StartOut Announces 2017 Award Winners

Arlan Hamilton is the founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a boutique venture capital fund based in Los Angeles that invests in exceptional women, people of color and LGBTQ tech founders. Started from scratch in 2015, Backstage has now invested in more than 50 companies. Her Limited Partners include Marc Andreessen, Stewart Butterfield, Ellen Pao, Heather Hiles and Startout Board member Chris Fraley.

Having founded and published the internationally distributed indie magazine  Interlude, and toured extensively as a live music production professional, Arlan enters the venture investing world from an unconventional path. She is dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech. 

Before launching Backstage Capital, Arlan was the author of the groundbreaking blog for lesbians—"and the lesbian-adjacent"—Your Daily Lesbian Moment, which from 2006 - 2011 was read by an average of 50,000 people worldwide each month. In 2014, she created the popular fanfic Twitter profile @ModernLWord, which is often referenced by L Word creator Ilene Chaiken, director Angela Robinson, and cast member Rachel Shelley, among others.

Meg Columbia-Walsh is recognized as one of the most successful women tech entrepreneurs and CEOs. She recently received the NJBIZ Top 50 Women in Business. Meg is currently the CEO of Wylei, an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning company where the cloud based machine uses advanced predictive algorithms to take the guesswork out of digital web, email, mobile, and video campaigns. This is Walsh’ 5 th start up and the previous all were sold to the Fortune 100 and one in an IPO. During her twenty plus year career in healthcare, CPG and Technology, Meg has successfully founded, run and exited companies including Inverse Mobile sold to EY, Oncology.com sold to Pharmacia and Upjohn, CBS Healthwatch in IPO and then sold to WebMD, and HealthTech Digital Communications sold to Interpublic Group. Meg is a proven entrepreneur recognized as a leading visionary in marketing, digital, social, mobile, pharma business process and consumer marketing.

Dubbed “The Coach” by Marie Claire, Natalia (aka Ms. Oberti Noguera) is Founder and CEO of Pipeline Angels, a network of women investors that’s changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs. Natalia is also Creator & Host of Pitch Makeover, a podcast on startups, pitching, investing, and #morevoices (women, non-binary people, and men of color). She holds a BA in Comparative Literature & Economics from Yale and she serves on the boards of Walker’s Legacy, Women 2.0, and iRelaunch. Inc. Magazine selected Natalia as one of “The Most Impressive Women Entrepreneurs of 2016,” Latina.com included her in their list of “25 Latinas Who Shine in Tech,” and Women’s eNews recognized her as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century for 2012. Natalia was named to the Forbes list “Top 20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter” and Fortune’s “55 most influential women on Twitter.” You can find Natalia on Twitter (@nakisnakis).

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