Startup Lab

Meet our Staff

Rachael Meleney

Program Coordinator

Graduate of the Entrepreneurship program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rachael has experience with numerous startup projects in a variety of capacities, from leading the development of early stage ventures from ideation to pitch, to assisting MBA and undergraduate-led startup teams across university disciplines.

At Reese News Lab, an experimental media ventures organization under the UNC School of Media and Journalism, she headed up the first client-driven startup team, where she and her team were commissioned to solve a specific, multi-pronged problem for local news station ABC11. Over 11 weeks, her team interviewed over 40 North Carolina nonprofits and over 200 potential customers, designed a product and MVP based on the initial prompt and the feedback they collected, and conducted an hour-long pitch and Q&A session to the ABC11 executive team.

Rachael’s hands-on involvement with startup teams extends from UNC to the downtown Durham startup community. She assisted with UNC’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship class, where she helped lead classroom ideation activities and mentor the 30 teams throughout their startup process and pitch practice. She also worked closely with Chris Heivly and Dave Neal of The Startup Factory as they executed their seventh accelerator program. She was heavily involved in the recruiting process for cohort 7, and during the program she supported the teams with special projects, marketing, and pitch writing.

Rachael came to the CAH in September 2015 to build the Startup Lab from the ground up and launch the pilot program. She enjoys working in the intersection of entrepreneurship and specialized fields and providing support systems for startups. In her role as program coordinator, she curates curriculum, facilitates internal collaborations with startups, and builds external relationships with the Duke and greater Triangle startup community.