How to find underrepresented founders and Backstage Capital's requests for products

Product Hunt Radio



Nov. 20, 2018, 9 p.m.

Today's episode of Product Hunt Radio is the largest gathering yet, featuring Arlan, Christie, Bryan, and Amiah from the Backstage Capital team.

Arlan Hamilton isn't your typical VC. She went from being homeless not long ago to founding and scaling Backstage Capital, a fund dedicated to investing in underrepresented (or underestimated, as she coined) founders. Since 2015, they have invested millions of dollars into over 80 companies. Prior to starting the fund, she worked in the music industry, where she was a tour manager and founder and publisher of INTERLUDE, an internationally distributed indie magazine.

Christie Pitts is the co-founder of Backstage Studio, their recently announced venture studio. Prior to teaming up with Arlan and team, she worked with Verizon Ventures portfolio and following emerging technology trends.

Bryan Landers is Backstage's recently promoted COO and producer of two of Backstage's podcasts. Previously he worked as a designer and product manager at Zapier and as a consultant.

Amiah Sheppard is an operations associate and analyst working on the deal flow team at Backstage. She has a particular focus on beauty and wellness startups.
In this episode we talk about:

  • Arlan's mission to find underrepresented and underestimated founders and the importance, even as adults, of being able to look up to role models who look like you. Arlan hopes to be a role model to a new generation of people of color that want to build companies.
  • The crew, as they call the team at Backstage, walk through some of their requests for products, including waterproof headgear, online book clubs, and a way to bring the shared experience of live music online. Aspiring founders, take note!
  • Also mullets make another appearance (see last week's episode for more chatter about mullet). Except this time it's not about a mullet strategy or mullet businesses, it's about the actual, for-real hockey hair.

We also talk about some of their favorite products, like an app that lets you experience live music in virtual reality, a service that lets you search live audio, and a way to add pictures, maps or quotes to your favorite podcasts.

We’ll be back next week so be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Also, big thanks to our sponsors, Airtable, GE Ventures, Intercom and Stripe for their support. 😸

Quotes from This Episode

“I cried when I saw this cover [Fast Company October 2018] because I was looking back a few years to see who I wanted to see [on a magazine cover.]” — Arlan

“We’re about to have another mobile revolution [with 5G]. There are companies working on the technology, but I think there will be a whole new wave of companies that change the way we interact with each other.” — Christie

“You have thousands and thousands of people who are finally getting their shot at starting a company.” — Arlan

“As long as you can’t download a t-shirt, live music will always win. They said that a few years ago, but now you can download a t-shirt.” — Arlan

Companies and Products Mentioned in This Episode

CEEK — Explore, share and live the moment in VR.

Entale — Add pictures, maps and quotes to your favorite podcasts.

Nēdl — Find what's playing or saying now on live audio broadcasts. (RIP) — Music-streaming, chat rooms and voting.

Also explore this collection of Backstage Capital's headliners (aka portfolio companies) on Product Hunt.