For Arlan Hamilton, helping underrepresented founders get the funding they need is all about framing. Many investors, in her experience, hear the word "underrepresented" and think "homework" or "HR problem." On the other hand, she says, "If you say underestimated, they hear challenge--something untapped, something interesting or intriguing that I haven't learned enough about."
That approach is part of Hamilton's strategy at Backstage Capital, the venture firm she founded that invests in companies whose founders identify as women, people of color, or LGBTQ. Hamilton spoke with Inc. editor-at-large Tom Foster during an Inc. "Your Next Move" streaming event on Tuesday about her entrepreneurial background, her goals as an investor, and her recent book, It's About Damn Time: How to Turn Being Underestimated into Your Greatest Advantage (Currency). Watch the clips below for more of Hamilton's advice for underestimated founders.
On how to be OK with hearing "no" from an investor:
On the key difference between being underrepresented and being underestimated:
On how founders rose to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic:
On what to do if you're a technical founder looking for a visionary to partner with: