Arlan Hamilton

Speaker, Arlan Hamilton
Founder and Managing Partner, Backstage Capital
  • Gimlet Media is dedicating Season 7 of Startup, a podcast series, to the story of Backstage Capital and how it’s shaking up the startup/VC world.
  • Named one of “50 Founders to Watch” in the November issue of ESSENCE magazine (2017)
  • Arlan made the Create & Cultivate 100 list in STEM (2017)

When she’s not writing about herself in the third person, Arlan enjoys writing The L Word fanfic Twitter page @ModernLWord and “watching the hell” out of some General Hospital.

The VC disruptor

Arlan Hamilton is disrupting the Silicon Valley status quo. The self-taught VC built her $5 million venture fund, Backstage Capital, three years ago, from the ground up, when she was homeless (!) and has since invested more than $4 million in over 80 companies led by underrepresented founders. “I’m extremely interested in diversity in tech – moving the needle, kicking the needle’s ass  –  when it comes to people of colour, women and LGBT, since I am all three,” she’s said. Backstage Capital is dedicated democratizing access to financial mentorship and minimizing investment disparities by funding underestimated entrepreneurs. A study of 60,000 startups found female CEOs receive 2.7% of available VC funding, while women of colour receive 0.2%. At Backstage Capital, 72% of founders are POC, 62% are women, 44% are women of colour and 12% identify as LGBTQ+. Seeing potential by casting a wider net, Arlan is an expert in finding profitable investments that cater to underserved markets. Her work has become so successful in the Valley that it’s been dubbed “The Arlan Network Effect.”
“Now, we’re getting to the point where… to ignore or not be aware of the diversity issues, not diversifying your portfolio or your team, can be detrimental to your bottom line.”
Arlan to Forbes
  • Gimlet Media is dedicating Season 7 of Startup, a podcast series, to the story of Backstage Capital and how it’s shaking up the startup/VC world.
  • Named one of “50 Founders to Watch” in the November issue of ESSENCE magazine (2017)
  • Arlan made the Create & Cultivate 100 list in STEM (2017)

When she’s not writing about herself in the third person, Arlan enjoys writing The L Word fanfic Twitter page @ModernLWord and “watching the hell” out of some General Hospital.