The University of Connecticut (UConn) is committed to advancing technology-based entrepreneurship and innovation as part of its role in promoting economic growth and development for the state of Connecticut, the region, and the nation. As a part of expansion of the roles and responsibilities of the Technology Commercialization Services (TCS) with an aim to support faculty with venture development and startup formation at UConn, the Office of Vice President of Research is seeking a qualified candidates for the new position of Director of Venture Development. This position will report to the Executive Director, Venture Development within the Technology Commercialization Services group of the Office of the Vice President for Research.
The Director of Venture Development will be responsible for identifying, developing, and expanding entrepreneurial opportunities for UConn faculty, students and companies in UConn’s Technology Incubation Program (TIP). The selected candidate will work directly with these entrepreneurs on all UConn campuses, including UConn Health, to form new ventures and support existing startups in all disciplines, including the physical sciences, life sciences and engineering, across a broad variety of business sectors such as biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, aerospace, cleantech, data sciences, and software, among others. The ideal candidate will have a track record of engagement of successful technology startups, and will seek opportunities to identify and support the next generation of entrepreneurs. S/he will bring an ability to balance financial and business acumen with an aggressive, creative, and dynamic approach to startup creation. This is a management exempt position.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Work closely with Technology Transfer group within TCS to support and educate faculty and students on entrepreneurship. In particular, she/he will help educate faculty about successful commercialization strategies, and related business and financial models necessary to attract partners and investment.
- In conjunction with other UConn innovation and entrepreneurship programs and faculty leaders, provide educational and advising services prior to company formation to help startup teams research market opportunities among a broad range of industries; develop and deliver educational programming and curriculum addressing a variety of business topics to inform and support new and existing venture development and growth; collaborate with entrepreneurial programs university-wide, including those within academic departments and schools/colleges, to establish, operate, and support a portfolio of UConn programs such that they are well-coordinated and highly effective.
- Work with new venture teams to identify and meet specific business and scientific milestones critical to commercial success; help them utilize strategies to de-risk technologies and acquire funding throughout the innovation continuum, at a minimum during seed stage and series A.
- Continuously evaluate and identify funding options for a portfolio of startups, and prepare companies to attract funds from public investment programs such as those offered by Connecticut Innovations, CT Department of Economic and Community Development, and Federal SBIR/STTR programs, as well as angel and venture capital organizations.
- Partner within UConn and beyond to develop substantial sources of capital for University startups. Cultivate strong relationships within the CT, NY, and MA investment communities, including leading VCs, angel investors, and corporate funding partners. Lead efforts to develop and execute investor and partnering forums at UConn including a signature event such as an annual symposium with the expressed purpose of aligning investors with faculty/student entrepreneurs.
- Develop a dedicated pool of subject matter experts to mentor, advise, and/or manage teams on technical, regulatory, legal and business topics.
- Coordinate with the UConn Technology Incubation Program (TIP) to transition ventures into TIP as they develop from virtual to physical operations.
- Work closely with the licensing team for review of technologies disclosed to Technology Commercialization Services to determine the optimum pathway for commercialization; and promote those that are startup opportunities among entrepreneurial communities at UConn and throughout Connecticut.
- Work closely with the TCS Director of Technology Transfer and Licensing Directors to facilitate tech transfer and negotiation of technology licenses for new UConn technology companies.
- Manage and lead projects and programs that are important for the mission of Technology Commercialization Services and the Office of the Vice President of Research.
- Twenty-five percent (25%) of job responsibility will be to oversee the Entrepreneur-in-Residence and TCS internship program and its programmatic success.
- Bachelor’s degree.
- At least five years of significant experience working in a leadership position in (1) a fund supporting early stage technology companies; or (2) a technology startup environment; or (3) a growing technology company; or (4) a university technology commercialization program, or (5) effectively demonstrated comparable/translatable experience.
- Demonstrated ability to act as an integrated team member, communicating openly with internal and external stakeholders to focus on technology venture opportunities.
- Demonstrated ability to forge mutually beneficial partnerships with industry, nonprofits, and government agencies.
- Understanding of issues and challenges associated with research and development in a university setting.
- Excellent organizational and administrative skills.
- Ability and willingness to carry out job responsibilities at all UConn campuses.
- Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills.
- Bachelor’s degree in science, engineering, or business preferred.
- MBA, JD, PhD, or MD.
- Experience in more than one category listed in #2 in Minimum Qualifications.
- Experience with academic startup company formation.
- Proven track record for raising capital for early stage companies; including successful exit(s) from startup or technology companies, including IPO or acquisition.
This is a full-time, 12-month appointment. The University offers an excellent benefits package including medical and retirement, as well as employee and dependent tuition reimbursement at the University of Connecticut (outlined here: https://hr.uconn.edu/benefits-beyond-pay/). Screening of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled, with a target start date of as soon as possible.
If interested, please apply here.