- Defy (v.): To challenge or dare a person to do something deemed impossible.
Defy Ventures is an entrepreneurship, employment, and character development training program for currently and formerly incarcerated men, women, and youth.
Defy recognizes that many former drug dealers and gang leaders can become successful, legal entrepreneurs. We “transform the hustle” of our currently and formerly incarcerated Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) by offering intensive leadership development, Shark Tank-style business plan competitions, executive mentoring, financial investment, and startup incubation. We give our EITs a legitimate chance to succeed and equip them to become profitable entrepreneurs, stellar employees, engaged parents, and committed role models and leaders in their communities. We intentionally build life-giving, authentic community between EITs and our executive volunteers as they bond in their humanity.
Defy serves EITs in our primary hub regions of New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Colorado, and Omaha, NE; click here to enroll in our Introductory Training! Defy enlists business volunteers globally (who provide in-person and online mentoring).
“We’re all ex-somethings. I wish we’d ask ourselves, ‘What would it be like if I was only known for the worst thing I’ve done?’ Moved by empathy, we’d recognize people for who they are today and not for the mistakes they made yesterday. Millions with criminal histories would unlock their potential.”
-Catherine Hoke, Founder and CEO