Arlan Hamilton seemed to be running out of options just a year ago. She was homeless — moving from couch to couch in Palo Alto, put up by friends who would let her crash with them when she wasn’t sleeping at the airport or in a car. She’d about exhausted her rolodex of angel investors in the tech world. Things were looking grim, as though her dream of launching a venture capital fund would vaporize for good. Then, she got a call from Susan Kimberlin, a big-whig in the tech world. Kimberlin was ready to give Hamilton her shot and made an initial investment.
Hamilton, 35, then realized her dream and launched Backstage Capital. Her goals were to invest in entrepreneurs that are female, LGBT, and minority. Soon, investments were rolling in from some of the biggest names in tech venture capital, like Chris Sacca and Marc Andreessen, among others. Her fund was flush with money — all she had to do was go out and begin funding all of the extraordinary startups she’d come across. Oh, and find somewhere to live. “I never had to be homeless again after that,” she declared.
Over the last year, Hamilton has invested in nine sets of entrepreneurs with her $5 million fund. “She’s out there finding companies that I would never ever have seen,” one of her investors observes. But Hamilton is adamant that she’s not out there doing charity work. She wants to make some cold hard cash.
“This is not a nonprofit or a charity. I want killer companies who are making money and will make money,” she said. “My job is to make money for my investors, and I can’t do that with companies based on my heart. It has to be based on companies that are badass.”
Read the full story at Inc.