On May 4-7, techies, innovators, and entrepreneurs will gather at the Loews Hotel Miami, in Miami, Florida, for three days of incubating, learning, and collaboration at the 2016 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit. Felecia Hatcher, founder and CEO of Code Fever and Miami Black Tech Week, will be facilitating an ideas lab and discussing innovation and invention with young entrepreneurs at the summit.
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BlackEnterprise.com had a chance to catch up with Hatcher to learn about success in entrepreneurship and the importance of STEM. Check it out.
BlackEnterprise.com: You’ve had quite a bit going on as an entrepreneur since BE last spoke to you. Catch us up on what’s going on in your business world now.
Hatcher: I ran a gourmet Popsicle manufacturing company, called Feverish Pops, for seven years with my husband. We sold the company last year to an Italian ice company. We sold because we were really being pulled in the direction of working more intently on Code Fever, our nonprofit that we started about three years ago. We run that foundation now in Miami. We’re focused on increasing the resource magnetism in the black community around startups and technology and innovation. Our bigger project overall is trying to rid our communities of innovation deserts.
You’re currently juggling two ventures, with Code Fever and Miami Black Tech Week. How are you going about assuring no balls are dropped when your hands are so full?
I would love to say that every ball is always managed and floating in the air at the same time, but that’s just not realistic. We have a team that loves what we’re doing, and we understand that we all benefit when we’re attracting the people, resources, funding, and all those things that come with building a healthy ecosystem in South Florida.
As a serial entrepreneur, it seems you hold the secret—tell us, what does it take to succeed in entrepreneurship?
I would say a lot of tenacity. Getting up every day even when life has punched you in the gut and you don’t want to keep going. Saying to yourself, “I’m going to always look at things as an opportunity instead of an obstacle.” Entrepreneurs have a lot of dark days, and no one likes to talk about that. It’s important to manage expectations on what it’s really going to take to survive and to thrive.
What three sound tips would you have for a budding entrepreneur?
- Be extremely curious.
- Look for and cultivate champions more than mentors. These are people that rally for you and open doors for you.
- Have a value mindset in every situation you walk into. Realize that before you can withdraw from an ecosystem, you have to contribute to an ecosystem.
What can attendees expect to learn from your Innovator and Inventors meet-up at the 2016 Entrepreneurs Summit?
One of the biggest things is to change the narrative. The narrative right now is that we don’t exist in the space. But we hold patents and trademarks, we buy and sell companies, and we invent and build stuff—we built the United States. This event is us being able to come together and to collaborate, being able to see all these black and brown faces doing the exact same thing that we are, being able to have those models that we can look to. These events increase the flow.
Register now to learn more from Hatcher at the 2016 BE Entrepreneurs Summit, May 4th-7th, Loews Hotel Miami, Miami, Florida.