A third class of entrepreneurs in training (EITs) graduated from Defy Ventures two weeks ago. I have been working with these men and women for the last several months, both directly as a volunteer/mentor and indirectly as the co-chair of Defy’s Young Professionals Board. Their formal classroom training is complete, and now the fun starts as they begin the incubation portion of the curriculum. While this is the fun part, its also the scary part- rather than work on theoretical business plans and learn general business principals, they will focus 100% of their time on building their own businesses. This is where they put all of their assumptions to the test.
For those who don’t know, Defy Ventures (defyventures.org) is an entrepreneurship training program for formerly incarcerated men and women. My friend Catherine Hoke is the founder of the program and one of the most impressive people I’ve ever worked with.
Defy is always looking for awesome, high-energy volunteers to help the students think about their businesses. If Defy’s mission is at all interesting to you (looking at you, entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, advisors, bankers, consultants, marketers, sales people, students, teachers, lawyers, government workers…), let me know and I will get you involved.
I will probably post a couple more times about working with Defy’s amazing students in the coming weeks and months.
I expect that most of my posts will end with how much awesome press Catherine and team have gotten since launching in 2010. Some highlights:
- Harvard Business Review
- New York Times
- Richard Branson’s Blog
- The New Yorker covered our basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Photos and video here.