Arlan Hamilton highlights her journey during Project Northstar conference

When Arlan Hamilton spoke during the Project NorthStar conference, she reflected on her journey to starting Backstage Capital, a fund dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are of color, women and/or LGBT.

The Los Angeles-based firm is raising $36 million to invest exclusively in Black female founders, who receive less than 1 percent of all venture capital funding. Since receiving its initial investment in 2015, the company has invested more than $4 million in 100 companies led by underrepresented founders.

In addition to the $36 million fund, Backstage Capital has launched a business accelerator that will support companies led by founders who are women, people of color and LGBT. The accelerator will roll out in spring 2019 in Philadelphia, London, Los Angeles and Detroit. Aniyia Williams, founder of Black and Brown Founders, will serve as the special advisor to the Philadelphia accelerator.

Six start-up companies will be accepted into each cohort and each will receive $100,000 in exchange for a 5 percent equity stake.

“Because the program is targeted at early stage founders, we know that the road ahead of them is very long so what we are looking for is that commitment to success in the long term and what they’ve done in the past to set them up well to be in this position,” said Christie Pitts, a Backstage Capital partner.

Read the full article by the Philadelphia Tribune here.

Syreeta Martin