Our Mission

Democratize Entrepreneurship

We want to empower local 9th-12th grade students with the tools and resources to effectively develop a start-up commercial or social enterprise. The program will enable participants to zoom in on a specific issue or customer need, prototype ideas to address that need, develop a new product or service, and eventually lead to a sustained enterprise. In so doing, students will develop key 21st century skills associated with the start-up process, including problem-solving, creativity, confident communications, computational thinking, and collaboration.


A growing region

The Triangle Region - building upon the history, brand, and continued scientific and economic success of the Research Triangle Park, and supported by aggressive investment and economic development policies - has witnessed impressive growth over the past several decades, particularly in knowledge intensive sectors such as biosciences, interactive gaming, and ICT.  

Named the ‘Startup Capital of the South’, the city of Durham has been an exemplar of this development, home to hundreds of startups, co-working spaces, multiple venture funds, and incubators / accelerators.  Driven by the ground-breaking efforts of organizations such as American Underground, NC IDEA, and Duke University, the city has become a magnet for high-potential entrepreneurs, with resources and culture critical for individuals and teams to establish themselves and connect with other aspiring entrepreneurs, technologists, and designers.

A growing opportunity gap

Durham’s growth, while helping position the region on the global innovation map, has not been equally distributed across the triangle’s citizens.  The region’s resilient quest for innovation — whether in healthcare, technology, or nonprofits — has fostered an environment wherein some communities have excellent opportunities and exposure to professional role models, where other communities face significant logistical and price barriers.  As a result, an Opportunity Gap has continued to persist and even widen, particularly for resources which bring together people across racial and economic spectra to pursue collective ideas and ambitions.


Our Response

Audacity Labs recruits from both traditional audiences and underserved populations, creating teams of students with a diversity of interests, strengths, and backgrounds. This recruitment will be enabled by pre-existing relationships that our collaborating institutions have with: Durham Public Schools, Chapel Hill Carrboro Public Schools, Citizen Schools, Durham Academy, and the Duke School. 



Dollars Raised to execute our pilot Cost Free for INAUGURAL PARTICIPANTs



Students impacted in our pilot



of Students responded they were Likely or extremely likely to recommend the program to a friend


It all started with a student entrepreneur…

Audacity Labs is a collaboration of a bunch of great partners. But all good collaborations begin with a conversation. In 2018, one of our founders - Mitch Sava - was invited by Duke University Professor Matt Nash to present a challenge to his Social Entrepreneurship class. Mitch works at the Museum of Life and Science, an iconic science center in Durham, NC. His challenge to the class: what service might they create to be more relevant to teens?

The teams got to work, and just a few hours later, Quinci King’s team emerged with an idea inspired from a program Quinci had previously participated in. One of these is in the image to the left: “a subsidiary service and startup incubator for teens”. That idea led to a conversation, and another. In short order, partnerships were made between the three, options were explored, and Audacity Labs was born.