About Our Community

The Defense Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF) started as a movement of passionate doers that saw a need for greater innovation in the defense and national security community.

We have continued to experiment and learn since our first national conference in 2013, with members from across defense, intelligence, policy, academic and private sector circles who care about making a positive difference using their unique skills and experiences.

We inspire, connect and empower people committed to U.S. national security in order to promote a culture of innovation.

Contrary to what the name might suggest, DEF is designed for people working in national security. We use the word "entrepreneur" to evoke a mindset of delivering value, but do not structure our work around startups or businesses in the private sector (though like-minded individuals from those backgrounds are still welcome to join). 

If you feel that DEF is your tribe, we would love to have you join the virtuous insurgency! 

Let's start with the basics:


We would like to know a little bit about you so if you don't mind telling us a little about your industry, that would be awesome.


DEF exists because of the community  - we value diversity and recognize that low barriers to entry are essential to cultivating a vibrant community. We ask you to support our community financially; feel free to select an option with an annual or monthly donation. We truly want all to have access, so if this is a barrier to having you join, please reach out to us at hello@def.org, and we will find a way to accommodate you. 

Automatic renewal is set as the default so you do not lose access to community resources ("Member for Life"). Monthly donations auto-renew as well, but they can be adjusted from your account. If you ever have any questions, you can email hello@def.org.


Please create a login name and password to manage your membership (i.e., view donation history, renew, etc.) and access the member directory. Your password must be at least eight characters long, and contain at least one number.

Please check the following options below:

  • whether to be listed in the DEF Member Directory (which does NOT include personal details, such as address or contact information) 
  • acknowledge that you have read and agree to the DEF Code of Conduct
  • complete the CAPTCHA, click the "Submit" button, and you're in!

You'll receive a welcome email and invitation to Slack shortly.