Prison Tech Boom: Social Outcomes and Entrepreneurs
Friday, March 11
3:45PM - 4:45PM
Hilton Austin Downtown
500 E 4th St
An unlikely market has opened, bringing VCs, government agencies, entrepreneurs, civic coders and nonprofits to the table. Prison (or jail) tech is hot and looks to heat up. This session will be moderated by Laurin Hodge, the daughter of a returning citizen and a co-founder of Mission: Launch, which hosts re-entry events to promote civic tech. Hodge invites two returning citizens (a person who has returned back to community after serving time in prison or jail) to talk about their commitment to the prison tech boom as well as their experiences as tech entrepreneurs after "doing time." Best practices on how to build an ecosystem to support unlikely techies will also be shared.
Mission: Launch Inc
Laurin Hodge often says she did not pick prison - prison picked her. It was the unexpected incarceration of her mother, which motivated her to craft a social entrepreneurial career. As the Presiden...Show the rest
Laurin Hodge often says she did not pick prison - prison picked her. It was the unexpected incarceration of her mother, which motivated her to craft a social entrepreneurial career. As the President of Mission: Launch she envisions the elimination of the social stigma returning citizens face upon release from prison or jail. In order to reach this vision she works as a mother-daughter team with Teresa Hodge to build community coalitions and software so that the complex prison re-entry process is simplified. Laurin serves as the millennial vision keeper and ensures an innovative, systems level approach is applied. She has earned professional certificates in Leadership Development for Minority Managers as well as Competitive Intelligence from The Johns Hopkins University, Carey School of Business. She expects to complete her Masters of Science degree in Information Systems in 2016.Hide the rest
Founder & CEO
At the age of 15, Marcus was sentenced to 23 years in an adult prison. Since the judge suspended 15 of those years, Marcus was left to serve eight years of his life behind bars. After his release i...Show the rest
At the age of 15, Marcus was sentenced to 23 years in an adult prison. Since the judge suspended 15 of those years, Marcus was left to serve eight years of his life behind bars. After his release in 2004, he became a businessman and entrepreneur. In 2006, he launched a residential and commercial painting company called Perspectives Painting Contractors and he is now the CEO of Perspectives Premier Contractors (PPC). As the CEO of PPC he continues to employ other returning citizens.
With the desire to reach back into the cells from which he came, in 2012 Marcus launched the mobile application and website Flikshop. The free mobile app gives incarcerated people the ability to receive personalized mail and postcards from their loved ones. Flikshop ships postcards to over 2,000 correctional facilities around the country.
Marcus’ personal journey and his innovative mobile application have received notable media attention, including coverage from CNN and the Washington Business Journal.
Last but not least, Marcus is also the founder of the Flikshop School of Business, a program that teaches incarcerated youth life skills and entrepreneurship.Hide the rest
Dir, Strategy & Innovation
Mission: Launch Inc
Teresa Y. Hodge, a passionate advocate for people with criminal connections, is committed to reducing the lasting harm caused by prison. It was a 70-month federal prison sentence for a white-collar...Show the rest
Teresa Y. Hodge, a passionate advocate for people with criminal connections, is committed to reducing the lasting harm caused by prison. It was a 70-month federal prison sentence for a white-collar, non-violent, first-time offense that introduced her first-hand to the justice system and mass incarceration in America.
Upon coming home, she and her daughter Laurin Hodge co-founded Mission: Launch, Inc. a non-profit focused on introducing technology and entrepreneurship to previously incarcerated individuals as a way of ensuring self-sufficiency. Additionally, the organization founded and manages the Rebuilding Re-Entry Coalition, a citizen-led movement committed to creating a more just and inclusive society for returning citizens (a person who exists prison or jail). The Coalition and its members desire to leverage its efforts within the greater Washington DC region to ensure re-entry is more efficient and safer for everyone.
As the Director of Strategy & Innovation for Mission: Launch, Inc. Teresa plays a critical role in building strategic partnerships and establishing social enterprise models for greater reach and sustainability. Prior experience as an entrepreneur allowed her to maximize her time in prison looking for best practices to not only help her and others, get back on their feet upon release. Hodge is a certified life coach, with a specialty in prison re-entry.
She is currently penning her memoir detailing the journey in and out of prison.Hide the rest