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Platform is a non-profit organization with the mission to increase the interest, participation, and success of those underrepresented in the innovation economy — with a particular focus on blacks, Latinos and women. Platform is creating a hub through which inspiration is joined with education, opportunity and resources. Focused on underrepresented groups, we will work to broaden the funnel that feeds new entrepreneurship, reduce the barrier to entry, and assist along the path to success.
To “win the future,” as our president would say, we must support the engagement of a vastly larger proportion of our 314 million citizens in the fields based on knowledge, technology and entrepreneurship. The innovation economy in the United States has emerged as one of the leading drivers of job formation, wealth creation and overall economic productivity. In order for the United States to remain a leader in the global economy it is critical that all of its citizens are effectively positioned to compete and profit.
Blacks, Latinos and women are not participating at anywhere near the levels of other communities in many of the high-growth, high-value sectors of the economy. With blacks and Latinos comprising nearly 30 percent of the total U.S. population, and with women representing more than half, the inclusion and ultimate success of these historically underrepresented groups in the innovation economy represents not only a “social good,” but also a national imperative.
Platform will serve as a development resource and enabler for an exciting new generation of entrepreneurs, thinkers and leaders. At our core, we will create the first media property specifically focused on increasing diversity in the innovation economy. In the words of TED, the conference and online media organization, video images have the power to “change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.” Videos from talks at the Summit will highlight the extraordinary contributions and potential of inventors, entrepreneurs, creators, and leaders from historically underrepresented groups. We will reach millions of people, inspire the next generation, and commence a national dialogue about the importance of greater entrepreneurial diversity.