BlackTech Week

MISSION

Increase the number of startup founders, technology executives, and engineers of color.

Women's Innovation Brunch - 2016

Founders

Felecia Hatcher
Founder

Derick Pearson
Founder

Ori Pearson
VP - Youth Ops

Purpose

Blacktech Week was established in 2014 by Code Fever to provide more impactful programming around Black History Month. In addition to celebrating innovators of color, the entire week of events aims to change the narrative surrounding our community and replace it with innovation, creativity and technology that stretches the trajectory of our community. Blacktech Week’s focus is thinking beyond today and tomorrow in order to build a diverse and connected organization for the diaspora. Blacktech Week will serve as the platform to acknowledge, celebrate, and support innovative thought provoking conversations & content by people of color.

Founder and President

As an Author, Social Entrepreneur Felecia Hatcher has been honored by the White House as a 2014 Champion of Change for STEM Access & Diversity, Black Enterprise Innovator of the Week and Essence Magazine Tech Master. Hatcher has been featured on the NBC Today Show, The Cooking Channel, and Grio’s 100 African American’s Making History for her wildly successful company Feverish Ice Cream & Gourmet Pops where she serves as the Chief Popsicle. The Miami based gourmet popsicle company Feverish serves clients like Google, Capitol Records, Adidas, 32 Degrees, Vitamin Water, Wholefoods and Forever 21 with custom vegan friendly gourmet pops and private label frozen desserts. Before launching Feverish, Felecia worked as a marketing manager for Nintendo, Sony, and the NBA. Felecia has presented engaging talks on Embracing Failure at Google London, Entrepreneurship and Managing Investor Relations at SXSW, White House Young America Series, Coca Cola HQ, TEDxMiami and TEDxJamaica. Felecia is also the author of 3 books How to Start a Business on a Ramen Noodle Budget, The C Students Guide to Scholarships and Focused.

Founder and President

Derick Pearson is a social entrepreneur with an authentic voice for change, particularly in the areas education technology, and the growth of local ecosystems for entrepreneurs of color nationally. Mr. Pearson’s focus is to invest and implement programs in communities that have an existing startup ecosystem where marginalized groups are disengaged. In 2008, Felecia Hatcher and Derick Pearson founded Feverish Pops, a venture backed frozen desert company, raising a seed round of three-quarters of a million dollars. Derick Pearson with is wife, Felecia Hatcher, started BlackTech Week in 2015. BlackTech Week builds and diversifies startup ecosystems. BlackTech Week is a national conference designed to support entrepreneurs of color who are in the startup phase of potential high-growth businesses. BTW provides an inclusive and innovative hub for investment in entrepreneurs of color promoting and supporting sustainable economic development in our communities. Since it’s inception, BlackTech Week has convened over twenty-two hundred black technologist in Miami, it has fostered seven million dollars in deal flow as of fall 2016. Derick and Felecia created a 501c3, Code Fever Miami Inc, which has been diversifying, supporting, and scaling the tech ecosystem in Miami since 2013. Code Fever builds and diversifies tech ecosystems. Code Fever is designed to train and support technologists of color who are in the startup phase of potential employment, and entrepreneurship in potential high-growth businesses. CF's investment in technologist of color promotes and supports sustainable economic development in the communities where we work. Since it’s inception, Code Fever has exposed over two thousand youth to stem careers and training.

Starex Smith - VP of Strategy and Development

Starex Smith is an accomplished and experienced public administrator, fundraiser, and executive who joined Black Tech Week as the Vice President of Strategy and Development with over twelve (12) years of experience in managing public/private partnerships, large scale events, and nonprofits. He has successfully raised over 20 million dollars in funding for various governmental entities, companies, and individuals. Starex has assisted countless food industry small businesses successfully obtain funding, taking mom and pop storefronts to scalable businesses. His success in working with restaurants sparked a passion for food and entrepreneurship that led to the launching of Sothern Bytes, a teaching platform food business dedicated to an ever evolving food industry with a focus on technology, culture and innovation. Starex completed both his Bachelor’s and Master’s coursework in Public Administration at Florida International University where he served as president of the Black Student Union and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated, Lambda Tau Chapter.