DEF is an independent, not-for-profit group of emerging defense leaders that strive to solve national security problems from the bottom-up by exposing Defense professionals to the techniques and experiences of civilian innovators and social entrepreneurs. 

Our main focus is to build a cadre of creative leaders who foster the adaptation and innovation required to solve 21st century national security problems.

We promote collaboration and innovation between emerging military leaders and civilian counterparts, providing a professional network and tools to shape units and organizations for the future.


What is DEF?

An information age world requires information age solutions. Legacy institutional defense paradigms built for past eras, while effective previously, are insufficient to meet an ever evolving 21st century security environment. Changing realities require adaptable, multi-talented people.

Furthermore, the current generation of emerging military leaders interacts with their peers differently than generations past. Online platforms allow for the exchange of ideas more broadly and quicker than ever before – DEF brings these virtual friendships to the real world, facilitating face to face exchanges that will lead to future engagements.

The Defense Entrepreneurs Forum brings emerging military leaders together through the internet and in a real world setting to hear cutting-edge ideas and engage in cross-cultural networking opportunities. In partnership with leading universities, successful veterans and venture capitalists organizations, these innovative military thinkers are exposed to knowledgeable business leaders, instructors alongside successful innovators of all ranks. Unlike most National Security symposiums, the speakers and leaders featured at DEF are young, entrepreneurial and successful active duty personnel.

Our Call to Action      Our Mission     Our Rationale ›     

About The Forums

For the past two years, emerging national security innovators have come to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in October to share ideas, build relationships, and pitch ideas.  Our community is growing -- we want you to join us!

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