Arlan Hamilton is a remarkable entrepreneur who built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless. She 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 Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, CNN Money, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Quartz. In October 2018, Arlan was featured on the cover of Fast Company magazine, making her the first Black woman who is not an entertainer or athlete to grace the cover.
Arlan entered the venture investing world from an unconventional path. 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. She has written for AOL, SuicideGirls, and Curve Magazine, and founded and published the internationally distributed indie magazine Interlude. Arlan is also a live music production professional, having served as a tour manager to numerous international artists including will.i.am, Toni Braxton, and Jason Derulo. Most recently she worked with Atlantic Records recording artist Janine.