Our graduates continue to defy the odds and write their own entrepreneurial success stories.
“I’m probably the only person who was once arrested by the FBI, then went on to turn my life around and receive a community service award from the director of the FBI! Defy Ventures helped me find the courage to not only leave my criminal past behind me, but to create a future of bringing good to the world around me."
Author (work appears in The Washington Post and elsewhere, book published in April 2020)
“Being told your whole life that you are nobody, you begin to believe it. I spent a total of 16 years in prison, and this time I was determined to NEVER go back. Defy not only taught me the skills that I lacked to become a business owner, they gave me the courage I needed to believe in myself, to fight back those self-doubting voices, and they have given me guidance to strengthen my business ideation. You could say Defy gave me a whole new life.”
Founder and CEO
Ivy League Laundry
“I am proud to inform people that I’m a business owner and an entrepreneur.”
Founder and CEO
Free Time Laundry
“Since becoming a member of Defy, I've worked through some demons, and been given the chance to learn about become a thriving entrepreneur and shine my own light on those around me. The opportunities presented to me through Defy just keep improving and showing me that anything is possible, regardless of my past.”
Restaurant consultant and Founder and CEO of ThinkersThrive.com
"Defy helped me to regain my self confidence and taught me that I'm capable. I knew that starting a female-owned and operated plumbing business would be an ambitious endeavor for anyone, but Defy helped me see that when you’re at the bottom, there is no where to go but up. So why not leap high?"
Founder and CEO of All Broads Plumbing, shown below speaking at a UN Conference event on the economic empowerment of women re-entrants
“Working in a prison kitchen, I pulled a box of chicken out of the freezer that read ‘NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION’. This inspired me to create criminally delicious snacks that are healthy (and meant for human consumption!). ‘Inside-Out Bars’ are the result of this inspiration. Not only are we making snacks that are good for your gut, we’ve also provided second chances through employment opportunities to 25 formerly incarcerated men and women currently employed throughout our company and entire supply chain.”