Arlan Hamilton is the CEO of Backstage Capital, a company that she founded in 2015. She is also known as a blogger and author, and had a variety of different careers before Backstage Capital. Here are ten things about her that you may not know.
1. She Was Homeless When She Founded Backstage Capital
Unlike many other venture capitalists, Hamilton was not wealthy at all when she started the business. CNBC explain how she was living in San Francisco Airport when she founded Backstage Capital. The only possession she had of any value was her laptop. She used the airport as a base for traveling across Silicon Valley and meeting investors. Her family would send her money when they could which meant she could sometimes afford a hotel room for the night. The fact that she had to live like this makes her more appreciative of what she has now.
2. Backstage Has Invested In Over 170 Start-ups
Since Backstage was founded, it has invested in over 170 start-ups in a variety of different industries. All of this investment has been in companies that have been founded by owners that would have been traditionally under-represented in the world of business. The value of the funding that has been raised for these businesses exceeds $15 million. In May 2018 she started a fund to raise $36 million to invest in businesses founded by black women. Hamilton is still very committed to Backstage and the people that they invest in, and she continues to raise money to help people achieve their dreams of running their own businesses.
3. She Founded And Published The Indie Magazine Interlude
Before starting Backstage Capital she founded another enterprise, the magazine Interlude. This was an internationally published independent magazine that focused on music and entertainment. She was also a contributor to a number of other magazines and websites including AOL and Curve Magazine, and contributed to the Your Daily Lesbian Moment blog for many years. All of these contributions gave her valuable writing experience which came in useful when it came to writing her first book.
4. She Was A Tour Manager For Several Different Artists
She had a brief period working for Atlantic Records as a tour manager. She had worked her way up to this position from production assistant. Artists that she worked with included Toni Braxton, Ceelo and Jason Derulo. This was a job that she enjoyed, but she always felt that there was something more that she could achieve. It was while she was doing this job that she began to notice other people in the music industry that were getting involved in investing. This led to her researching venture capitalism and realizing it was something that she wanted to be part of.
5. Her Work Has Been Recognized By Business Insider
Business Insider named her as one of the 23 most powerful people in tech that identify as LGBTQ+. They draw attention to the fact that Backstage also look specifically to invest in companies that are founded by people who may be under-represented in business, such as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Her goal with Backstage has always been to give opportunities to those who may find these kind of opportunties hard to come by. This is a cause that she continues to champion, and will as long as she is in charge at Backstage.
6. She Got Married In 2019
Hamilton married her wife Anna Eichenauer in 2019. Eichenauer is a German writer, composer and filmmaker. She has also done some acting work. She composed the theme to Hamilton’s Demystifying Faith podcast but to date this is the only project they have worked on together. The couple currently live in Los Angeles. This is a location where they both have plenty of resources and contacts that will help them further their careers.
7. Her Personal Icon Is Janet Jackson
She has described the singer Janet Jackson as her personal icon. Seeing her live was the first gig she ever went to, and she has been a fan since she was a teenager. She purchased a 1956 Chevy truck that used to belong to Jackson in 2021 for a price tag of $112,500. She won the truck in an auction of more than 1000 of items that were significant during Jackson’s career. In a video that was recorded after she won the truck, Hamilton thanked Jackson for the impact she has had on many people’s lives.
8. She Is Followed On Twitter By Barack Obama
Hamilton is very active on Twitter and usually tweets most days. One of her most famous followers on Twitter is the former president Barack Obama. It is well known that Obama has long had an interest in Silicon Valley and investing. The fact that he follows Arlan Hamilton on Twitter shows just what an impact she has had on this industry. She has almost 120,000 followers in total, and this number is growing all the time.
9. Her First Book Was Released In 2020
She released 'It's About Damn Time', the story of how she became involved in entrepreneurship, in May 2020. As well as being an autobiographical account of her journey, she also shares a lot of advice about how others can follow their own dreams. Hachette Uk feature reviews of the book from people such as Stacy Abrams and Jameela Jamil. The book is seen just as much of a self help book as it is as an autobiography.
10. She Offers Free Business Courses Through Arlan's Academy
She has recently founded Arlan’s Academy where she offers free business courses to the public. This is another example of how she tries to ensure that everyone can have the resources they need to try and improve their circumstances. New courses are added on a monthly basis and they are offered by a range of different people from the business world, who all have unique skills to share. There are also opportunities to network with other students.
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Written by Allen Lee
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