Program Manager @ Purdue Research Foundation in West Lafayette, IN

Purdue Reserarch Foundation

The Program Manager (PM) is the operational backbone of the Purdue Startup Foundry team. The PM’s focus is program operations and execution to deliver the best possible experience for founders, mentors, partners, investors and other stakeholders.
PMs are responsible for ensuring the operational success of the full Startup Foundry program cycle, from onboarding through Series A investment. This includes event management, utilizing tools/developing processes to manage program data, building and scheduling the 3-month programming calendar, execution of Demo Day, and recruiting, hiring, training, and management of the seasonally hired Associate team.
Experience with operations and event planning is required and is a major part of this role. Familiarity with the early-stage, venture-backed company ecosystem is preferred but not required. Throughout the year, PMs will have the opportunity to work across the PRF network, support cross-collaborative projects, focus on professional development and career growth, and work with colleagues from all around the world.
You will be both internally focused working in support of founders in-program and externally focused on behalf of our founders to the broader community of alumni, investors, and mentors. You will manage the program and maintain strong bonds with the startups, acting as a resource and looking out for relevant opportunities to support their success.

What You’ll Do

  • Work with the team to develop the program plan and own the overall responsibility for the successful execution of services offered to Purdue-connected startups, including Black and Gold Awards.
  • Ensure the program is following best practices and executing upon outlined content and curriculum
  • Deliver the best possible support experience to founders, mentors, partners, investors and other stakeholders
  • Manage the logistics for the Purdue Startup Foundry portfolio calendar, mentor schedules, investor meetups, Black and Gold Awards and ensure the founders, mentors, speakers, partners, and investors are fully informed about all program-facing activities
  • Manage the logistics of the application, screening, and onboarding process
  • Implement network events/programs to support founders and alumni both during program and outside of program
  • Develop relationships with entrepreneurial support organizations
  • Represent Purdue Startup Foundry in the local community and ecosystem
  • Support the development of a strong pipeline of startups
What you bring to the role
  • A genuine passion for technology and startups, an entrepreneurial mindset, and an insatiable desire to always be learning
  • 5+ years of experience in fast-paced environments with a focus on event planning, business operations, and/or project management
  • Comfortable working in ambiguity but with high expectations
  • Systems thinker with an eye for things that do not scale and the capability to design new processes and systems for implementation across programs
  • Advanced skills with Excel or Google Sheets, Docs, and Slides is a plus
  • Experience working in/with early-stage companies or other roles that demonstrate experience in above responsibilities
  • Strong interest in the discourse around technology, startups, entrepreneurship, and venture capital


  • Initiative – Proactively create and/or follow through on new ideas and strategies; extraordinary ability for self-learning and learning by doing, with a demonstrated ability of learning from available documentation and quickly applying it with little direction
  • Attention to Detail – Accomplish a task with a thorough and precise focus on every component of the project, no matter how small or time-consuming
  • Communication Skills – Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English
  • Interpersonal Skills – A high level of professionalism and ability to connect with others to build positive relationships and be a true team player while maintaining our “Founder First” mentality; strong emotional intelligence, active listening skills, and high level of empathy
  • Multitasking – Move seamlessly between any number of prioritized tasks and functions while effectively managing time
  • Forward Thinking – Can anticipate the needs and requests of multiple stakeholders as well as the implications and after effects of situations.


Bachelor’s degree required

About Purdue Research Foundation

Purdue Research Foundation is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. PRF views, evaluates, and treats all persons in all Foundation-related activities solely as individuals on the basis of their own personal abilities, qualifications, and other relevant characteristics.  All qualified applicants for employment will receive consideration without regard to race, religion, color, gender, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or status as a veteran.

A criminal conviction check and negative controlled substance test are required for employment in this position.