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We create economic pathways through
Black innovation

The Center for Black Innovation is a think tank and black innovation ecosystem building organization with the understanding that smart cities and communities are formed by cultivating great leaders, entrepreneurs, and real capital pathways that values black culture and communities as our greatest asset.

"Build that capital. Build that wealth. Empower others, and stay politically engaged and active" - BlackTech Week Fireside Chat 2021
A'lelia Bundles, American Journalist, Producer & Author
"Black Tech Week is where I met my first mentor Jeff Hoffman, the co-founder of Priceline” - The Hungry Black Man Media Morning Show
Spectacular Smith, CEO of Adwizar and Member of Pretty Ricky R&B Group
"Every smart kid should look at a career in tech because it’s a great way to build a great future” - BlackTech Week 2016
Jeff Hoffman, CEO of Priceline
"We’ve gotta create this ecosystem in a meaningful way so that there are multiple paths to success. Black Tech Week- [is] super important" - Cafecito Talk with The Center for Black Innovation
Mayor Francis X. Suarez
, Mayor of Miami
"Black Tech Week is a one-stop-shop on how you go from idea to growth and every step in-between" - BlackTech Week 2016
Bandal Pickett, CEO, Chairman & Co-founder of BCT Partners
"Technology is the best when it brings people together" - DA Dorsey House Miami, FL
Starex Smith Sr. VP for CFBI (left), Sheila Johnson (middle), Co-founder of BET, CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, Oliver Gilbert (right), Miami-Gardens Miami-Dade County Commissioner District 1
"Good founders can give me a picture of the future that I can believe, and the second that I believe your version of the future, you have leverage" - BlackTech Week 2017
Michael Seibel, CEO of Y Combinator
"More capital to back more entrepreneurs with more ideas from more places, in a more inclusive way" - Steve Case, Rise of the Rest Roadtrip, at the Center for Black Innovation, 2019
Starex Smith, Sr. VP for CFBI, Micheal Simkins, Director of Simkins Foundation, Steve Case Chairman and CEO, Revolution (left to right).
Our 2020 pillars are our VC-in-Residence program, our Black Ecosystem Builders Fellowship, our Business Pre Accelerator and Startup Studio, or our Black Innovation Fund.

Accelerated innovation

The Center for Black Innovation drives change through providing exposure to innovation pathways, scaling black innovation ecosystems, diversifying existing innovation ecosystems with data-driven policies and research, with strategic long-term actions to solve the greatest funding challenges blocking Black prosperity.

We envision a future where lasting Black prosperity is created by Black innovation communities and equitable capital pathways that support and fund all high potential Black businesses and innovators.

After 6 years as Code Fever, we have now rebranded to The Center for Black Innovation to better relay the full scope of our work over the years and to forge our new work as a research think tank and an organization committed to dramatically shifting the way Black communities engage and create value within the innovation economy by building asset and talent filled spaces in Black communities and equitable capital pathways to rid Black communities of innovation deserts.

We're seeking talented Black Founders...

Applications are now open for our 8-week CFBI Accelerator. Gain the essentials skills and resources you need to scale your startup and secure funding.

DEADLINE: TBA

Learn More
APPLY NOW
The CFBI Accelerator program is an inclusive entrepreneurship initiative that seeks to increase the number of minority-founded, venture-backed, high-growth businesses in the U.S.

Upward mobility for
Black prosperity

We focus on building asset and talent-rich spaces in Black communities where innovation can thrive, by drawing programming, resources, and guiding our innovators along capital pathways, through research and inclusive policies.
BREAKDOWN

Capital & Socioeconomic Mobility

Economic mobility is the ability of an individual, family, or group to improve their economic status—usually measured in income. Since its inception, our VC in Residence program has helped over 100 startup founders in 4 states solve the access issue that many brilliant entrepreneurs face when looking for funding opportunities to launch, scale, and grow.


BREAKDOWN

Ecosystems & Coalitions

You cannot truly build black startup founders, tech professionals, and innovative black communities without building strong ecosystems that value black culture as an asset and, most importantly, are respected within the broader tech and innovation economy. Over the past 5 years of building Miami's black tech ecosystem from the ground up, we are now sharing what we have learned with others in the form of our Black Ecosystem Builders Fellowship. Apply today by clicking on the Fellows button above.

BREAKDOWN

Education & Mobility

Since our inception as Code Fever Miami, we have trained young people in digital literacy, intro to STEM, computer programming, and how to navigate a startup ecosystem as a person of color. We are proud that over 4000 students have had a direct touchpoint with one of our programs. Through a partnership with NBCUniversal in 2017, we built a platform for the Grinch Movie video game that introduced over 3 million students and educators to their first lesson in computer programming.

Due to COVID-19, we have shifted our focus to provide tutoring and academic support services at the intersection of digital and socially distant learning for middle and high school students. Visit www.cfbiyp.org to learn more and register.



BREAKDOWN

Social Justice & Innovation Policy

Tech solutions in our communities must move faster than bullets and most right the wrongs of our justice systems. Review our reports to learn how tech and data can be used to provide solutions and support policy around Social Justice.


Our timeline

A brief breakdown of our journey here over the past 6 years from Code Fever Miami to now The Center for Black Innovation.

CFBI team

Browse our skilled team below
Derick Pearson
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Starex Smith
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT
Dimitri Grayson
FISCAL PROGRAM MANAGER
Vanessa A. Vassal
LEAD RESEARCHER
Leonce M. Leazard
CREATIVE MANAGER
Chantelle “Telly” Nelson
PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Felecia Hatcher
CHAIR OF THE BOARD
contact us

Get in touch with our team.

Center for Black Innovation
937 NW 3rd AVE.
Miami, FL 33136

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