S1, Episode 1: Case Study – Coss Marte, Founder and CEO of ConBody

Season 1, Episode One–An interview with Coss Marte, the formerly incarcerated founder and CEO of ConBody who now provides training and job opportunities to individuals with criminal records.

Episode Description: Professor Bernice Grant (Senior Director of the Entrepreneurial Law Program and Founding Director of the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic at Fordham University School of Law) is joined by Fordham Law students Fannie Law and Roberto Cortinas to kick off the first season of Startup LAWnchpad. They interview Coss Marte, founder and CEO of ConBody. Marte shares his inspiring story of how he became a successful, law-abiding entrepreneur by launching a fitness company whose mission is to reduce the criminal recidivism rate…one push-up at a time. This episode is the first of three case studies that illustrate how setting a solid legal foundation is an essential component of a successful entrepreneur’s business strategy.

Episode Roadmap:

  • [:37] Introducing Coss Marte, the social entrepreneur who developed prison-style boot camp ConBody.
  • [2:11] Grant introduces Fannie Law (Fordham Law ‘19), Roberto Cortinas (Fordham Law ‘18), and Coss Marte.
  • [4:05] How Marte benefited from the Defy Ventures program and established the legal foundation for a successful business, including establishing a business entity, drafting contracts, and obtaining trademarks.
  • [8:11] The impact of employment law discrimination on Marte’s developing business.
  • [11:40] Hiring previously incarcerated individuals and the impact of prison time on Marte’s entrepreneurial skills and work ethic.
  • [17:50] Marte’s work with currently incarcerated individuals.
  • [19:27] How ConBody secured financing despite developing a high-risk business plan.
  • [24:31] All about Marte’s new book.
  • [25:54] Marte’s advice for successfully developing entrepreneurial ideas.

Tweetables:

“What I’ve done in the streets is exactly the same thing I’m doing now… except now I’m paying taxes.” -Coss Marte
“My employees know that this is an opportunity where most people are not giving them an opportunity. They really cherish that and they want to run with it.” -Coss Marte
“You didn’t take no for an answer, and you kept pushing, which is a trait that all entrepreneurs need if they’re going to be successful.” -Bernice Grant

Mentioned in This Episode:

Additional Resources:

Disclaimer: The information contained in the Startup LAWnchpad Podcast and any materials associated therewith (the “Podcast”), is for educational and informational purposes only. The Podcast does not constitute legal advice or tax advice with respect to any particular circumstance. The Podcast is not a complete overview or analysis of the topics presented, and may contain information that varies in different jurisdictions and that is subject to revision, interpretation, or nullification after the date of recording. The transmission of information to you does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and any host, guest, or their respective employer, including but not limited to Fordham University School of Law and Lincoln Square Legal Services, Inc. None of these parties shall be liable for any loss that may arise from any reliance on the Podcast. You should not rely upon the Podcast or treat it as a substitute for legal advice. You should consult a lawyer familiar with your particular circumstances and licensed in your jurisdiction for legal advice.

Startup LAWnchpad is a new podcast that helps bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and their legal needs.  This podcast is a series of virtual legal workshops that will educate entrepreneurs about legal issues they commonly face as they develop, launch and grow their business.