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Eric Coly

CEO and Founder

Eric Coly is a mental health advocate and the founder and CEO of Ayana, a technology company that offers access to therapy to marginalized communities by matching them with licensed therapists who share their cultural traits, identities and experiences and enabling them to communicate virtually.

Eric was inspired to create Ayana from his own experiences with therapy and severe depression, and the related experiences of his friends. Realizing that stigma, cost and the healthcare system’s lack of diverse providers and cultural competency were some of the biggest barriers preventing minorities from engaging in therapy, Eric created Ayana as a solution to these barriers, and to harness an untapped market opportunity. Ayana’s mission is to provide a safe platform offering evidence-based counseling and therapy to every ignored and historically neglected individual who wants it. 

Prior to starting Ayana, Eric served as CEO and founder of Le Dessein, a socially responsible fashion line created to educate underprivileged girls in West Africa through art, inspired by the deep socioeconomic and cultural impact that higher education had on the women in his family. 

Eric has held senior positions in investment banking and private advisory at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. Eric attended the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He was raised in his native country of Senegal and is fluent in French and English. He lives in Los Angeles.