The State University of New York (“SUNY”) and its Research Foundation seek a New Ventures Director to join the Industry and External Affairs (I&EA) team to translate university technologies to life-changing products through entrepreneurship and startups across New York State. In partnership with NYSTAR, SUNY is looking for a candidate who is an action-oriented team player and has experience in entrepreneurial education and training, favoring I-Corps certification; business development experience at a university or startup; and deal sourcing experience at a seed or venture capital fund. This is an opportunity to combine these experiences to build a large-scale entrepreneurship program, taking on a crucial role, in a fast-growing environment.
Our New Ventures Director is a curator who can pinpoint the ideal businesses, teams and entrepreneurs with whom we can build technology partnerships. You are polished, have emotional intelligence, and are naturally a good listener. You are energized by good ideas and acting fast to drive them forward. The idea of working with a team to craft the best response, the best solution, and the best proposal to the challenges at hand, excites you. You always have an eye on new opportunities and areas where our team’s capabilities can help entrepreneurial teams succeed.
You will oversee at least four entrepreneurs-in-residence at leading universities across New York State, and you will coordinate with SUNY’s 18 (and growing) incubators and entrepreneurship programs everywhere. You will grow our pipeline of startups and support them to attract dilutive and non-dilutive capital to advance commercialization of their products. Your performance will be assessed primarily by the quantity and health of new companies, and new partnerships, emerging from the program.
The Director will work closely with NYSTAR and Fuzehub, and collaborate with various internal and external stakeholders to build SUNY’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by networking entrepreneurs to new opportunities, sources of capital, strategic partners, entrepreneurial training and development programming (e.g., I-Corps, Startup Bootcamps), and other resources necessary to support the success of new ventures growing from the RF portfolio of over 1,500 patents. It is essential that you team with New York State’s innovation and entrepreneurship thought leaders to identify and curate entrepreneurial opportunities, cultivate and develop entrepreneurs, and connect the same to expand partnerships and grow healthy high-tech New York companies. Developing partnerships with colleagues across New York State, and being recognized by key stakeholders as a leader, an internal partner and resource, all will be critical to your success.
- Lead entrepreneurial education programs across New York State with special emphasis on accelerated I-Corps training. This includes: recruiting entrepreneurs and supporting their efforts to launch new SUNY technology-based ventures, coaching entrepreneurial teams to develop investable business plans, identifying funding opportunities, empowering teams with the knowledge and connections needed to actively conduct customer discovery, cultivating potential management teams for SUNY startups.
- Work closely with the Innovation and Partnerships division to develop a new, entrepreneurial business development function, with the goal of building and maintaining relationships with seed and venture capital firms, angel investors, accelerators, and agencies to attract resources to SUNY startups; developing and maintaining a client and prospect database to support the new function.
- Develop and curate the SUNY startup portfolio with the goal of raising the visibility of all startups and connecting entrepreneurs to the resources they need to grow successful New York State companies (e.g., SBIR/STTR programs, the investment community).
- Research and source investment opportunities that have the potential to advance New York startups, and connect viable opportunities to investors to increase investments in emerging teams and technologies. Focus efforts on candidates emerging from the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund.
- Engage with stakeholders across SUNY campuses to identify and support relevant startup teams, organize and run informational sessions and workshops; connect candidates with experiential entrepreneurial training and other resources; oversee awards that fund teams.
- Execute programs and events designed to support startups, build entrepreneurial teams, and startup runways around promising SUNY technology.
- Lead the development, implementation, and execution of a comprehensive communications and engagement plan to identify entrepreneurs to launch new technology-based ventures; coach and mentor existing ventures; source opportunities poised for startups; connect the opportunities, entrepreneurs, coaches and mentors to external resources need for a new venture’s success; and craft clearly written business development proposals and marketing materials.
- Oversee RF’s startup equity portfolio, assist colleagues across the enterprise and entrepreneurs with entity formation, structure and investment processes and provide guidance to companies post investment, and act as the point of contact for all equity transactions and use systems to maintain accurate records of RF’s equity portfolio to ensure proper and complete financial reporting.
- Source investment opportunities that have potential to advance the strategic priorities of SUNY developed technologies and companies and connect viable opportunities to investors to increase investments in emerging SUNY startups.
- Assist with company formation and technology development including engaging inventors, students, and post-docs in discussions around innovation venture development and assisting with business plan development.
- Maintain and exceed business development, startup and other key performance indicators. Manage data collections/analysis, program assessment and evaluation activities, and regular tracking of participating teams’ performance against milestones.
- Develop and document best practices for growing startups and mentoring programs within the SUNY innovation ecosystem and New York State and continually find ways to improve our processes around startup formation and business development.
The ideal candidate will:
- Influence the entrepreneurial culture in New York by building rapport with inventors, entrepreneurs, and investors, and streamlining the process for moving technologies to market.
- Have a passion for science and technology and knowledge of the regulated process of transitioning technology from the academic bench to qualified industry partners for the development of products and services that impact human health and welfare.
- Have outstanding verbal and written communication skills and be comfortable communicating with anyone who interacts in research, innovation and commercialization; this includes entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors, teaching faculty, business leaders at all levels, administrators, students, and representatives of all levels of local, state and federal government;
- Have an agile mindset, can-do attitude, a desire to “get to yes”, and willingness to tackle any task needed to get the job done with the unwavering support of teammates and leadership.
- Embrace of technology. All computer basics must be well known, and candidates must be willing and able to explore and adapt to new tools.
- Ability to communicate well within a highly complex environment.
- Ability to work independently under general direction.
- Prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously, with a sense of urgency.
EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE
Candidates for this position must have:
- At least ten years of professional experience at increasing levels of management, administrative and leadership responsibility of entrepreneurial endeavors and programs.
- An advanced degree in science, engineering, finance or business, and robust experience in a startup, investment firm, or business development role.
- Significant business development experience at a fast-growing company combined with a proven track record of establishing relationships and executing partnerships.
- Excellent people skills and outstanding organizational and leadership abilities, including the ability to influence key internal and external stakeholders and collaborate effectively with cross-functional matrix teams and external experts to influence strategies.
- Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and guiding people and systems.
- Working knowledge of university norms and culture.
- An understanding of the basics of intellectual property.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
If interested, please apply here.