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Published by:
Harvard Business Publishing (2019)
24 October 2019
Revision date:
20 pages
Data source:
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Frustrated by an inability to convince existing venture capital firms to invest in companies led by women, people of color, and LGBT founders, Arlan Hamilton started her own firm, Backstage Capital, in 2015. Hamilton understood the untapped potential of companies run by underrepresented founders, a group historically excluded from venture capital funding, and was eager to demonstrate the significant returns on investment in such companies. This case explores Hamilton's nontraditional VC background, and her mission to fund startups where at least one founder of the company identifies as a woman, person of color, or LGBT. Now, three years after its founding, Hamilton is considering launching both an accelerator and a fund that will invest exclusively in Black women.


Core purpose; Diversity; Entrepreneurship; Gays & lesbians; Gender; Leadership; Mission statement; Organizational behavior; Personal characteristics; Ethnicity; Social issues; Social responsibility; Venture capital; Women


Berkeley Haas Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership (EGAL) Case Compendium: DEI focus; Diverse protagonist(s)

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