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“I would think about what good could happen if I was to achieve my goals. And who would be impacted by the world I had imagined in my mind.”

“It wasn’t always easy, I definitely had my dark moments. I had my moments when I didn’t has as much motivation. It wasn’t all hype.” – Arlan Hamilton



Arlan Hamilton built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a fund that is dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. Started from scratch in 2015, Backstage has now raised more than $10 million and invested in more than 130 startup companies led by underestimated founders. In 2018 Arlan co-founded Backstage Studio which launched four accelerator programs for underestimated founders in Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and London.  Arlan was featured on the cover of Fast Company magazine in October 2018 as the first Black woman non-celebrity to do so, and her new book “It’s About Damn Time” comes out on Penguin Random House’s business imprint Currency on May 5, 2020. 


On this episode of The Tokunbo Chronicles podcast, Arlan shares her incredible story from being homeless to becoming a Venture Capitalist. Arlan states that getting clear on the problem she was seeking to solve and knowing the value she would provide kept her going during the dark moments.