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Catherine Rohr

Defy Ventures
Founder and CEO
Catherine Rohr started Defy two years ago after founding and leading the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, a nonprofit organization that serves men throughout the Texas prison system. Under Catherine’s leadership, PEP was nationally recognized for its groundbreaking results, including 600 graduates, a return-to-prison rate of less than 5% (compared to the national average of 50%), and an employment rate of 98%. In her six-year career in private equity and venture capital, Catherine sourced $32 million in investments and worked with thousands of entrepreneurs. She graduated with a degree in Business Administration from University of California, Berkeley. A three-time marathon runner, former rugby player, and California State Wrestling Champion, Catherine resides in New York City and still enjoys training and competing in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and submission grappling in her spare time. For Catherine, Defy Ventures is not about stellar numbers and media accolades. It’s about holistic transformation. It took courage for Catherine to jump ship from the corporate world, and many tough leadership and personal lessons to continue pursuing her calling. She’s proud that her student entrepreneurs also embrace personal transformation to show the world that we can collectively defy the odds. Catherine shares her story and spreads the message of Defy at business conferences, faith-based leadership summits, and entrepreneurship and philanthropy conferences throughout the United States.

My Ashoka Fellows Sessions

Thursday, May 30

6:30pm EDT