By GumGum Team

Last month, our CEO Ophir spent a full and unforgettable day in prison at California City Correctional Facility.

Ophir along with a group of business leaders and volunteers, took part in the final segment of Defy Ventures‘ Entrepreneur-in-Training (EIT) program. The day was spent mentoring 91 inmates on their business plans in a “Shark Tank” style competition to potential investors. This comes at the end of a six-month training program teaching the inmates how to run a successful business upon their release. The nonprofit was started in 2010 by Founder and CEO, Catherine Hoke and has since seen tremendous success. Hoke herself quit her job to dedicate her life to this journey after seeing strong potential in the business and leadership skills prisoners possessed. In short, Defy gives a second chance to those incarcerated who would otherwise have a hard time starting over. According to their website, as of February 2017, they have invested and advised over 165 startups founded by the EIT’s.

To learn more about their focus and mission, visit their website.

“We’re all ex-somethings. 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 and CEO

Photos courtesy of Defy Ventures