On Air
0:00
0:00
Open In Popup
MPR News

Venture capitalist Arlan Hamilton on building an inclusive economy

Share story

Arlan Hamilton and Tawanna Black
Arlan Hamilton (left) founder of Backstage Capital, spoke with Tawanna Black, CEO of the Center for Economic Inclusion, on Nov. 13, 2018 during the center's Powering Inclusion event.
Courtesy of Alex Carroll

Venture capitalist Arlan Hamilton of Backstreet Capital speaks in the Twin Cities about building an inclusive economy.

Only a few years ago, Arlan Hamilton was homeless and pretty much broke. Today she is founder and managing partner of Los Angeles-based Backstage Capital, which has invested more than $5 million in 100 startups whose high-potential founders are people of color, women or LGBTQ. Two of those startups are in Minnesota.

This year Backstage has launched a $36 million fund for black women entrepreneurs.

Hamilton spoke November 13, 2018 at the Powering Inclusion forum sponsored by the Center for Economic Inclusion.  She was interviewed by the Center's CEO, Tawanna Black.

They discussed the importance of building an economy that works for everyone. 

This hour you also hear brief comments from three panelists:

Shawntera Hardy, Minnesota's DEED Commissioner, and head of strategy for Civic Eagle. Civic Eagle uses artificial intelligence to help organizations automate tracking of legislation. It has offices in Minneapolis, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

Clarence Bethea, founder and CEO of Minneapolis-based Upsie, a startup that has raised $3.5 million in funding for its lower-cost warranties on smart phones, electronics and appliances.

Emily Hunt Turner, founder and CEO of All Square, a civil rights social enterprise that combines a restaurant offering gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and professional development to help formerly incarcerated people gain a productive future.