Defy Ventures is creating future entrepreneurs in, what some would consider, the most unlikely of places. Prison. According to Randy Komisar in his recent article “Defy Ventures redefines ‘the hustle’ from prison yard to start-up office”, TechCrunch.com, Defy Ventures Catherine Hoke saw in some prisoners many of the same traits she knew existed in the successful entrepreneurs she worked with every day in the world of venture capitalists. “She saw an opportunity to turn their hustle into legitimate businesses , giving these ex-convicts a second chance.”
The program offers 10 hours of training while the person is incarcerated; the training is a combination of online and in person. Training also is offered to the inmate’s family. To date, around 200 employment opportunities have been created through this program. The most successful story is one ex-convict who parlayed his prison workout routine into a marketable fitness routine and now owns a gym catering to 4,000 customers.
Rehabilitation with a reduction in recidivism is the goal of Defy Ventures. Watch an interview with Hoke and program graduates, here.
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