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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.

Our Founding Sponsors
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: September 6, 2021

Learn More
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.

Capital & Socioeconomic Mobility

Economic mobility is the ability of an individual, family or group to improve (or lower) their economic status—usually measured in income. Over the last 3 years of the VC in Residence program has worked with over 100 startup founders in 4 states to solve for the access issue that many brilliant entrepreneurs face when looking for funding opportunities to launch, scale and grow. We are expanding this program in 2021, be on the look out for the future of the VC in Residence program announcement and application soon.


You cannot truely build black startup founders, tech professionals and innovative black communities without building strong ecosystems, within ecosystems that value black people, value culture as an asset and most importanly is 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 learn with others in the form of our Black Ecosystem Builders Fellowship. Apply today by clicking on the Fellows button above.



Education & Mobility

Since our inception as Code Fever we have been dedicated to training young people in digital literacy, intro to STEM and 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 platfrom for the Grinch Movie video game that introduced over 3 million students and educators to their first lesson in computer programming. Interested in one of our STEM virtual bootcamps? Visit to learn more and register.

Social Justice & Innovation Policy

Tech solutions in our communites must move faster then bullets and most right the wrongs of our justic 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.
MAR 2012
Formed the Black Tech Miami Initiative to foster diversity and inclusion in the establishing Miami startup ecosystem.
JUL 2012
Formed the Black Tech Miami Coalition with MDEAT and MDC's EEC.
JUL 2013
Established Code Fever Miami, a youth coding initiative executing the first camp in partnership with Lab Miami, MDC EEC, and Dell+Alienware.
SEP 2013
Expanded Black Girls Code to Miami by securing funding and support from MDEAT and MDC's EEC for a multi-year summer programming series.
NOV 2014
Incorporation of Code Fever Miami Inc.
FEB 2015
Convened the inaugural Blacktech Week Conference in Miami to highlight black professionals in tech.

The conference has since hosted a few thousand attendees and the worlds top tech entrepreneurs, tech professionals, VC's, educators and thought leaders have spoken on our stages.
MAR 2015
Convened the first annual Blacktech Week Meetup @ SXSW in Austin Texas
JAN 2016
Knight Foundation granted Code Fever with $1.5 million over three years to expand Blacktech Week and launch the VC in Residence Program. .
FEB 2016
Expanded Blacktech Week to include programming on venture capital, angel investment, and partnered with PowerMoves to execute an intensive entrepreneurship bootcamp and pitch competitions.
MAR 2016
Launched our VC-in-Residence program to foster venture capital networks with Black founders, foster local capital pathways, and drive startup capital readiness.

The first year we partnered with Marlon Nichols to be act as a resident venture capitalist, and execute the SMASHD Lab Miami event with James Alexander and Troy Carter. In subsequent years, Tech Stars, Samsung Next, and Barclays have served as partners that have helped us unlock new funding and training opportunities for black startup founders.
MAY 2017
Launched the Blacktech Weekend Tour in NYC.  Sponsored by Barclays Bank and Etsy.

Convened the first annual Black Ecosystem Builders meetup at Kauffman Foundation's Eship Summit in Kansas City.
DEC 2017
Expanded Blacktech Week to 9 cities across the US with partners, Etsy, Barclays, Samsung Next, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Kauffman Foundation, KC Mayors office and the George Kaiser Family Foundation

Launched Tribe CoWork and Urban Innovation Lab, a 10,000 sqft space in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami Florida.

Introduced over 3 million+ educators and students to intro to computer programming. Our team and students built out the Grinch Movie Coding video game in partnership with NBC Universal and Hour of Code.
FEB 2020
Acquires Black Tech Mecca a Chicago based Black Entrepreneurship and ecosystem research think tank.
MAR 2020
Launch the COVID-19 Side Hustle Academy and have trained 600 people to launch a side hustle during a global health crisis and financial pandemic.

Launched the STEM at Home and the Code Fever Career Jam-COVID Edition to support students and parents with continuous education support while learning virtually.
AUG 2020
Rebrand as the the Center For Black Innovation.(CFBI)
Launch of the Young Genius Virtual Program with the Miami Dade County School District.
Nov 2020

Our leadership team

Browse our skilled team below

Derick Pearson

A social entrepreneur with an authentic voice for change in ridding communities of innovation deserts.

Felecia Hatcher

Felecia is White House Champion of Change for STEM access and Diversity, a serial entrepreneur with a passion for helping tech innovators amplify their money, message and movements.

Starex Smith

Starex Smith is an accomplished and experienced public administrator, fundraiser, foodie, and culinary business developer who has committed himself to maximizing the Black experience.
senior program manager

Erick Gavin

Erick Gavin is the Senior Program Manager at the Center for Black Innovation. He utilizes his background in data and design to create programming that positively affects the black innovation economy in an effective, measurable manner.
Fiscal Program Manager

Dimitri Grayson

An accountant professional with a demonstrated history of working in the accounting industry and nonprofit sector with a dedication to mentoring, educating, and being a role model to the younger generation.
Events Specialist

Denayja Reese

Denayja Reese is a Strategist, Producer & Writer. Her diverse career journey has meant seamlessly moving through industries, markets and projects.
Lead Instructor

Micheal Adeyosoye

Michael Adeyosoye, is a technologist who began his career in the tech industry at Kennesaw State University where he received his Bachelor’s in Computer Science.
Lead Researcher

Vanessa A. Vassall

Vanessa A. Vassall, PhDc, MSPH, MCHES is the Senior Researcher at the Center for Black Innovation. Vanessa's research methods apply justice, equity, and asset frames to data and storytelling.
contact us

Get in touch with our team.

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

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