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Defy Ventures

Company Rating 2.5 of 5
New York, NY
Company profile views: 21
Claim business page
Size: 51 to 200
Type: Nonprofit Organization
Revenue: $5 to $10 million (USD) per year
Founded: 2010
Industry: Social Assistance
Competitors: Unknown

Defy?s long-term goal is to put itself out of business by ending mass incarceration. We are crazy driven to level the playing field and bring redemptive opportunities to America?s biggest underdogs. Our hatred of injustice fuels our impatience. We plan to serve 10,000+ incarcerated men, women, and youth in the next three years and scale to 21 new chapters within six years. America is touted as the land of opportunity and second chances?a land of liberty and justice for all. But this isn?t the case for the 100 million Americans with criminal records, who remain permanently stigmatized. Today, 30% of 23-year-olds have records. Defy Ventures is a national entrepreneurship, employment, and character training program that recognizes the potential in many former drug dealers and gang leaders to become successful, legal entrepreneurs. We ?transform the hustle? of our 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 build a life-giving, authentic community between EITs and our executive volunteers, who bond in their humanity through their collaboration along the entrepreneurial journey. Leveraging technology, we?ve created a ?blended learning? model that has the potential to scale globally and revitalize the most underserved communities. We combine online training with in-person mentoring and events. Since being founded in 2010, Defy has served 1,700+ EITs across 22 states and engaged 3,500+ executive volunteers. Defy has incubated 165 of its graduates? companies, which in turn have created more than 350 employment opportunities for people in their communities. Grads report a 95% employment rate, and Defy?s recidivism rate to date is less than 5%. (Nationally, 76.6% of people are rearrested within five years of release). Defy has earned the trust of funders like Techstars Foundation, Google, eBay, TD Bank, Capital One, Bloomberg, LinkedIn, Yelp, and American Express. Defy was also awarded the MDC Partners Humanitarian Award and has been showcased in national media including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, The Harvard Business Review, and Tech Crunch. Defy?s founder and CEO, Catherine Hoke, is an Ashoka Fellow, and was named by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. She was awarded by WIRED Magazine and Nokia as one of the ?Top 17 Global Influencers Expanding Human Possibility Through Technology,? and received the MDC Partners Humanitarian Award. Mission: Defy Ventures transforms the lives of business leaders and people with criminal histories through their collaboration along the entrepreneurial journey.

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