The program will open its doors in the spring of 2019. Backstage Accelerator supports brilliant ideas and disruptive companies that have been financially starved due to what’s come to be known as unconscious bias in Silicon Valley.
Most underestimated entrepreneurs would agree that the bias feels far too real to be unconscious and our joint venture with Backstage Capital is an effort to remedy this bias by leveling the playing field.
Value creation is not a zero-sum game
When we as a society promote great ideas regardless of race or gender, the economy as a whole expands. We all win. It hasn’t worked out that way in the past as funding proves extremely difficult to secure for underestimated founders. Here’s where Arlan Hamilton comes in and takes a stand for all the entrepreneurs that have been marginalized before.
Arlan is the leader of Backstage Capital, a VC firm that prioritizes founders who identify as women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ.
These founders were often shut out, shut down, and pushed aside, but in the process, they discovered that being underestimated gave them a different kind of power. We see Backstage Accelerator as a way to unlock them.
Science is unlocking engineering marvels
We ran until technology showed us how to fly. Our species is now the only Earth creature that has sent ships beyond the solar system — simply because we figured out how to build things of increasing complexity. Also, technology has amplified the voices of those in the margins which make our collective experience richer.
The amplification of those voices depends on fair access to cutting-edge technology. Furthermore, as the world continues its relentless march towards a technology-enabled future, these voices deserve equal access to the opportunity to invent new technologies.
Backstage helps you get ahead
- Less than 20% of tech jobs are held by women
- Black, Hispanic and Asian workers represent less than 10% of computer scientists
- The statistics on LGBTQ in tech are extremely difficult to estimate due to the high personal costs these individuals have faced in simply admitting to who they are in a public forum.
- The Kapor Institute estimates that turnover due to unfair treatment costs the tech industry $16 billion every year.