While many other industries have managed to change with the times and reflect the growing diversity of the workforce within their own personnel, the world of investment, in particularly, venture capitalism, has found a way to remain uniformly white, middle-aged and male.
This not only affects the types of starts ups and businesses that receive funding, as these investors will only give their money to businesses and owners with which they identify (read…white), but also provides an additional barrier to entry and much needed support for companies run by both minorities and women.
Enter Arlan Hamilton. She is a woman. She is a black woman. She is a black gay woman. And she is the epitome of disrupting an industry that needs all the change it can get.
Last Thursday, after years of trying, 34 year old Dallas, TX native Arlan became an official tech investor after launching her own early-stage investing fund via AngelList, a website for angel investors and startup founders.
Her goal is to provide much needed funding for underrepresented founders who may otherwise not have the access to take their companies to the next level. This can be the turning point this industry needs; all it takes is one of these funded ventures to blow up into the next big tech company and that black, Latino or female CEO will not only serve as a much needed diversity boost, but will inevitably bring in even more diversity through employees.
Unlike many of the other investors, Arlan’s fund is small, with multiple small ($1,000) and medium ($15,000) sized investments adding up to a fund to the tune of $150,000 to $250,000 per company.
A former tour manager for the likes of Pharrell and Justin Timberlake, she became inspired to act after reading interviews from individuals including Ellen Degeneres, Troy Carter (Lady Gaga’s manager) and Ashton Kutcher.
To read more about Arlan, check out the original article on Huffington Post.