VC Director @ Connecticut Innovations in New Haven, CT

Connecticut Innovations

We are building ClimateHaven, a climate tech incubator in the heart of downtown New Haven—a center where entrepreneurs, corporate sponsors, academics, and investors can collaborate to build technology and new ventures to reverse and adapt to climate change. Partnered with MakeHaven, a comprehensive fabrication lab with over $1 million of equipment, we are establishing a space to promote and incubate climate tech ventures with the vision of becoming a regional catalyst for economic development. Our nonprofit incubation model builds upon successful incubator programs across the country, not taking any equity in our member companies and receiving monthly fees based on membership.

With over a dozen dedicated stakeholders from Connecticut in research, academia, venture capital, and industry, we are working together to build a community of startups and innovators that will develop scalable solutions to the global challenge of climate change. The opportunities in climate tech investment are growing and New Haven is one of the leading U.S. metropolitan areas in per capita VC investment. We will leverage this moment to provide budding climate entrepreneurs from across the country the resources to scale their technology ventures.

Our growing list of stakeholders include:

  • City of New Haven – city government serving over 130,000 residents
  • Collab (Caroline Smith) – community-led accelerator for Connecticut entrepreneurs
  • The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (Andrew Alden) – one of the largest community grantmakers in the U.S. serving South Central Connecticut
  • Connecticut Green Bank (Sara Harari) – first green bank in the U.S. providing green energy financing
  • Connecticut Innovations (Konstantine Drakonakis) – venture capital firm with a new commitment of $100 million towards climate ventures
  • CTNext (Onyeka Obiocha) – quasi-public agency building Connecticut’s innovation ecosystem
  • MakeHaven (J.R. Logan) – full makerspace and fabrication lab
  • Purpose Built Ventures (Miles Lasater) – venture studio creating impact companies
  • SeeClickFix (Ben Berkowitz) – civic technology company supporting local governments
  • Stanley Black & Decker (Martin Guay) – industrial tools and hardware manufacturer
  • Yale Ventures (Josh Geballe) – supporting entrepreneurship and innovation at Yale

This group of stakeholders will provide support to the Executive Director in fundraising, networking, mentorship and recruitment of companies and partners. We expect many individuals from this group to serve on the founding board of directors.


We are seeking an exceptional founding executive director to lead the organization, driving the vision and development of the incubator. As a founding member, this person will be hired as an inaugural director, reporting to the board of directors. This person’s responsibilities include:

  • Directing organizational strategy, vision, and scope of the organization
  • Helping establish and manage the founding board of directors, drawing from the robust stakeholder committee
  • Identifying and engaging external partners to develop sponsorships, partnerships, and collaboration with players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Growing the organization’s brand and reputation among all facets of the national ecosystem
  • Recruiting partners and early-stage ventures to the incubator
  • Developing the expense and revenue models and overseeing all projects, tracking outcomes and costs
  • Securing agreements and directing activities necessary to open the incubator space
  • Facilitating the flow of communications between relevant partners as necessary
  • Overseeing all operations, tracking and communicating barriers to progress of projects
  • Preparing status reports and developing tailored executive summaries to communicate progress, challenges, and next steps
  • Facilitating the communication between entrepreneurs, investors, partners, and stakeholders to support venture incubation and collaboration
  • Developing organizational culture and core values, generating enthusiasm and activity to support incubation
  • Other duties as necessary

In doing so, this person will directly contribute towards the development of New Haven as a center for climate technology, which will drive sustainability solutions in the private sector and accelerate progress towards a cleaner future.


  • At least 5 years of relevant work experience as an entrepreneur, in related program leadership roles and/or in climate-related projects
  • Fast-paced business experience, preferably in a business development capacity
  • Entrepreneurial approach, eager to build, create value, and solve problems
  • Self-starter with a growth mindset who is comfortable with a minimal amount of direction
  • Advanced written, verbal and interpersonal communications including expertise to interact successfully with a diverse array of technical, scientific, legal, political, and public entities
  • The ability to communicate effectively in a full range of forums such as meetings, presentations, and written expression. Demonstrates remarkable persuasion skills and excellent ability to build trust
  • A demonstrated systems thinker, who can develop and implement plans to efficiently build an organization through project conception, planning, budgeting, funding, change management, and implementation cycles
  • Degrees are welcome but not required. Show us what you’ve done and what you can do beyond what you’ve learned in school


This role offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision insurance and 401(k) plan. In addition, this position offers the opportunity to shape the Connecticut entrepreneurial ecosystem, which includes a first-rate community of mission-driven entrepreneurs tackling the planet’s biggest challenges.


  • Consistent with our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we value people with the ability to work on diverse teams and with a diverse range of people. We follow a nondiscrimination policy as required under Connecticut General Statutes §§ 4a-60(a)(1) and 4a-60a(a)(1). We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people, veterans, and people with disabilities