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Defy Ventures

Defy Ventures


Business & Professional Services Business Coaching

SBAC Promoter


About Defy 

Defy Ventures is on a mission to shift mindsets to give people with criminal histories their best shot at a second chance. Our vision is to cut the recidivism rate in half by leveraging entrepreneurship as a tool to increase economic opportunity and transform lives. In doing this work, we seek to address the impact of systemic racism in our criminal justice system. Through in-prison and post-release programming, Defy Ventures challenges currently and formerly incarcerated men and women to channel their interests and talents into legal business ventures and careers. 

We support Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs) from incarceration through reentry into the community, providing entrepreneurship, employment, and personal development training to improve well-being and reentry success. Our scalable model combines textbook learning and video-based training with in-person facilitation, mentoring, and events to empower our country’s most underserved populations. 

Defy builds an authentic, supportive community between EITs and executive volunteers. Our volunteer program for individuals and corporate partners—consisting of events, mentorship, and other opportunities—is integral to the success of Defy’s model. By changing mindsets about people who have been impacted by the criminal justice system, we build advocates, investors, and fair chance employers.

Membership Type

SBAC Promoter


Melissa O'Dell
Executive Director

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