Ep. 46: Felecia Hatcher, Co-Founder of Code Fever and BlackTech Week, Works To Make Startup Communities More Inclusive

"I picked the two or three things that were most important to me and I've built my business and my life around those things."

"These are the things that are truly aligned with who I am and what I'm trying to do in the big picture. Everything else should be a blessing to somebody else."

Felecia Hatcher is an Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker and Mom, who now dedicates her talents to promoting inclusive innovation. She co-founded Code Fever and BlackTech Week when she noticed that startup programs and resources in Miami were not "crossing the tracks." Previously, she held the title of Chief Popsicle at Feverish Ice Cream, a gourmet popsicle company she started with her husband that counted several Fortune 500 companies as clients. Felecia is working to get everyone a seat at the tech table - or to empower others to create their own table if need be. She shares lessons learned on her path to being epic!

"Derek and I would get invited to a lot of these [startup] events and look around and say, 'These are such great resources and we know so many people that could benefit from being in these rooms and getting these resources. But why isn't there anyone else that looks like us in the room?' We just know how beneficial diversity is from all the way around. Not just diversity of thought but even to the bottom line. We started Code Fever as a way to change that."

We discuss her background as an entrepreneur, why she and her husband founded Code Fever, her advice for juggling all of her activities, why she doesn't believe in work-life balance, saying no more than you say yes, how struggles helped her delegate and empower others, how to figure out when to say yes, her cure for imposter syndrome, starting a business on a "ramen noodle budget", why you should ask as many questions as possible, and the funding gap for black-led companies and female-led companies.

"If you are truly aligned and everything around you is in alignment with what you genuinely want and what's most important to you, then you kind of have no need for work-life balance because you personally will be aligned. Where we struggle is that we say yes to so many things that we really want to say no to."

What you'll learn:

  • Felicia is the co-founder of Code Fever and Black Tech week.
  • She was also the Chief Popsicle at Feverish Ice Cream.
  • Feliecia is an author and speaker and White House Champion of change.
  • Felicia founded Code Fever with her husband 4 years ago in Miami.
  • The start-up world was growing in Miami but the resources weren’t available for people of colour.
  • Code Fever originally started as a coding and startup school for African American and Caribbean youth in Miami.
  • Felicia has recently received funding from the Knight Foundation for $1.2million over 3 years.
  • Felicia’s daughter was born premature and while she was busy in hospital she had to start saying no to things.
  • Felicia has recently written an article on imposter syndrome suggesting that we should start sharing opportunities with people who are more qualified.
  • We shouldn’t be Googling for an answer if we don’t know; instead as for help and promote qualified friends.
  • You can be a good resource for other people if you’re able to say you aren’t the best person for a job.
  • In early work Felicia found it’s easy to help other people but difficult to ask for help yourself.
  • Felicia wrote a book “Start your business on a ramen noodle budget”.
  • This book is to help the people who sit with an idea and overthink it without action because of lack of resources.
  • The book suggests ways to leverage what’s around you to create a minimal viable product to test your idea.
  • Black Tech week is related to this and focuses on the pain point of lack of funding.
  • Black female-led businesses statistically do worse than the worst performing white male led businesses in funding and support.
  • Women led startups perform better over time.

Advice:

  • Pick 2-3 things that are most important to you and building life and businesses around these.
  • Sometimes you’ll succeed in one goal and fail in another.
  • Try to say no more than you say yes.
  • Try to plan and consider what you will do if the worst happens.
  • It’s ok to ask for help, you don’t need to have the answer for everything.
  • No question is a stupid question.

Learn more:

  • Codefevermiami.com 
  • feliciahatcher.com 
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