RALEIGH – From homeless to venture capitalist, Arlan Hamilton will soon share her inspiring story in the Triangle.

The founder and managing partner of Backstage Capital, is the featured keynote speaker at the 2018 Innovate Raleigh Summit on Nov. 9 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

“We think that her message is an important one – perseverance against great odds, finding opportunity in overlooked areas, inclusivity,” Innovate Raleigh Executive Director, Bridget Harrington told WRAL TechWire.

Innovate Raleigh

Hamilton started her venture capital fund in 2015 while homeless and sleeping on the floor of the San Francisco International Airport. Her dream was to create a fund dedicated to investing in high-potential founders who are of color, women, or LGBTQ.

“Less than 10 percent of all venture capital deals go to women, people of color, and LGBTQ founders. Other VCs see this as a pipeline problem. We see it as the biggest opportunity for investment,” said Hamilton in a statement.

Her dream is now her reality.

Hamilton, a black, lesbian woman with no college degree or formal educational background founded and now runs Backstage Capital, a seed-stage investment fund that has made more than 180 investments in companies who have at least one founder who is a person of color, woman, or LGBTQ.

Hamilton recently announced the launch of a $36 million fund to continue to invest in companies led by entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities.

“We are thrilled that Arlan will be speaking at our Summit,” Harrington explained. “I am incredibly inspired by her story and think that her message is an important one—perseverance against great odds, finding opportunity in overlooked areas, and the importance of taking an inclusive approach.”

The seventh annual Innovate Raleigh Summit is focused on inclusivity and diversity and will connect participants in a day-long dialogue about funding, talent, and inclusivity in Raleigh’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Organizers plan to highlight inspiring stories from the community and explore the vision of the future through creative, innovative ways, said the organization in a statement.

Tickets can be reserved online.