Director of Venture @ The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH

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Job Title:

Director, Venture Development


Business and Finance | Corporate Engagement Office

The Ohio State University’s Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship seeks a Director, Venture Development to lead the university’s cutting-edge technologies to market through the creation, staffing and support of startup companies. The Director will work with business leaders and the university to structure transactions that provide value to all parties and ensure access to capital required for growth of businesses.

This position will partner with colleges, departments, and the university’s technology licensing managers to identify and recommend inventors and innovative technologies with strong startup potential. Applying professional experience in evaluating technologies’ prospects, the Director will shepherd inventors through the process of creating a startup that will attract venture capital. Strong relationships with entrepreneurs-in-residence and business leaders will be key in helping the company launch, enable investment by third parties, and align the interests of Ohio State with those of the startup.

The successful candidate will be a natural connector, thrive in a fast-paced environment and communicate well with diverse audiences, from students to executives. They must have a strong moral compass and customer-service orientation as they juggle competing priorities and make complex decisions.

The position reports to the Senior Director, Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship in the Corporate Engagement Office. It currently oversees one part-time position with a plan to grow the team. The Director also serves as the primary contact for the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Startup Fund (TVSF) Phase 2 program and as board observer for Ohio State portfolio companies.

Required Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

Master’s degree in business administration, finance, or related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience; at least ten (10) years of investment experience in private equity or venture capital; experience in transaction structuring, deal negotiation, market analysis, customer validation, and financial projections; familiarity with corporate governance documents; experience in advising boards and management teams.

Preferred Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

MBA; experience making deals in the realm of life sciences.

Additional Information:

About the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship

The Keenan Center provides robust programming, access to funding opportunities, and essential connections to resources and expertise needed to translate ideas and concepts into business opportunities. We connect students, faculty, staff, and startup leaders with Ohio State’s startup ecosystem as well as the rapidly growing startup community in central Ohio and beyond.

Main Performance Objectives:

0-3 Months:

Develop strong relationships with internal partners and develop understanding of the university’s many entrepreneurial programs and funding opportunities. Develop strong relationships with external partners such as venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and alumni. Develop an understanding of the technologies in the Ohio State portfolio; engage in assessment of technologies for commercialization pathways.

3-6 Months: Make recommendations on how to increase a culture of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, consistent with organizational values. Establish connections with technology business leaders and provide support for potential startup creation. Engage with inventors to develop strategies for funding further technology development and partnering with business leaders that have demonstrated records of success. Gain a deeper understanding of existing portfolio companies; serve as board observer for a group of portfolio companies.

6-12 Months:

Lead the creation of startups and negotiation of equity documentation. Manage a portfolio of Ohio State startups. Provide recommendations for investment in Ohio State startups.

Measures of Success

One year after joining the team, success will mean the Director, Venture Development has a broader view and understanding of how to optimally leverage programs in guiding technologies and their inventors toward investment and is helping drive continuous improvement. Strong partnerships built on trust and experience will be established. New and innovative ideas and solutions will have been explored and tried – leading to learning and/or more effectiveness and efficiency for the startup process.

The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University campus is located in Columbus, the capital city of Ohio. Columbus is the center of a rapidly growing and diverse metropolitan area with a population of over 1.5 million. The area offers a wide range of affordable housing, many cultural and recreational opportunities, excellent schools, and a strong economy based on government as well as service, transportation, and technology industries. Additional information about the Columbus area is available at .

If interested, please apply here.

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