076: Felecia Hatcher-Pearson (Code Fever)

Felecia Hatcher-Pearson on Innovation City

I learned very young how to get creative with very limited resources … if you can channel that same creativity, you can have everything you need to start a business. — Felecia Hatcher-Pearson

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guest is Felecia Hatcher-Pearson, Author & Co-Founder of Code Fever. Felecia is on a mission to rid communities across the globe of innovation deserts by working with community leaders and government officials to create inclusive and diverse tech/startup ecosystems. She is also a White House Award winning entrepreneur, bestselling author, and globally sought-after speaker amongst a plethora of other things. Felecia sits down with Innovation City to discuss how to get creative when you have limited resources, learning to market yourself for what you’re good at, starting Code Fever and Black Tech Week, Miami’s diversity and inclusion issues, and much more!

They discuss:

  • Author of five books (so far)
    • The “C” Students Guide to Scholarships
    • Start your business on a Ramen Noodle Budget
    • FOCUSED Strategic Action Planner
    • How to become an Epic Expert
    • PopPreneurs
  • Her upcoming book titled FAILURE your greatest Success Story
  • The myth of needing to be a A+ student to be successful
  • Being a great student outside the classroom
  • Teaching herself how to code when she was in high school
  • Learning to market herself for what she’s good at not for what her GPA was
  • Winning $130,000 in scholarships as a C student
  • Starting her first business freshman year of college in her dorm room (educational consulting)
  • Running a gourmet popsicle manufacturing company for 7 years
  • Getting creative when you have limited resources
    • Never let money be a barrier for you
  • Starting Code Fever
    • Since the start, the organization has worked with over 4,000 students and introduced them to computer programming and digital literacy
    • Cultural understanding and setbacks to the program’s success and impact on the students
  • The change she’s seen in South Florida since she first started working here 10+ years ago
  • Miami can be a tough city to start in, so you have to be willing to put in the hard work to help create a presence for your niche
  • The myth that people who live in Miami don’t work or have serious businesses
  • Starting Black Tech Week 5 years ago
    • Bringing thought leaders, investors, accelerators etc from all over the world to the event
    • Holding the conference in less known neighborhoods that need business and money
    • Knight Foundation is a founding partner for the Miami conference
  • Starting Black Tech Weekend after getting several requests from other cities
    • 1-2 day conference that is specific to the participating city
  • Miami being diverse by default and not intention
  • Miami’s diversity and inclusion issues cannot be solved by one solution because the issues are made up of several little things
  • Looking at what bigger cities (Atlanta) are doing and trying to help smaller cities follow the path of becoming a “smart city” that has the ability to enable more startups
  • Get in touch with Felecia and Code Fever online