Job Listings

Commercialization Ecosystem Program Director, UMKCs Innovation Center, 59464

University of Missouri - Kansas City
Job Location:
Economic and Business Development
Hiring Department

UMKC's Innovation  Center - Technology Venture Studio

Job Description

Housed in the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the UMKC Innovation Center works across the university and the community to connect, support, sustain and empower entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country. Services are provided across the center's five pillars:
* ELEVATIONLAB Entrepreneurial Education, which, through programs like the Missouri Small Business Development Center, Missouri APEX Accelerators and ScaleUP! serves aspiring and established entrepreneurs from inception through maturity by delivering high-impact training programs, business development technical assistance and coaching. 
* Regional Ecosystem Development, which, through KCSourceLink and MOSourceLink, connects entrepreneurs to the right resources and develops stronger resources for entrepreneurship. 
* Technology Venture Studio, which, through programs like Digital Sandbox KC, Whiteboard2Boardroom and KCInvestED, builds the tech community and nurtures, supports, grows and provides project funding for our region's founders and their early-stage innovations.
* SourceLink, which provides consulting and tools to help cities, states and regions nationwide build better-connected and more cohesive infrastructures to spark, support and sustain entrepreneurship.
* UMKC TalentLink develops Kansas City's workforce through non-credit professional development.

The UMKC Innovation Center is searching for an experienced, goal-oriented, commercialization ecosystem director to expand awareness, processes, opportunities and connections for increased technology commercialization at the university and throughout the Kansas City region.

Job Description
The commercialization ecosystem director will join the Technology Venture Studio. The Studio plays a key role in the region by facilitating connections between companies, regional research centers, investors, educational programs and mentors, creating support and connections that lead to new business growth. In addition to direct programming, the Studio is a network of networks, connecting university faculty, students, researchers, corporations, investors, mentors, entrepreneurs and talent, and showcasing projects and companies across the community. 
This position will work within the Studio to coordinate and implement initiatives that establish a technology commercialization ecosystem at the University. The position will identify, evaluate, educate and connect commercialization needs, researchers and activities on the UMKC campus, with opportunities, programming and people in the region to drive greater research to market.

The responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
* Build, enhance and grow a technology commercialization ecosystem for UMKC, making the process of commercialization at UMKC a visible and easy to access system
* Develop and implement effective processes and programs, providing guidance and oversight, to accelerate UMKC's strategic plan for commercialization initiatives that build awareness and generate business opportunities at the University
* Make strong connections among university researchers and actively engage with local, regional and national technology commercialization partners and the investment community.
* Partner with university departments, faculty and researchers to evaluate innovations, assess commercial readiness and make connections that support their acceleration to market
* Develop and lead cross-university advisory committee for technology commercialization
* Raise internal and external awareness of UMKC technology commercialization practices and resources through presentations, utilizing university communications channels and ecosystem marketing strategies
* Review partnership opportunities and support grant development to drive commercialization activities
* Manage stakeholders at different levels to identify innovations and collaborate with Tech Transfer office and UMKC IC resources to support researchers and staff on trainings, skills and processes to move ideas forward
* Drive collaboration with UMKC research teams, university departments, the Regnier Institute, Bloch School, Law School, MIDE, Plaster Center and Innovation Center to identify and support commercialization opportunities
* Manage process flow and deliverables of program requirements for targeted clientele, resource partners, and stakeholders
* Develop and oversee preparation of necessary reports, budgets and documentation to supporting agencies, stakeholders, university administrations, advisory boards, etc. 
* Maintain and grow database of technology ecosystem participants, economic development groups, and others to expand visibility of available technologies
* Foster an entrepreneurial culture of innovation across the University
* Represent UMKC commercialization strategies and growth to administrators, faculty, staff and other internal or external constituents 
* Attend trade association conferences such as AUTM, SSTI, and SBIR/STTR events, to bring best practices to the university and generate broad connections for commercializing university technologies
* Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications

A Bachelor's degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience and at least 5 years of experience from which comparable knowledge and skills can be acquired is necessary

Preferred Qualifications

Experience with technology commercialization, programming for bringing tech innovations to market, understanding of scientific research, and ability to manage and measure initiatives for outcomes at a university setting is strongly preferred.  

Demonstrated experience in guiding research institution technology out of the lab to market, being the liaison between multiple different university contacts, and connecting researchers with talent interested in considering commercial applications for the science is expected.

Experience within university tech transfer, university licensing, innovation centers or organizations supporting lab to market initiatives is preferred.

At least five years of experience in entrepreneurship, technology, research commercialization, technology transfer and/or associated field is required.

The successful candidate must demonstrate:
* Outstanding communication skills, both speaking and writing, working with faculty, researchers, university administrators, staff and the business community at all levels. 
* Must be able to meet or exceed expectations regarding quality of work product, identified deliverables, deadlines and client support
* A proven administrative and managerial leadership record is expected.
* Understanding of the entrepreneurial process, university research, experience with SBIR/STTR or other federal commercialization grants is a plus
* Exceptional project management skills with multiple partners and data will be critical for the success of this program
* Exemplary people management and ability to build strong internal relationships, whether direct reports or leading external teams
* Strong sense of initiative and self-motivation and ability to work independently as well as be an effective part of a team
* Strong computer and software skills including Windows programs, database management, and presentation softwares
* Work with a high degree of integrity and confidentiality, holding the highest ethical standards
* Treat others with respect and dignity.


up to $95,000 commensurate with experience, education, and internal equity

Application Instructions

Applicants must combine all application materials (cover letter, resume, and list of five references with contact information) into one PDF or Microsoft Word document and upload as a resume attachment.

Limit document name to 50 characters. Maximum size limit is 11MB. Do not include special characters (e.g., /, &, %, etc.). 

If you are experiencing technical problems, please call (800) 488-5288.

Note, you must provide a description of job duties for each Work Experience entry on your application. Please carefully review the application instructions section of our Careers page prior to submitting your materials.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Values Commitment

We value the uniqueness of every individual and strive to ensure each person's success. Contributions from individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives promote intellectual pluralism and enable us to achieve the excellence that we seek in learning, research and engagement.  This commitment makes our university a better place to work, learn and innovate.
In your application materials, please discuss your experiences and expertise that support these values and enrich our missions of teaching, research and engagement.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Equal Opportunity is and shall be provided for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without unlawful discrimination on the basis of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable state or federal law. This policy shall not be interpreted in such a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or the recruiting rights of military organizations associated with the Armed Forces or the Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America. For more information, call Human Resources at 816-235-1621.

To request ADA accommodations, please call the Office of Equity & Title IX at 816-235-6910.

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To read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) please use the following links:Benefit Eligibility


We offer full benefits that start day one, generous paid time off, paid winter break, and continuing education benefits. Visit our Total Rewards page to learn more. 

Also, explore the Total Rewards website to learn more about the rewards package we offer to acknowledge our employees as the university's most important resource.
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