Catherine Hoke

Chief Executive Officer & Founder at Defy Ventures, Inc.

Catherine Hoke

Catherine Hoke

Chief Executive Officer & Founder at Defy Ventures, Inc.

Biography

Catherine started Defy in 2010 after founding and leading the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP), a nonprofit organization that serves men throughout the Texas prison system. At PEP, Catherine developed the vision, recruited and worked closely with the Governing Board and three Local and National Advisory Boards to execute the vision, led a staff of 25, raised a $2.5 million privately funded budget, taught PEP’s curriculum to men in prison, oversaw all activities with the prison system, and served as an advocate to external constituents. Under Catherine’s leadership, PEP was recognized for its innovation and results by NBC Nightly News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, National Public Radio, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Deal Maker Magazine.

Prior to PEP, Catherine built a network of more than 4,000 CEOs and entrepreneurs during her career in venture capital and private equity. She sourced $32 million in equity investments in three technology deals at Summit Partners, a Palo Alto, California-based firm. Catherine then served as Director of Investment Development at American Securities Capital Partners, a New York City-based private equity firm. She graduated with a degree in Business Administration from University of California, Berkeley.

A three-time marathon runner, college rugby player and varsity rower, and California State Women’s Wrestling Champion, Catherine still loves training and competing in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and submission grappling. As a French Canadian-born daughter of an entrepreneurial immigrant, Catherine was an ESL student and appreciates good grammar. She’s surprisingly domesticated and feels the need to regularly experiment in the kitchen. Catherine was married this summer to someone who quickly became Defy’s top volunteer!

Overview
Career Highlights

Defy Ventures, Inc.
Prison Entrepreneurship Program

RelSci Relationships

217

Number of Boards

1

Number of Awards

1

Interests

Rugby, Wrestling, Rowing, Marathon Running

Contact Data
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Relationships
RelSci Relationships are individuals Catherine Hoke likely has professional access to. A relationship does not necessarily indicate a personal connection.

Former Chief Executive Officer & Founder at Defy Ventures, Inc.

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Founder at Defy Ventures, Inc.

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Vice President Growth at Defy Ventures, Inc.

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Co-Founder at Urban intelligence, Inc.

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Former Senior Vice President, West Central Zone at New York Life Insurance Company

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Former Chief Executive Officer at TGS Calibre Geophysical Co.

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Chief Operating Officer at Defy Ventures, Inc.

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Former Spiritual & Character Formation Coach at Prison Entrepreneurship Program

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Special Advisor at Data Point Capital

Relationship likelihood: Strong

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Catherine Hoke
Chief Executive Officer & Founder at Defy Ventures, Inc.
Family Members
Spouse
Vice President Growth at Defy Ventures, Inc.

Defy offers a suite of services that includes intensive personal and leadership development, competition-based entrepreneurship training, executive mentoring, financial investment, and business incubation. By engaging top corporate executives, investors and entrepreneurs nationally, Defy catalyzes broad scale personal and economic opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals, and shatters perceptions of one of the most stigmatized and overlooked populations in America.

Education
Business Administration

University of California Berkeley National rankings: In a National Research Council analysis of 212 doctoral programs at American universities, 48 Berkeley programs place among the top 10 nationwide. Faculty awards and honors: There are 8 Nobel Laureates, 32 MacArthur Fellows, and 4 Pulitzer Prize winners among the current faculty. History of UC Berkeley: Historical highlights, arranged by topic, following the campus's development — from UC's founding in 1868 to a turn-of-the-century building boom, a research explosion in the 1930s, the Free Speech Movement of the '60s, and Berkeley's key role today in science and technology revolutions. Timeline of discoveries and contributions by UC Berkeley scholars. Traditions of Cal: Who was the Angel of Death? What's with the "Big C" up there in the hills — and why is it sometimes green? Who wears Oski's jolly bear head and size 54 yellow sweater? Tours and webcams: Check out what's happening on Sproul Plaza, the campus's true heart. See stunning live views of the Bay Area from the Lawrence Hall of Science's perch in the Berkeley hills. Chancellor and administration: Information on Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George W. Breslauer, and how the university is organized. Organizational charts are included. UC System overview and links: On the campuses, laboratories, and medical centers that comprise UC's public educational system, as well as UC's K-12 partnerships, economic impact, and agriculture and environmental resources.

Career History
Chief Executive Officer & Founder
2010 - Current

Defy offers a suite of services that includes intensive personal and leadership development, competition-based entrepreneurship training, executive mentoring, financial investment, and business incubation. By engaging top corporate executives, investors and entrepreneurs nationally, Defy catalyzes broad scale personal and economic opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals, and shatters perceptions of one of the most stigmatized and overlooked populations in America.

Founder
Prior

Prison Entrepreneurship Program is a non-profit organization that provides character and leadership development. It offers education and mentoring. The company was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Houston, TX.

Director, Investment Development
Prior

American Securities invests in leading middle-market companies with revenue of 20 Billion. The firm focuses on companies operating in the fields of consumer, healthcare, industrial, power&energy and also in services industry. The firm makes equity investments typically ranging from $100-$500 million.

Awards & Honors
Rank #58
2014
Fast Company Magazine - 100 Most Creative People in Business
Events
Speaker
New York City, NY
2012 Feast Conference

A New Kind of Conference: Challenges, Toolkits, Roundtables This year's Feast Conference (October 3-5, NYC) is more hands-on than ever—a two and a half day immersive experience that includes: - An evening start in the breathtaking Hall of the Universe at the American Museum of Natural History - A full day of talks from remarkable innovators--ranging from Creative Directors from Cirque du Soleil to the Deputy Chief Technologist at NASA. - Official Feast Challenges presented by select speakers in fields such as Health, Data, Open Design and Poverty. - Relevant "toolkits" presented on topics from ideation to storytelling to help attendees approach opportunities from totally new perspectives. - A final workshop day to respond to challenges amidst an epic amphitheater of 50+ intimate roundtables. - A hackathon bringing together the best from NYC's tech community to build tools to help target communities in need. - Drinks hosted by Warby Parker and an incredible "Feast Feast" as a finale in The Feast Pavilion the night before its public opening. - Your ideas at the center of hundreds of satellite events taking place around the world on the same day as part of The Feast Worldwide.

Other Affiliations
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