Hi, I’m Arlan.
Founder, Managing Partner, Backstage Capital
Author, It's About Damn Time
Host, Your First Million podcast
What you'll learn:
- How to get "in the room" -- even virtually...
- Where to find your "edge"
- When to quit your day job
- The huge mistake 99% of all entrepreneurs make while pitching
- The 3 takeaways that will help you negotiate with any millionaire with confidence
- How to get your first (or 100th) "yes" from an investor
- The hack that will help you skip the investor route altogether
- and much more.
"This course has over-delivered and on so many levels. I feel confident launching my startup now. Thank you Arlan!! ❤️"
- Raymond, Ohio
I have raised millions of dollars as the founder of investment fund Backstage Capital, and have generated millions of dollars in revenue as the founder of three companies -- Backstage, Runner, & Arlan Was Here LLC -- all for a combined $20+ million in the past 5+ years!
Since 2015, I have invested in nearly 200 companies led by women, people of color, and LGBTQ founders! I have reviewed THOUSANDS of companies and their pitches, and NEGOTIATED with hundreds of millionaires and billionaires.
Let me save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars by teaching you fundamental lessons, rules of the road, tips, and hacks to skip the mistakes many entrepreneurs make. For the more advanced entrepreneur, let's unstick you and open up even more potential for you to raise and earn capital for your company.
(be sure to click on the carrot for more)
- Arlan's intro & what you'll learn (required) (14:32)
- Student introductions! [welcome]
- Course reading list [highly recommended]
- Arlan's incredible journey (5:08)
- Portfolio company testimonials: Curlmix & Uncharted Power (0:34)
- Portfolio company testimonial: Haute Hijab (3:07)
- Portfolio company testimonial: Sunhouse (3:15)
- Portfolio company short film: Haute Hijab (11:21)
- Funding overview (1:03)
- Friends & Family (4:39)
- Angel investors (6:12)
- Family offices (3:27)
- Venture Capital (6:24)
- Accelerators & Incubators
- Crowdfunding vs. Crowdequity (5:06)
- Debt & Grants (2:41)
- Bootstrapping (spoiler alert: Arlan's fav!) (17:33)
- Bootstrapping case study: Curlmix (0:59)
- If you skipped the Bootstrapping video... (0:23)
- Terms, jargon, & tools (23:12)
- Terms pdf
- Bonus: Legal insights from Ed Zimmerman (convertible notes, SAFEs, etc)
- Bootstrapping vs. Raising (9:57)
- Research & Development (20:15)
- Pitching to investors (23:24)
- Pitch deck dos and donts (20:06)
- Pitch competitions (10:05)
- Pitch deck homework (3:50)
- *Guest professor: Harvard's Laura Huang | Finding your EDGE while pitching (20:41)
- Bonus: Docsend's pitch guide & templates
- Arlan's book deal
- How publishing = more than 1 revenue stream
- 8 lessons from the book
- Techish: UK perspective and book breakdown
- On 'Becoming Money': Interview w/bestselling author of 'The $100 Startup' & 'Side Hustle' (26:14)
- On 'Authenticity': Interview w/iconic "Milkshake" singer, chef, & entrepreneur Kelis (56:34)
- On 'Creativity': Interview w/award-winning photographer & Creative Live founder Chase Jarvis (49:57)
Video modules are closed captioned in English AND translated into Spanish!
"Arlan, I am the first student to complete your course and here I am your Mom’s age and starting my first business. We, the underestimated, never outgrow our desire to learn or to build. We have to. It took too long for us to get the opportunity. From reading your book to taking the course, I suspect all the founders in my class are committed to success.
Your instruction provided me an invaluable education on vision, commitment and of course funding, and I am grateful. Thank you for your sacrifice. I know it is a labor of love."
-Felicia Polk, May 30, 2020
"Between this course and Arlan's book, It's About Damn Time, my thinking has changed and I'm having fun earning money to support myself and those on my team. I'm also giving computer science students their first jobs in tech!"
"Arlan narrates this fundraising guide through a relatable medium. It is VERY digestible."
"Arlan has built a comprehensive course of study, from basic vocabulary to live founder case studies, that is the perfect starting point for any entrepreneur."
Danielle, North Carolina
"Arlan has designed an engaging course for underestimated entrepreneurs. There is not only learning available in the modules but then I get to run with the information. And I haven't stopped learning from her yet."
Founder, Salem Hemp Kings, Salem, IL
“Arlan, I’m only through Module 1 (taking it slowly so I can absorb every word), and you truly have a talent for teaching and explaining. I’m really blown away, and so so happy I decided to get access to the course. It’s already completely changed the way I’m thinking about raising capital for my company!
I love that you explain the human dynamics at play, which is so critical to our ability as students to carry these lessons with us.”
"...I started to cry two videos in...this will help me finally realize my true potential and be in charge of my own destiny."
- A.S., April 18, 2020
Want help deciding if this course is right for you?
Click on the handy flow chart below for honest advice!
"It will save you from making some critical errors."
- Felicia, NC
"Very well done and extremely accessible."
- Carol, NY
"I’m impressed with the comprehensive curriculum, at such an affordable price."
- Rob, Sweden