Entre-SLAM Kicks off Backstage Capital Detroit


Seeking a storytelling component, The Backstage Capital Detroit team invited Entre-SLAM to kick off the cohort. Combining brand storytelling, design thinking and prototyping activities, that teams, hilariously, in many cases to visually convey and articulate the power of their brand’s story.

As seen in Fast Company

When venture firm Backstage Capital announced last fall that it would be launching a four-city accelerator program for underrepresented founders, more than 1,800 applications poured in. Today, after six months of vetting, Backstage is naming the 25 startups selected to participate in the accelerator’s inaugural cohort. In keeping with Backstage’s mission, each one is led by at least one woman, person of color, or LGBTQ entrepreneur.

Women and minority representation in other accelerator programs tends to be much lower. In the most recent batch of Y Combinator, for example, only 28% of teams include a woman founder and 12% include a black or Latinx founder.

For Backstage, introducing an accelerator program represents a chance to build on the momentum created by the Backstage 100, the firm’s foundational portfolio of 100 early-stage companies. In assembling the Backstage 100, firm founder and managing partner Arlan Hamilton set out to prove that there are ample opportunities for venture capitalists to write checks to women and minorities. By the end of 2018, companies in the Backstage 100 had raised over $50 million in follow-on capital.

“We exist to help eliminate the concept of underrepresentation in tech,” says Backstage Capital partner Christie Pitts, who is running the accelerator. “So for us, it’s really important that we provide an on-ramp into investing for underrepresented founders.”