Defy Ventures, Inc.

Defy the Odds

New York, NY   |


Defy Ventures is a national nonprofit with a vision to cut recidivism in half by leveraging entrepreneurship to increase economic opportunity and transform lives. Defy's entrepreneurship, career readiness, and personal development training programs are helping currently and formerly incarcerated people defy the odds in communities and prisons across the country. Because public attitudes toward people with criminal histories affect their chances of success post-incarceration, Defy's mission is to shift mindsets to give people with criminal histories their best shot at a second chance. Together with the thousands of business executives and leaders in our network, we are helping to shift the conversation and landscape of opportunity for formerly incarcerated people. Join us!

Ruling year info


President & CEO

Andrew Glazier

Main address

5 Penn Plaza, 19th floor

New York, NY 10001 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Rehabilitation Services for Offenders (I40)

Services to Prisoners/Families (I43)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2021, 2020 and 2019.
Register now



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Every year in the U.S., 600,000 people make the challenging transition from correctional facilities to the community, and one of their top priorities is finding a job. But data from the Council of State Governments Justice Center indicate that having a criminal record reduces employer callback rates by 50%. Corresponding statistics from The Prison Policy Initiative share that the formerly incarcerated are unemployed at a rate of more than 27%, which is higher than the total unemployment rate during any period of U.S. history and nearly five times higher than the unemployment rate for the general U.S. population. For those formerly incarcerated individuals who do obtain jobs, they are often the most insecure and lowest-paying positions. Due in part to these economic obstacles, and according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 50% of formerly incarcerated individuals will return to prison within three years.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

CEO of Your New Life

CEO of Your New Life (“CEO YNL”) is an entrepreneurship, employment readiness, and personal development training program that prepares incarcerated people (whom Defy calls “Entrepreneurs in Training,” or “EITs”) not just for successful reentry, but also for life beyond reentry. CEO YNL equips EITs with the skills necessary to give them their best shot at a second chance. Through highly interactive and intellectually stimulating curriculum content, regular peer group discussion, correspondence assignments, and exciting events with executive volunteers, the program focuses EITs on becoming the CEOs of their new lives while incarcerated, so they can become the CEOs of their new careers or businesses (should they choose to start one) upon release.

Population(s) Served
Incarcerated people

Defy’s Entrepreneurship Pathway includes the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp and Business Accelerator, which prepare EITs for launching their businesses. These programs include advanced coursework in entrepreneurship and business management, supporting EITs through the process of incorporating, launching, and growing new businesses. EITs can apply to the Business Accelerator after completing CEO YNL and meeting reentry stability goals or after completing the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp is open to potential EITs who have achieved stable housing and employment and did not have access to CEO YNL during their incarceration or reentry.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Recidivism rate (one-year rate)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

"10" refers to "less than 10%"

Number of small businesses launched

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Entrepreneurship Pathway

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

New businesses launched annually.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We operate our program in support of the following goals:
1) Positive changes in thinking and behavior as measured by our perceptions survey instrument, which we believe is the best way to measure whether learning outcomes have been achieved; and,
2) Achieving meaningful and sustainable employment within 60 days of beginning a job search after release through our Reentry and Career Readiness Pathway program and through partnerships with fair-chance employers; and,
3) Supporting the launch of small businesses for EITs who demonstrate readiness and ability, when desired and practical for them.
4) Support the long-term personal development and advancement of EITs in the Defy community

Defy Ventures is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides entrepreneurship, employment, and personal development training to currently and formerly incarcerated men and women. Leveraging a blended learning model, we combine the scalability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of video-based training with life-transforming opportunities for growth through personal coaching and mentoring. We help Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs) launch successful careers and businesses and break generational legacies of poverty and incarceration.

Defy uses an “inside-out” model to combat the factors contributing to cycles of recidivism and poverty plaguing the hundreds of thousands of Americans with criminal histories who struggle to find work and a legal, sustainable livelihood. Defy’s program begins on the inside—in prisons—where we engage classes of EITs in our CEO of Your New Life (CEO YNL) program.

CEO YNL is a 7-month program consisting of 1,200 pages of proprietary curriculum content, supplementary video-based instruction, regular classes and peer discussion, exciting events with executive volunteers, mentorship and coaching, and the creation of deliverables including a resume, personal statement, and business concept plan. CEO YNL culminates in a Shark Tank-style pitch competition and cap and gown graduation, after which EITs earn a certificate of completion. Our program model is aligned with the evidence-based conceptual framework “5-Key Model for Reentry,” which focuses on elements of well-being for returning citizens: meaningful work trajectories, healthy thinking habits, positive coping strategies, positive social activities, and positive social relationships.

Once released from prison and graduated from CEO YNL, EITs have the opportunity to enroll in Defy’s post-release program, which further eases the reentry process and trains them to gain and sustain meaningful employment (through workshops and events). Once gainfully employed, EITs can choose to become an entrepreneur by enrolling in Defy's Entrepreneurship Pathway, in which they develop and launch profitable businesses.

- Excellence in Curriculum Development and Program Implementation: Create and deliver powerful programming that is built around an entrepreneurial context, best practices in reentry, and evidence-based metrics to deliver consistent, positive outcomes.
- Business Acceleration: Recognize and cultivate entrepreneurial talent among the formerly incarcerated and offer a selective business accelerator program for individuals who are both ready and able to pursue the launch of a small business.
- Accessible and Impactful Experiences: Offer accessible, meaningful, and highly impactful experiences for both EITs and large numbers of diverse coaches and mentors from the business community.
- Volunteer Engagement and Activation: Engage and leverage volunteers after their initial participation in Defy programming in service to Defy’s mission – as employer partners, donors to Defy, advocates for change, and mentors and coaches in both prison and post-release programming.
- Community: Create a redemptive and pro-social community that includes both EITS and volunteers and allows them to connect around shared challenges and successes long after they have reentered society.
- Criminal Justice Reform and Economic Justice Influencer: Speak to the power of rehabilitative programming and facilitate and/or participate in meaningful conversation about economic justice, best practices in rehabilitative programming, reentry, and development of fair chance hiring practices.
- Partnership: Develop and manage mutually beneficial partnerships, both large and small, in support of our mission, vision and outcomes.
- Scalable Model for Growth: Execute a model for growth that is rapidly scalable and can add value to existing reentry organizations.
- National Convening and Collective Action: Offer value to and support a network of affiliates and chapters with regular convenings to exchange promising practices and accrued knowledge to support continuous improvement of program and outcomes.

- 6,300+ Defy Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs) served
- 6,700+ volunteers engaged in Defy's mission
- 150+ businesses launched by Defy EITs
- <10% 1-year recidivism rate; <15% 3-year recidivism rate

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?


Defy Ventures, Inc.

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.


Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Defy Ventures, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 07/28/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Brian Korb


Brian Korb


John Dvor

Miraki Innovation

Marcus Glover

M. Glover Capital LP

Ariel Jaduszliwer

Brainstorm Ventures

April Tam Smith

Morgan Stanley

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/14/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/14/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.