Everyone wants the formula for innovation. Whether you believe it’s learned or innate, BlackEnterprise.com’s Innovator of the Week series gives you a glimpse into the lives of founders/co-founders, business execs, entrepreneurs and artists revolutionizing their respective industries through technology and social media.
Felecia Hatcher escaped “cubicle nation,â€ as she likes to call it, and embarked upon her sweetest entrepreneurial venture to date. In 2008, after Hatcher and husband Derick Pearson lost their jobs at Nintendo, the power couple knew it was time to put their idea into full swing, launching boutique gourmet popsicle business Feverish Ice Cream and Gourmet Pops. Investing nearly $2,000 on their first two carts (courtesy of Craigslist), the duo hand painted the vintage-looking wagons, putting their own twist on the way ice cream and pops are distributed. Five years later, the tech-enabled, mobile business, which now has a brick and mortar store in Midtown Miami, has worked with big-name clients such as Google, Forever 21, Vitamin Water and Bacardi, among others, on private label goodies and is currently working on a major project for Barefoot Wine that will launch in 2014. A recent private label project with an out-of-state yogurt company resulted in Feverish Pops’ products being offered in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama within its 20 franchises.
Between catering events and holding down the shop, the 30-year-old entrepreneur is teaching the next generation of innovators to code through Code Fever, getting local techies together via Black Tech Miami and sharing her insight on entrepreneurship and technology as a public speaker. The author of The ‘C’ Students Guide to Scholarships and How to Start a Business on a Ramen Noodle Budget has been recognized by the White House as one of the Top 100 Entrepreneurs under 30 and featured across media platforms, including Entrepreneur, Inc, Wall Street Journal and NBC’s Today Show. For her passion for tech, love of entrepreneurship and dedication to the next gen, BlackEnterprise.com honors Hatcher as Innovator of the Week.
Exposing kids to tech: “Right now in 2013, we’re in a state of emergency for our kids,â€ Hatcher said. Merging technology and entrepreneurship, she developed a program to shift the mindset of young adults, between the ages of 13-21, from consumer-driven to technology producers. Code Fever, which the entrepreneur founded in April 2013, offers weekend trainings and winter bootcamp sessions, and will grow to include a full-fledged six-week program taking place in Miami schools starting in January.
“The whole objective is they have something tangible for them to walk away with at the end of the day,â€ said Hatcher. “Our biggest pet peeve with just working with other youth organizations in the past is you get kids so excited about technology or entrepreneurship; you pull all this information to them, tell them to come up with an idea, but then they never go through the actual process of turning their idea into a tangible product.â€