Founder, Backstage Capital and Runner
Arlan Hamilton, founder at Backstage Capital and Runner, is a serial entrepreneur, author and master multi-tasker. Hamilton founded Backstage Capital in 2015 to invest in founders who are people of color, women and/or LGBTQ. Since its founding, Backstage has raised nearly $30 million and invested in 200 startups led by underestimated founders.
In 2021, Hamilton founded talent operations startup Runner to connect outstanding operations talent with inclusive companies. Runner has already raised $2 million from investors like Precursor Ventures, Lunar Startups, Kapor Capital and others.
Arlan published her book, “It’s About Damn Time,” in 2020, detailing her journey from homelessness to venture capital. Arlan also hosts podcasts “Your First Million” and “Demystifying Faith,” and is the executive producer on “The Valley,” a daily soap opera that is like “General Hospital” but for the tech industry.
Arlan is a proponent of paying it forward and supporting other underestimated people in the tech industry and beyond. She’s a limited partner in funds at Collab Capital, Ganas Ventures, Lightship Capital, RareBreed Ventures and several others. Meanwhile, Arlan and her mother, Mrs. Earline Butler-Sims, founded a scholarship program for Black students at Oxford University and HBCU Dillard University.
Arlan Hamilton Went From Homeless to Running $20 Million in VC Funds. Here’s How She Did It