital; she provides her portfolio companies with invaluable resources, mentorship, and connections to help them thrive.
Her debut book, “It’s About Damn Time,” released in 2020, quickly became an instant hit. The book provides readers with a roadmap for overcoming adversity, dismantling barriers, and creating their own paths to success. Hamilton’s authentic voice and relatable storytelling captivate readers, making it a must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs, investors, and anyone looking to make a difference.
Arlan Hamilton’s remarkable journey and unwavering dedication have garnered widespread recognition and accolades. She has been featured in renowned publications like Forbes, Time, and The New York Times, and has appeared on various media platforms as a guest speaker and diversity advocate. Her tireless efforts to amplify marginalized voices have earned her numerous awards and acknowledgments, solidifying her position as one of the most influential figures in the venture capital space today.