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Lunar Startups Selected as Backstage Capital Tour's Twin Cities Host


February 20, 2020

St. Paul, Minn., Feb. 19, 2020 – Lunar Startups has been selected as host for the Backstage Capital Tour stop in the Twin Cities on June 9. The incubator competed against a global pool of applicants in fall 2019 and won the opportunity to be part of the international tour.

Headlined by Backstage Capital founding and managing partner Arlan Hamilton, each tour stop will feature a pitch competition and workshop opportunities for underrepresented entrepreneurs. Backstage Capital will also award $25,000 to one Minnesota startup company during the tour stop in the Twin Cities.

Like Backstage Capital, Lunar Startups, as program of American Public Media’s Glen Nelson Center, focuses on the development of high-potential companies owned by women, people of color and LGBTQ+ founders. Based in downtown St. Paul, Lunar Startups has its own one-year incubator program.

Lunar Startups will partner with Backstage Capital to bring two events to the local startup community, including a private afternoon event for startup founders and investors and a public evening event and book signing.

“This is an exceptional opportunity for our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Lunar Startups Managing Director Danielle Steer. "We are experiencing a boom across business sectors. As we compete for new and homegrown talent for Fortune 500s and local startups, it’s critical that we work together to build a more inclusive ecosystem. Backstage Capital shares our mission to support founders who identify as women, people of color, and LGBTQ+, and we can’t wait to show the nation the rich pool of innovators we have in our community.”

The Twin Cities stop, which kicks off the Midwest portion of the international tour, will help equip local entrepreneurs to build and grow their companies, clarify pathways to capital, and connect with peers, mentors, and funders.

Lunar Startups’ role in the Twin Cities tour stop is to include local talent and community in the Backstage tour framework. This event will help showcase local founders, investors and experts who bring different lived experiences to the table. Local companies and investors can also add dollars to the $25,000 investment on offer during the tour stop. Sponsors and investors can contact Lunar Startups for more information.

Event Details For June 9, 2020

The Backstage Capital Tour Stop will include two events for entrepreneurs, investors, and the general public:

• Private Afternoon Event - Backstage Connect: Featuring educational programming, office hours, workshops, panels, and fireside chats, the Backstage Connect event will equip participating founders with tools, resources, and opportunities to grow their business, while providing investors with information about how they can increase their returns by increasing the diversity of founders in their portfolios.

• Lunar Startups + Backstage Capital Evening Event: The evening event includes a welcome speech by Arlan Hamilton, founder of Backstage Capital and author of It's About Damn Time, a panel discussion with local ecosystem builders, presentations by six founders who have applied to receive the $25,000 Backstage Capital Tour investment, and the announcement of the winning company.

More information – including venue, registration information, and ticket sales – will be forthcoming.

About Lunar Startups

Lunar Startups is a new model for incubating high growth companies led by founders who identify as women, people of color, and LGBTQ+. Launched at the Glen Nelson Center of American Public Media, Lunar Startups is breaking down barriers for innovators, disruptors, and change-makers to scale the next generation of industry pioneers. For more, visit

About American Public Media

American Public Media® (APM) is the national programming and distribution division of American Public Media Group and reaches 19 million listeners via approximately 1,000 radio stations nationwide each week. APM is one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world, with a portfolio that includes BBC World Service, Marketplace®, and the leading classical music programs in the nation. APM offers a diverse array of podcasts featuring the best in food, culture, entertainment, business and investigative journalism. For more information on APM, visit

Source: Data are copyright Nielsen Audio, Nationwide DMA data, Persons 12+, Spring ‘19.


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