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Andrew Glazier is the CEO of Defy Ventures and runs an incredible entrepreneurship program for incarcerated entrepreneurs.
His nonprofit runs a program and also a new fund that helps provide direction and support to entrepreneurs coming out of prison. Unlike many accelerators or venture funds, Defy goes really deep on the personal coaching and operates on the premise that being a successful entrepreneur is about building the right mindset of belief in one's self and courage.
"So much about what we do at Defy is about that narrative change and taking accountability for their past, thinking about who they want to be and what they're doing to transform and make creating a vision for their future," Glazier says.
The program runs nine months, 10-15 hours per week, and focuses on incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals. At the end of it, the program sponsors a "Shark Tank-style" business pitch competition, featuring judges brought in from the business and startup community.
Part of the process is what Glazier calls "transforming hustle."
"Most people in prison that are in our program have been business owners before. It just wasn't likely a legal business." he says. "A lot of it is about contextualizing things they may already know how to do. And just saying, 'look, let's put some different language on that. Let's put some different frameworks around that. And now let's talk about something you want to do that is going to make a positive difference in your community'."