Arlan Hamilton

About the Author

Arlan Hamilton, founder at Backstage Capital and, is a serial entrepreneur, author, and prolific speaker. 

She 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. Arlan is also the founder of, a startup that connects outstanding employee talent with inclusive companies. 

Arlan published her book, It’s About Damn Time, in 2020, detailing her journey from homelessness to venture capital trailblazer. Arlan also hosts the popular podcast “Your First Million”, and in 2018, was the first non-celebrity Black woman to grace the cover of Fast Company magazine. Arlan’s latest book, Your First Million: Why You Don’t Have To Be Born Into A Legacy Of Wealth To Leave One Behind shows how anyone—no matter what they look like or how much money they have—can tap into all the new tools they already have at their disposal to get their million-dollar idea off the ground.

Arlan is a big proponent of paying it forward and supporting other underestimated people in the tech industry and beyond. She’s a limited partner in 27 funds led by emerging, underestimated managers, and she and her mother, Mrs. Earline Butler-Sims, have established scholarship programs for Black students at Oxford University, HBCU Dillard University, and Harvard Law.

By the Author