Associate Director, LAUNCH, The Center of New Ventures
Research and Innovation at Virginia Tech is seeking an Associate Director, LAUNCH: the Center for New Ventures to join our LINK + LICENSE + LAUNCH team. This team, within the Division of Innovation & Partnerships, deploys a holistic and integrated approach to commercialization technology from "discovery to market". This position is key to Virginia Tech's efforts as a leading 21st century land grant university, as it increases the societal and economic impact of our research and delivers innovative solutions to the most pressing global challenges of our time.
Reporting to the Director, LAUNCH, the Associate Director will work closely with others in the Office of Research and Innovation to build connections, programs and resources to support the advancement of innovation and start-up creation from the Virginia Tech research enterprise. Operationally, this role will coordinate closely with colleagues within LINK and LICENSE to identify, assess, shape, and establish these opportunities and will engage and collaborate with research faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs to inspire and support a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship through the design and delivery of a portfolio of LAUNCH programs and activities.
The successful candidate will have strong interpersonal and organizational skills, be able to manage multiple competing priorities concurrently as part of an expanding team while professionally communicating with a diverse clientele. Through these and other innovation related activities, the Associate Director will serve a broad range of stakeholders internal and external to Virginia Tech by leveraging their skills, professionalism, entrepreneurial experience, business acumen, technical curiosity, and understanding of the academic research process to advance lab-to-market innovation.
The successful candidate must live within commuting distance of Blacksburg, Virginia with the expectation of engaging with stakeholders in-person, There is some flexibility for a hybrid work schedule contingent upon business needs. The position will also include overnight and weekend travel to engage with external stakeholders.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Proactively engage with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders, to inspire and support regional new technology innovation and help to identify and develop potential technology spin-outs from Virginia Tech research and multi-university initiatives led by Virginia Tech.
- Under the direction of the Director LAUNCH, facilitate the delivery and continuous improvement of LAUNCH programs directed to innovation and partnerships while actively working to support, grow and strengthen a culture of innovation at Virginia Tech. These programs include:
o LAUNCH proof-of-concept (POC) grant program
o LAUNCH mentoring and advising of Innovation Fellows in the Presidential Postdoc Fellowship program.
o Innovation and entrepreneurship programming and support to Virginia Tech research faculty, staff, graduate students and postdocs
o Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) and Mentor-in-Residence (MIR) programs supporting Virginia Tech innovation and technology commercialization efforts.
- Represent Virginia Tech in NSF I-Corps Mid-Atlantic Hub activities while actively working to grow a pipeline of Virginia Tech teams for enrollment in I-Corps regional short courses and application to the NSF I-Corps National Cohort program.
- Actively network and make connections across the Virginia Tech research community and early-stage public and private technology spin-out investment organizations, including angle investors, VCs, corporate venture funds, Commonwealth of Virginia investment funds, and federal SBIR/STTR grant programs.
- Collaborate with LINK to support new corporate partnerships formation, and collaborate with LICENSE to facilitate strategies for successful technology commercialization.
- Identify and develop new policies, procedures, and communications relating to Virginia Tech technology commercialization and new venture creation.
- Work with University leadership to clearly define and communicate conflict of interest (COI) procedures and other university policies relevant to new venture creation from Virginia Tech research.
- A Master's degree in a business, science or engineering discipline or a Bachelor's in like disciplines with significant experience.
- Experience in the commercialization of early-stage technologies from research.
- Demonstrated knowledge in the following key areas of early-stage technology entrepreneurship: business model generation; the customer discovery process; and new venture pitch creation.
- Strong technical curiosity across a range of technological domains.
- Strong collaboration and communications skills.
- The ability to inspire others.
- Aptitude for effective entrepreneurial mentoring of highly accomplished researchers and scholars.
- Leadership experience in technology commercialization at a R1 research university
- Experience in fund raising for an early-stage technology startup
- Knowledge of federal SBIR/STTR commercialization funding mechanisms
Commensurate with experience
November 4, 2022
The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.
About Virginia Tech
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.
Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.
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