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 supporting 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 project, 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 an MVP and product roadmap 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 The Startup Factory as the tech accelerator executed their seventh 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.

At the CAH, Rachael developed and launched the Startup Lab’s pilot program in 2015. Her continuous activities include curating behavioral economics curriculum, developing resources to support startups in BE integration, facilitating research partnerships within the lab, and building relationships with the Triangle’s thriving startup community.