Inmates also learn the essential startup skills of blogging, in part by answering questions on Quora, a website that allows users and experts to communicate, by having volunteers input their entries. Without real businesses to discuss, thousands of readers ask the inmates questions such as: "What does it feel like to murder someone?"
"Murdering someone was the ultimate release for me," blogged David Monroe, 30, who killed a 16-year-old when he was 15. Over the long term, he added, the murder "has forever pitted my heart with regret and covered it in shame."
Writing publicly about their crimes, organizers say, helps the inmates move forward once they are released.
Just months after serving 24 years for repeat drug offenses and weapons possession, Chrisfino Kenyatta Leal fed his cat and ironed his shirt before hurrying off to catch a Bay Area Rapid Transit train in to his office in San Francisco.
"I always had an entrepreneurial fire in my belly, I just used it in the wrong way," said Leal, 45.
Like the other entrepreneurs hurrying to meetings, tapping on computers and talking on smartphones at startup RocketSpace, Leal has a passion for technology and the possibilities it holds.
He just acquired his skills in a very different classroom.
Follow Martha Mendoza at https://twitter.com/mendozamartha
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