Defy “transforms the hustle” of
currently and formerly incarcerated
men, women, and youth
Defy’s programs harness the innate entrepreneurial talents of people with criminal histories and redirect them toward the creation of legal businesses and careers. Defy has demonstrated the effectiveness of an “inside-out” solution to the problems of recidivism and mass incarceration that allows Defy to journey with incarcerated Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) from serving their prison sentence to economic independence. Defy provides rigorous employment readiness, character development, and entrepreneurship training inside prisons, a “warm hug” back to society that eases the reentry process, and robust post-release services including job placement, executive mentorship, startup incubation, and “Shark Tank”-style pitch competitions with prizes of up to $15,000 in startup capital per business. Think of Defy as Khan Academy meets Techstars for people with criminal histories. Leveraging a blended learning model, Defy combines the scalability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of video-based training with life-transforming opportunities for growth through in-person coaching and mentoring. The result: EITs “defy the odds” and break generational legacies of poverty and incarceration.