Meet Our Team
Felecia hatcher - Co-Founder & Executive director
Felecia Hatcher is on a mission to rid communities across the globe of innovation deserts by working with global leaders and government officials to create inclusive and diverse tech/startup ecosystems as an Author and the Co-Founder of Tribe Cowork and Urban Innovation Lab, Code Fever, and Black Tech Week. As a result of her work, Miami has become one of the most authentically diverse startup ecosystems in the country, helping minority led startup founder’s access opportunities and capital pathways through their VC in Residence program, exposing over 3000+ students and parents to tech skills training in the areas of technology and entrepreneurship, in partnership with Knight Foundation, Comcast, Morgan Stanley, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Ford and others. As well as an annual week-long national emerging technology conference called BlackTech Week that creates a magnetic force for attracting talent, resources and opportunities for minority communities to thrive within the innovation economy.
Prior to making the leap from the cubicles of corporate America Felecia worked as a marketing executive as the front office marketing manager spearheading the 10th anniversary campaign for the Minnesota Lynx/Timberwolves, and as an experiential marketing/brand manager for Sony, Nintendo and McKee foods. As an Author, Social Entrepreneur and the former “Chief Popsicle” of Feverish Ice Cream a VC backed frozen dessert manufacturing company, Hatcher was named one of the Empact 100 Top 100 Entrepreneurs under the age of 30 by the White House and Kauffman Foundation in 2011, a 2014 Obama White House Champion of Change for STEM Access and Diversity, Ruth Shack Honoree, 2017 Comcast/Nationswell Tech Impact Allstar, Echoing Green Fellow, a Black Enterprise 2017 TechConnext Game Changer alongside the Chairman of Microsoft and 2016 Black Enterprise Innovator of the Week, Essence Magazine Tech Master, and featured on the NBC Today Show, MSNBC, FORBES, INC, The Cooking Channel, and; Grio’s 100 African Americans Making History.
For 7 years, Felecia was known as the “Chief Popsicle” and ran Feverish Pops a Miami based gourmet popsicle manufacturing company with clients like Google, Airbnb, Paypal, Cadillac, Adidas, and Wholefoods. The VC backed company had a huge social mission and donated to build community programs, which is where Code Fever was launched in 2012. Before launching Feverish and Code Fever, Hatcher worked as a marketing manager at experiential marketing agencies for technology and gaming companies Sony, Nintendo, Wells Fargo 2nd Life Video game as well as the NBA as the front office Marketing Manager with the Timberwolves/Lynx during its championship winning year. A globally sought after keynote speaker presenting engaging talks at Walmart HQ, Google London, United Nations, White House Young America Series, Girl Scouts of America, SXSW, Coca Cola HQ, FBLA, DECA, Knight Foundation, TEDxJamaica and countless startup events, colleges and universities. Hatcher is also the author of 6 books
Derick pearsoN - Co-Founder & President
Derick is a founder, president, and CFO of Code Fever Miami. Derick started his career as a financial analyst, and transitioned into experiential marketing for seven years managing campaigns for national brands. Derick was a successful entrepreneur and a financial and IT professional, but it was only while attending tech conferences and reading research reports that Derick learned Miami has the largest wealth gap. He also learned of the horrible diversity numbers of tech firms. Derick witnessed the wealth generating ability of the innovation sector and Miami's Black communities struggling to find meaningful employment and startup support. Motivated by the way other Blacks in the tech sector throughout the nation possessed a sense of purpose and pride, Derick dove into his own belief in the power of economic development and community building. Derick and Code Fever have been recognized by NBC, The Huffington Post, Source, and others. Derick is a former White House Champion of Change, BMe Fellow, and SXSW Advisor. Derick holds a BA from Morehouse College.
Starex smith -VP of StRategic development & Operations
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 Southern 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.