Defy Colorado hosts Boulder business pitch event for prisoners

BOULDER — Defy Colorado, a nonprofit group that helps people with criminal records develop legitimate businesses, held a Demo Day event Wednesday in Boulder during which graduates of the in-prison Entrepreneurs-in-Training program pitched business ideas including a platform for selling prison art and a food truck.

The program, a partnership with the Colorado Department of Corrections, “men and women with employee readiness, character development and entrepreneurship training — all of which are critical to reducing the likelihood of returning to prison following release,” according to a Defy Colorado news release.

Pitches at Wednesday’s Demo Day event were directed toward a panel including leaders from Colorado State University, Foundry Group, Google and Techstars.

Defy Colorado also collected more than $70,000 in donations at the event.

“Defy Colorado is powered by an army of volunteers, mentors, families and corporate partners who are helping us break the cycle of generational legacies of poverty and incarceration,” Robert Omer, executive director of Defy Colorado, said in a prepared statement. “More than 400 volunteers have joined us in prison for these programs so far, and with many more opportunities on the horizon, we are incredibly excited about what 2019 has in store.”

BOULDER — Defy Colorado, a nonprofit group that helps people with criminal records develop legitimate businesses, held a Demo Day event Wednesday in Boulder during which graduates of the in-prison Entrepreneurs-in-Training program pitched business ideas including a platform for selling prison art and a food truck.

The program, a partnership with the Colorado Department of Corrections, “men and women with employee readiness, character development and entrepreneurship training — all of which are critical to reducing the likelihood of returning to prison following release,” according to a Defy Colorado news release.

Pitches at Wednesday’s Demo Day event were directed toward a panel including leaders from Colorado State University, Foundry Group, Google and Techstars.

Defy Colorado also collected more than $70,000 in donations at the event.

“Defy Colorado is powered by an army of volunteers, mentors, families and corporate partners who are helping us break the cycle of generational legacies of poverty and incarceration,” Robert Omer, executive director of Defy Colorado, said in a prepared statement. “More than 400 volunteers have joined us in prison for these programs so far, and with many more opportunities on the horizon, we are incredibly excited about what 2019 has in store.”