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Our Mission

About Us

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Our Mission

Empowerment through Entrepreneurship

Our Vision

To build a collective of individuals, businesses, and resources to pool together for a common goal: upward mobility through entrepreneurship. 


To provide in-house programs, services, resources, and support to ANY stage entrepreneur. As a community-led center, we take our cues from you - the builders and dreamers in our community.


Our History

echo is a result of a merger between Audacity Labs and Helius, two nonprofits working with youth and entrepreneurs in our community for many years. Throughout the years, and definitely the past few years, both organizations were receiving feedback from the community that yes, there is an abundance of services offered to aspiring entrepreneurs. But, often once the program or training finished, it wasn't easy to access more in-depth or continual support for them.


And for early-stage and young entrepreneurs, there is little support at all. That feedback inspired us to envision a space built for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. At echo, we want to build the “we” - a collective of individuals that fosters a sense of belonging; to join people who have a shared living experience to challenge the outdated educational and workforce models that prevent economic equity; and to pool this collective identity so we can learn together, and create a circular system for broader change through entrepreneurship to build, succeed, and repeat. 

Our Partners

Meet the Staff

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Itzel Castro-Santibanez

Itzel is a Durham native and graduate from UNC at Greensboro. Being a minority herself, she is compelled to give back to her community by empowering underrepresented business owners to reach maximum success.

Operations Manager

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Diana M. Ramirez

Diana is from Colombia and has over 12 years of experience in designing and monitoring public policies and programs for the public sector in Colombia, as well as for NGOs in North Carolina. She holds a Master's degree in International Development Policy from Duke University. Diana firmly believes in entrepreneurship and innovation as powerful tools for achieving social mobility and supporting minorities in uplifting themselves.

Director of Programs

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Anjanette Miller

Anjanette has 20+ years of experience in entrepreneurship and program development.  She founded her first business in Dallas, TX, an educational advocacy center.  Before joining Echo, Anjanette was the Executive Director of Audacity Labs.



Matthew O’Stricker 

Matthew O’Stricker is a Senior at Duke University from in Atlanta, Georgia and is studying Public Policy and earning a certificate in Markets and Management Matthew’s passion derives from his interest in social impact work. He currently serves as a Student Director for echo-Reverb.

Co-Student Director


Sonali Sanjay

Sonali Sanjay is undergraduate at Duke University studying statistics and also one of the student directors at Echo-Reverb! Sonali first joined as an entrepreneurship coach as a sophomore, and has enjoyed every second at our organization since.

Co-Student Director

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Van Adamson-Thompson

Van is a rising senior at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill studying economics. A native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, he has a passion for empowering youth through education, financial literacy, and mentorship. 

Alumni Lead

Board Of Directors

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Terrance Ruth

Dr. Terrance Ruth received his PhD in Public Affairs from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Ruth is an advocate for public education, once serving as a teacher, principal and the parent of a son who attends public schools in Wake County. Dr. Ruth led social justice organizations at the national, state and local levels with a reputation for being the implementation expert.  He served as the NC NAACP Executive Director under Dr. Barber and Dr. Spearman and has served as National Director of Programming for the Repairers of the Breach. Recently he partnered with United Way of the Triangle to launch a community investment fund for local community organizers. 

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Kenyetta Hall

Kenyetta has over 10 years of experience working with SMBs, startups and in both the private and public sector. She started The Katalyst HQ, which is a coaching and consulting company focused on helping entrepreneurs get unstuck and take their business to the next level.

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Mitch Sava

Mitch is the Vice President, EduLab for National Geographic Society Previously, he served as the VP of Innovation and Learning at the Museum of Life and Science, and ran innovation practices with Accenture, Fjord, and Deloitte. He has also worked extensively in social and public innovation through organizations such as NESTA, the United Nations, and the Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Mitch holds an MPA in innovation and entrepreneurship policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Board Chair

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Larry Long Jr.

Larry Long Jr is the Founder and CEO (Chief Energy Officer) of LLJR Enterprises, focused on positively impacting individuals & organizations.

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Melissa Carrier

Melissa is a professor of the practice in the Department of Public Policy and the director of Social Innovation at UNC-Chapel Hill, and co-founder of Radiate Works.

Vice Chair

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Morgen McVane

Morgen was born and raised in Durham. Morgen has been in the Financial Services industry for over 10 years and has spent the last 8 years working directly with small business owners to help them grow their business.

Morgen was born and raised in Durham. Morgen has been in the Financial Services industry for over 10 years and has spent the last 8 years working directly with small business owners to help them grow their business.


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Quinci King

Quinci is a member of the Duke class of 2020 from University Place, WA, now a consultant with BetterUp. Quinci is dedicated to creating sustainable opportunities where undergraduate students and alumni can better engage with the regional community.

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Reed Frankel

Reed is an angel investor, small business advisor, and entrepreneur.

Morgen was born and raised in Durham. Morgen has been in the Financial Services industry for over 10 years and has spent the last 8 years working directly with small business owners to help them grow their business.

Austin has spent the last 13 years helping entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses. His background includes startup ecosystem building, community development, & business growth strategy. He’s a StoryBrand Marketing Guide, Business Made Simple Coach, and founder of Aspen Studios, a marketing & content production agency.


Austin Lopesilvero

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