Speaker Series Revolutionaries

Defy Ventures Founder & CEO Catherine Hoke in Conversation with NPR's Laura Sydell

"I wish we'd ask ourselves, what would it be like if I was only known for the worst thing I've done? Moved by empathy, we’d recognize people for who they are today and not for the mistakes they made yesterday. Millions with criminal histories would unlock their potential."
Catherine Hoke
Founder & CEO, Defy Ventures


Defy Ventures is a NYC-based entrepreneurship, employment and character training program that recognizes that many former drug dealers and gang leaders can become successful, legal entrepreneurs. Defy “transforms the hustle” of formerly incarcerated Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) by offering intensive leadership development, Shark Tank-style business plan competitions, executive mentoring, financial investment and startup incubation. Defy intentionally builds life-giving, authentic community between EITs and their executive volunteers as they bond in their humanity.

Leveraging technology, Defy has created a "blended learning" model that holds the promise of scaling globally to revitalize the most underserved communities. Defy's online instructors include underdog-loving influencers like Tim Draper (Founder, Draper Fisher Jurvetson), Duncan Niederauer (CEO, NYSE), and Seth Godin (marketing guru).

Tonight Catherine Hoke, Founder and CEO of Defy Ventures, will sit down for a conversation with NPR’s Digital Culture Correspondent Laura Sydell. They’ll talk about Hoke’s background, her experience in private equity and venture capital here in the Bay Area, and how visiting a prison in Texas transformed her life and ultimately showed her the value of "investing in the margins." Later in the conversation they'll be joined on stage by one of Defy’s EITs, who will give a firsthand account of the impact of the program and its power to transform lives. Please join us for an inspirational evening.

This event is part of the Museum's acclaimed Revolutionaries speaker series, featuring renowned innovators, business and technology leaders, and authors in enthralling conversations often with leading journalists. Our audiences learn about the process of innovation, its risks and rewards, and failure that led to ultimate success.

Dec 17, 2014
6:00 pm

Add to Calendar 12/17/2014 6:00 pm America/Los_Angeles Defy Ventures Founder & CEO Catherine Hoke in Conversation with NPR’s Laura Sydell
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