VC Director @ Polsky Science Ventures in Chicago, IL

The Polsky Center brings the power of ideas in the laboratory, classroom and community to the world. Through education, resources, and programs, the Polsky Center commercializes discoveries, partners with companies, and attracts venture capital. The Polsky Center runs a top-ranked business accelerator, the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge, which has helped launch more than 200 companies worldwide that have gone on to achieve more than $9 billion in value and raised over $600 million in funding. For more than two decades, the Polsky Center has pioneered leading entrepreneurship education coursework at Chicago Booth with a strong focus on ‘learn by doing.’ It operates a 34,000 square-foot, multi-disciplinary co-working space called the Polsky Exchange; an Innovation Fund that invests in early-stage ventures; and a state-of-the-art Fabrication Lab for prototyping new products. Finally, the Polsky Center manages the University of Chicago’s technology transfer function that manages all University-based intellectual property originating from faculty research and discoveries, which can be licensed to industry partners and investors

Job Family

Administration & ManagementResponsible for planning, directing, coordinating and managing daily operations individual organization units, clinical research facilities, centers or academic departments. Responsibilities are diverse and general in nature and may reflect more than one functional area.

Career Track and Job Level

Business AdministratorManages the daily operations of an organizational unit within the University, primarily in the areas of financial, events, and support services management. May assist in developing and executing University’s business plan. Develops and implements office procedures and policies and ensures compliance. Note that the M4 job level is restricted for Associate Deans (Chief of Staff for administrative units) and will reflect a direct reporting relationship into the Dean or Officer (limit one per unit). Business Administrators who report to the Deputy Dean or an AVP will either be aligned with the M3 job level, M2 job level, or transitioned into their respective functional area (i.e. IT, Communications).M5: A centralized role that provides leadership and direction through senior managers. Is accountable for the performance and results of a centralized unit. Gives input and executes sub-function strategy to achieve key University objectives that have a campus-wide impact. Decisions are guided by functional strategy and objectives.

Role Impact

People Manager


The role provides divisional leadership through directing the development of strategic priorities and plans to assist the Dean or top leader of a unit. Establishes programmatic initiatives and sets high-level organizational structures for processes and systems, contributing to key University goals with a campus-wide or institutional impact. Determines and oversees the financial objectives of the unit and ensures that the unit is compliant with guidelines and performance expectations. Has a team of senior managers to carry out the work in the areas of Academic Affairs, Communications, Facilities, Finances-Grants-Budget, Human Resources, and/or Technology.1) Provides strategic divisional leadership and direction through senior managers. Responsible for unit budgetary plan. Establishes policies and protocols to enhance the central pedagogical mission and operational goals of unit., 2) Serves as high-level representative for a unit, and structures the framework for partnership development with other academic, research, and administrative units within the unit and of the University., 3) Provides leadership for and oversees all financial, purchasing, grant, facilities, human resources and support services management activities for unit., 4) Manages employees through senior managers. Oversees the development of performance goals, establishes the structure for allocating resources and assessing division or University policies., 5) Performs other related work as needed.

Unit-specific Responsibilities

In concert with staff within the Polsky Center, especially its Technology Commercialization group, the Director, Polsky Science Ventures will:

1) Seek startup ideas from faculty and researchers,

2) Assist in educating faculty and researchers on the startup process,

3) Evaluate startup business opportunities,

4) Assess the value of technology and intellectual property (if appropriate),

5) Assist in the development of business plans,

6) Find potential entrepreneurs and other executives for the management teams of startup companies,

7) Work with CEOs and Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) to construct an appropriate capital structure for a startup company,

8) Direct and help evaluate the activities of student interns working in the PSV,

9) Assist the management teams of new startups in finding equity capital from venture capitalists and individual investors,

10) Serve as the Polsky Center’s observer representative on the boards of startup companies (when requested), and

11) Manage the budget and day-to-day operations of the PSV.

Unit-preferred Competencies

1) Communicate effectively with influence and convey information in a manner which drives engagement and motivates stakeholders to mobilize.

2) Proactively build strategic internal and external partnerships that champion value.

3) Cultivate learning environment that challenges tradition and inspires innovation.

4) Relentlessly pursue program and operational excellence and optimization.

5) Effectively manage performance of team and self in order to act with purpose to enhance competence, confidence, and capability.


Education, Experience, and Certifications

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 10+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.

Preferred Qualifications


1) Advanced degree in business or equivalent experience and a bachelor’s degree in a scientific or engineering field.


1) At least 5 years of experience in business development, M&A, marketing, or technology commercialization. Professional experience with business startups or venture capital.

2) Experience in academia (faculty or administration), research or technology commercialization, new product development in relevant industries, technology or invention evaluation, and familiarity with the patent process.

Required Documents

1) Resume

2) Cover Letter

3) Reference Contact List

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application


IF interested, please apply here.

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