“Market makers,” wrote American entrepreneur and technologist Hank Williams shortly before he died, “are the folks that help new young companies and entrepreneurs by providing insight, mentoring, capital and relationships.
A respected technologist, Williams, 50, was the CEO of cloud storage company KloudCo, known for his directness and great conversation. Since 2012 his most public project had been the Platform Summit, a three day Ted-style conference that brought together a wide array of thinkers, tech executives and creative entrepreneurs to network and exchange ideas on the future of technology inclusion.
“We set up Platform because there is an urgent need in the information economy for everybody – people of color, women – to be engaged,” Williams said in February 2015. “We wanted to foster a significantly greater level of diversity in the innovation economy.”
Williams had long maintained that special effort was needed to ensure that the emerging tech industry more closely resembled the increasingly multicultural US population. While census studies have shown that whites will no longer be a majority in the US by 2043, many well-known tech companies still rank in the single digits in terms of minority employees.