In the world of venture capital, inspiration can come from many sources. For me, the spark that ignited the creation of Slay Ventures was lit by Arlan Hamilton. Her story, her resilience, and her unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion have been a beacon of hope and a source of strength for many of us in the industry.
Arlan’s journey is nothing short of extraordinary. As a Black, queer woman, she broke through numerous barriers to establish Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. Her story showed me that one doesn’t need a Stanford degree or a Silicon Valley address to make a significant impact in the venture capital world.
In 2018, I founded Slay Ventures, a venture capital fund dedicated to backing female-founded blockchain startups. The inspiration for this venture came from Arlan. Her audacious vision and her commitment to invest in what she wanted to see more of in the world resonated deeply with me. I saw in her a reflection of my own aspirations and a validation of the path I wanted to tread.
Arlan’s focus on diversity and inclusion was particularly inspiring. She demonstrated that investing in underrepresented demographics is not just a moral imperative but also a savvy business strategy. This philosophy is at the heart of Slay Ventures. We focus on startups led by women, a demographic that has been historically underrepresented in the tech industry. By doing so, we are not only promoting diversity but also tapping into a reservoir of untapped potential.
Arlan’s story also underscored the importance of resilience. She faced numerous rejections and obstacles on her path to establishing Backstage Capital, but she never gave up. Her tenacity served as a powerful reminder that success often comes to those who dare to persevere in the face of adversity.
And though there have been many hurdles along the way, 5 years later, Slay Ventures is officially launched. It was Arlan Hamilton’s journey that had a profound impact on me and many others in the venture capital industry. She never gave up. She will never give up. Her story serves as a powerful reminder that with determination, vision, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion, we can redefine the venture capital landscape. As I continue to navigate this exciting journey with Slay Ventures, I am grateful for the trail that Arlan has blazed and the inspiration she continues to provide.