At a Glance

Arlan Hamilton : Biography at a Glance

  • 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 in 2015, Backstage has now invested nearly $5M into 100 startups led by underestimated founders and has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Quartz.
  • Arlan made history by making the cover of Fast Company as the first Black woman who is not an entertainer or athlete to do so. She and Backstage Studio were also the subjects of Season 7 of the popular Gimlet Media podcast, StartUp.
  • Before launching Backstage Capital, she authored the groundbreaking blog “Your Daily Lesbian Moment”, which she grew to a monthly readership of 50,000 fans worldwide.
  • In 2018, Arlan co-founded, along with Investment Partner Christie Pitts, Backstage Studio, a new venture studio designed to build products, services, and initiatives that serve the mission of eliminating underrepresentation in tech by empowering founders and their teams to succeed. 
Biography

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 $20 million and invested in nearly 200 startup companies led by underestimated founders. In early 2021, they orchestrated an equity crowdfunding campaign to allow people to invest in their operations, which maxed out at $5 million in less than a week.

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 favorite tv show is General Hospital, and her favorite musician is Janet Jackson.

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