Blog Post

Sept. 5, 2018

Backstage Capital & Tangelo Launch Accelerator, Empowering Underestimated Founders

By Tara Matamoros Carter, Rebecca Altamirano & Antonio Altamirano


Backstage Capital, in close partnership with Tangelo Technologies, is firing up their startup Accelerator for underestimated entrepreneurs across four cities in the US and abroad. 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.

Humans were fearful creatures before science unlocked 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.

Getting ahead for an early-stage company is difficult, to say the least, and the numbers prove it:

  • Less than 20 percent 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. However, the Kapor Institute estimated that turnover due to unfair treatment of those who stand out costs the tech industry $16 billion every year.
  • All of that must come to an end. Tangelo Technologies and Backstage Capital are collaborating to help bring a new world of opportunity to life.

    The four cities that will welcome local Backstage Accelerator chapters next year are London, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and one more city that is to be determined by your vote.

    It’s exciting for us to be a part of this swelling wave and to act as a link in the chain of technology knowledge transfer. To all of the founders who have been waiting in the wings for far too long, we’d like to say, “Welcome to the World’s Stage.”

    Read more about Backstage Capital’s Accelerator expansion program here.

    Exclusive: Backstage Capital offers $100K to diverse startups for four-city accelerator

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