Black Tech Week’s Felecia Hatcher: Diversity in technology industry
Felecia Hatcher, co-founder of Black Tech Week and Code Fever, has made it her life’s purpose to create and mentor 10K startups founded by people of color. The educational summit is marked for February 17-19, 2016 at Florida International University, Biscayne Campus. Black Tech Week will serve as an initiative to train African American and Caribbean youth and young adults in the areas of technology and entrepreneurship through full stack development coding boot camps and school programs.
The entrepreneur is also noted for building community programs through her Miami-based gourmet popsicle company Feverish, where donations are collected for every pop sold. Hatcher is on a mission to diversify the technology industry by creating innovative platforms for African Americans to gain exposure in a career field where opportunities are limitless.
Hatcher spoke with rolling out to discuss skills needed for startups, technological benefits for organizations and the importance of networking.
What is your mission statement?
Our mission is to increase the number of startups founded by people of color through training, mentorship and access.
What three skill sets are critical for the future startups you plan to guide?
They must have resource magnetism. Most times founders focus so much on raising money that they forget they will need way more than money: they need advisers, mentors, ninjas and a kick-ass team and they need the skills to easily attract them and build and maintain those relationships. Thick skin, because you will hear no more times then you will probably have the stomach for, but you have to push past that. Patience and high tolerance for risk are a tie for third. Most times, it’s a hurry up a wait game and you have to be comfortable with that. You have to be ready to f— up! Bet the house, go all in, go hard or go home, and be comfortable being uncomfortable. Innovation doesn’t happen without failure and iterations.
How do you utilize technology to benefit your organization?
Any and everything, from how our team communicates to showing people in the community how to build their own platforms.
What social media platforms do you engage in the most?
Facebook and Instagram for me.
What professional organizations do you support?
I support Venture Women and The Commonwealth Institute.
Describe your networking style.
Traditional networking, I suck at. Most people don’t believe me, but I am still an introvert. I actually like to connect with people on Twitter prior to attending an event or conference, then it’s easier to strike up a conversation at the event.