Episode 348: The Color of Money in VC

This episode of Breaking Banks is a call to action for the VC industry to put their money where their mouths are. Jason Henrichs speaks with Backstage Capital Founder and Managing Partner Arlan Hamilton about her journey from homeless to Investor/A Force to be Reckoned with. Arlan shares her experience in the VC space as a gay black woman and highlights Backstage Capital’s Syndicate program, a program dedicated to investing in under-resourced individuals. Be sure to check out Arlan’s new book It’s About Damn Time and visit backstagecapital.com!

Then stay tuned as Jason hosts Mike Asem, Partner at M25, and board member with BLCK VC. Mike shares his passion for being a good steward in the investment space, to not only advance diversity and inclusion within the VC industry but to truly change the entire landscape. Mike’s insightful and actionable framework for Anti-Racism Ownership can be found at bit.ly/bediverse.

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The Guests

Arlan Hamilton / Founder & Managing Partner at Backstage Capital

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 $7 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.

Backstage Capital: https://backstagecapital.com/

Arlan’s New Book: https://www.itsaboutdamntime.com/

Mike Asem / Partner at M25

As a partner at M25, Mike has participated in nearly 100 investments in early-stage companies across the Midwest. Outside of his responsibilities at M25, Mike is a Kauffman Fellow (Class 24) and a board member at BLCK VC, leading initiatives in the Midwest to connect, engage, empower, and advance Black venture investors. Prior to M25, Mike founded The Anvil, a co-working space and startup incubator on Purdue University’s campus, where he helped launch the first Purdue startup to be accepted to Y Combinator. Mike lives in Chicago with his wife, Erikka. In his free time, he enjoys making wine, eating sushi, following Chicago sports, and traveling with his wife.

M25: https://m25vc.com/