Arlan Hamilton to Keynote 2018 Innovate Raleigh Summit


We are excited to announce that Arlan Hamilton, founder and managing director of Backstage Capital, will be featured in a keynote conversation at the 2018 Innovate Raleigh Summit. Hamilton started her venture capital fund from the ground up in 2015 while homeless and sleeping on the floor of the San Francisco International Airport. Her dream was to create a fund dedicated to investing in high-potential founders who are of color, women or LGBTQ.

Today, that dream has become a reality. Hamilton, a black, lesbian woman with no college degree or formal educational background is known as  “America’s hottest VC.” She now runs her seed-stage investment fund that is backed by top funders like Marc Andreesen (Andreesen Horowitz), Stewart Butterfield (Slack) and Chris Sacca (Lowercase Capital). Hamilton has made over 100 investments in companies who have at least one founder who is a person of color, woman or LGBTQ. In early May 2018, Hamilton announced the launch of a $36 million fund to continue to fulfill her mission.

“Less than 10 percent of all venture capital deals go to women, people of color and LGBTQ founders. Other VCs see this as a pipeline problem. We see it as the biggest opportunity for investment,” said Hamilton.

“We are thrilled that Arlan will be speaking at our Summit. I am incredibly inspired by her story and think that her message is an important one – perseverance against great odds, finding opportunity in overlooked areas and the importance of taking an inclusive approach,” said Executive Director of Innovate Raleigh, Bridget Harrington.

Hamilton will address 2018 Summit attendees in Raleigh, N.C. on the morning of November 9 in a fireside chat with The News & Observer’s Executive Editor, Robyn Tomlin. Other speakers will be announced in coming weeks. To register for the event, visit