Arlan Hamilton is known for being the founder of Backstage Capital and as the author of the bestselling book, “It’s about Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated into Your Greatest Advantage.” Not only did she break barriers for women of color and the LGBTQ+ community but also empowered hundreds of businesses with her entrepreneurship. 

A photo of Arlan Hamilton speaking into a microphone

Her journey from homelessness to founding a multimillion-dollar company is nothing short of remarkable. This blog delves into her inspiring journeys, her remarkable achievements, and the impact she continues to create in the technology world!  

Arlan Hamilton was born and raised in California in a low income household supported by a single mother. From a young age, Arlan felt a spark for the music industry, but unfortunately dropped out of college. This however had little to do with her later success. 

After years of work in the music industry, she quit to pursue her passion of founding underrepresented companies. Unfortunately, she did not have the money to properly fund her dream and became homeless, living off of food stamps. 

After two years of homelessness, Arlan finally had her breakthrough. She met Susan Kimberlin, her first investor, interested in supporting her dream. In 2015 Arlan Hamilton finally had enough funds and created Backstage Capital to help fund entrepreneurs like herself. She now co-manages Backstage Capital and has helped fund over 200 startups. In 2018, she appeared in Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 as well as Fast Company’s Queer 50! 

As a Black, queer woman, Arlan faced significant challenges in the largely white, male-dominated tech industry. Despite these hurdles, she successfully established a company that empowers hundreds to chase their dreams.

Beyond its success, her company stands out with its exemplary business model, focusing on equitable funding, especially for projects led by minorities. Arlan’s profound impact extends far beyond her business, inspiring many as she persistently champions the causes of POC and the LGBTQ+ communities.

Today, Arlan Hamilton speaks about her journey and struggles at universities and conferences. She offers guidance for young entrepreneurs in hopes to inspire them. She encourages people to reframe their narrative on business investments. Furthermore, she emphasized that young minds shouldn’t shy away from taking calculated risks, persisting against odds, and steadfastly pursuing their goals. With self-belief and relentless drive, she declared, any achievement is possible. 

Arlan Hamilton’s journey through the tech industry, her inspiring triumph over adversity, and her unwavering commitment to equity and representation, have left a profound impression. She didn’t just break barriers and shatter stereotypes but also extended an opportunity to those who need it most. Her success is not about building a great business, but about inspiring a new generation of young entrepreneurs! Arlan Hamilton is changing the face of the tech industry and has proved that success is not defined by one’s background but by their drive, dreams, and determination.

Explore her YouTube shorts series on how to become an entrepreneur yourself!