Do my charges affect me getting accepted into the program?
No. Defy admits individuals with all convictions, including those for violent offenses.
How long is the program?
All accepted Applicants attend a two-month Introductory Training program. Those who successfully complete Introductory Training are admitted to the Defy Academy, a twelve month, four-stage, intensive entrepreneurship training program. Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) compete for startup grants while in the Academy, where they get continued support from Defy as they launch and build their businesses. The most advanced and highest-achieveing EITs compete for prizes of up to $15,000 during the training cycle.
Can I choose which part of the Program I participate in?
The completion of each program section (including all separate stages of the Academy) is a prerequisite for admittance to additional program sections. You must participate in the Introductory Training to be invited to participate in the Academy. Applicants and EITs are invited to participate in each program section based on their performance in the previous section, as determined by attendance, punctuality, and demonstration of entrepreneurial abilities. Completing one section of the Program does not guarantee that you will be invited to participate in the subsequent section.
Is Defy an approved work/training program that will make me eligible to receive benefits?
No, Defy is not an approved vendor for public benefits programs.
Is the program accredited by a college?
Does Defy provide a stipend?
No, Defy does not provide a stipend. Most EITs work while participating in Defy in order to sustain themselves during the process.
Does Defy provide a public transit card for transportation?
No. Defy does not subsidize transportation.
How much time should I set aside for Defy per week?
You should plan on spending up to ten hours per week on online training and in-person events (combined).
You will also have up to 5 hours of independent assignments, including studying for tests. You will need to find time and a quiet space for you to complete your work.
You may not have attended school in many years or you may have trouble with school, but Defy expects all Applicants and EITs to apply themselves to their work to the best of their abilities. EITs who do not complete their work may be separated from Defy out of respect for EITs who are committed to their growth and learning.
Do I have to know a lot about computers?
You do not need to know a lot about computers when you start, but you must have basic computer skills and be prepared to learn more. EITs use Microsoft Word and Excel, and submit documents using Google Drive. EITs also conduct an enormous amount of research on the web. Almost all program communication occurs via email. A gmail account is required. EITs are expected to use social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to promote their companies and create a website. If you are not tech savvy, you will be by the time you graduate from Defy!
If you have zero or very little computer skills, we strongly recommend that you find ways to learn before starting the program. This will give you a head start in meeting all the demands of Defy’s program without the added pressure of learning how to use technology at the same time.
It’s not absolutely essential to own a computer in order to complete requirements for the program. However, we recommend that you find ways to acquire or borrow one. Defy does not provide computers to its EITs. Many EITs use computers at public libraries to complete their projects and assignments.
What else is expected of me during training?
Defy has extremely strict expectations about attendance and punctuality. We expect all Applicants and EITs to arrive on time to (and attend all) training sessions and program events .
Defy also has a professional dress code. For men, this entails wearing business casual clothing – typically slacks and a collared shirt. Women must wear conservative, professional dress. Suits and ties are not required for regular in-person training sessions but will be encouraged for special events like business plan competitions.
Applicants and EITs are not permitted to wear jeans and/or sneakers to in-person training sessions. Defy can provide EITs and Applicants with a list of resources where they can find inexpensive clothing to wear to training sessions and program events.
Eligibility to continue in the Program is determined in part by meeting attendance, punctuality, and dress code requirements. Defy reserves the right to discontinue an Applicant’s or EIT’s participation for violating policies in these areas.
Can I start any type of business at Defy?
No. Defy has guidelines for the types of businesses it will support. Defy supports businesses that meet a need in the market, will be profitable, are aligned with the entrepreneurs’ interests and passions, and have the potential to employ Defy graduates. Generally, Defy will not support businesses that will require more than $20,000 in start-up costs. You will learn in detail about the types of businesses that Defy supports during your Introductory Training.
Can I still participate in Defy if I already own a business?
Yes! Many EITs come to a Defy with an existing business that they want to strengthen or grow.
Do I need to have a business idea before I enter Defy?
No, you do not need to know the kind of business you want to start before you enter the program. We will help you identify a financially viable business that is aligned with your interests and passions, meets a real need in the market, does not require extensive start-up capital, and has the potential to employ Defy graduates.
If you show excellent entrepreneurial potential, but can’t think of a good business to start, Defy will provide you with a list of businesses that you may choose from.
What happens if my business idea doesn’t work out?
That’s okay! Many new businesses fail to get off the ground, but you’ll have the knowledge and tools to try again!
How does Defy determine the amount of seed capital it awards to each EIT?
Seed capital awards are determined according to the viability of the business concept, quality of the EIT’s pitch at business plan competitions, the entrepreneur’s overall performance during training, and each company’s financial start-up needs. Seed capital can only be spent on approved business expenses associated with the company an EIT starts at Defy.