The Riveter Office Hours: Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital

The venture capital phenom tells all.

At The Riveter, we’re always looking for ways to add value to our members’ experiences and seeking solutions that will help more women and their allies achieve their professional goals. One of our more unique offerings is The Riveter Office Hours, in which members are invited to sign up for face time with accomplished venture capitalists, attorneys, small business advisers and more, for free.

For a solopreneur just starting out, that kind of insider information can be gold, so we’ve been trying to find a way to bottle some of that Office Hours magic to share with members who aren’t able to get to our physical locations. During a recent conversation with the always-inspiring Arlan Hamilton (founder and general manager of the pioneering VC fund, Backstage Capital), it occurred to us that we had an incredibly valuable asset sitting right in front of us—and with that, The Riveter Office Hours with Backstage Capital was born.

If you aren’t familiar with Backstage Capital, here’s the need-to-know: They’ve invested $5M in 100 companies led by underrepresented founders — entrepreneurs who identify as Women, People of Color, and/or LGBTQ — and they’re just getting started.

“We invest in the very best founders who identify as women, people of color, or LGBT, in the U.S. I personally identify as all three.”

– Arlan Hamilton, Backstage Capital

What makes Backstage Capital and The Riveter such a good fit? Here, Hamilton and Backstage Capital CEO Christie Pitts explain.

Backstage recently held an event at The Riveter West LA to celebrate the graduating cohort from the Backstage LA Accelerator program, and we were on hand to solicit questions from the attendees. Read on for a selection of their questions and Hamilton’s answers.

Question 1: What is something you seek in a good investor besides money?

Question 2: What are the top three things you would advise a startup to do?

Question 3: What factor would make you turn down a company immediately?

Question 4: When do you know that your company is ready for an accelerator?

Question 5: What’s the best way to avoid losing too much equity in your company to venture capitalists?

Stay tuned for more The Riveter Office Hours with Backstage Capital. Want to hear about events in your area or other online offerings from The Riveter? Sign up for a free membership so we can stay in touch.