Director Of Venture Development (University Staff Professional 1)
The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is competitively recruiting talented venture development professionals to join our growing Technology Commercialization Services (TCS) team.
TCS supports breakthrough research and cutting-edge innovation that benefits society and fuel economic development through a coordinated approach between tech transfer, licensing and startup teams, and enables success for faculty, business, Connecticut, and beyond, resulting in:
- $1.1 Billion Total funds raised by UConn incubator companies.
- $620 Million in Economic impact of UConn research.
- 771 Patents granted based on UConn innovations.
The University of Connecticut (UConn) is a top-ranked public research university and land grant institution, rurally situated in the “Quiet Corner” of Northeast Connecticut.
We invite your application for the following open position.
Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Director of Venture Development will be responsible for identifying, developing, and expanding entrepreneurial opportunities for UConn faculty and students. The selected candidate will work directly with faculty and students on all UConn campuses, including UConn Health, to form new ventures and support existing startups based on UConn technologies in the physical sciences, life sciences and engineering, across a broad variety of business sectors such as biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, aerospace, cleantech and software, among others.
The ideal candidate will have a track record of leading successful technology startups and will seek opportunities to identify and support the next generation of entrepreneurs. The Director of Venture Development will bring an ability to balance financial and business acumen with an aggressive, creative, and dynamic approach to startup creation.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Educate, recruit, and support faculty and student entrepreneurs to launch new technology-based ventures; facilitate business planning, development, and connections; coach to develop investable business plans and identify funding opportunities.
- Work closely with the TCS staff and various deans and department heads across UConn to educate faculty and students on entrepreneurship. Conduct efforts to instruct faculty on the alignment of NIH and other federal agency goals with commercialization, and to understand business and financial models necessary to attract partners and investments.
- In conjunction with UConn’s other student and faculty innovation and entrepreneurial programs, provide educational and advising services prior to company formation to help startup teams research market opportunities among a broad range of industries; develop educational programming and curriculum addressing a variety of business topics to inform and support new and existing venture development and growth; establish, operate, and support a portfolio of UConn programs such that they are well-coordinated and highly effective.
- Work with startups to identify and meet specific business and scientific milestones critical to commercial success; help them utilize strategies to de-risk technologies and help in acquiring funding throughout the innovation continuum – from proof of concept to initial public offering or sale, and including funds able to support lead optimization, pre-clinical proof of concept and Investigational New Drug (IND) approvals.
- 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.
- Identify and attract experienced entrepreneurs to lead, advise, mentor, and potentially invest in startups.
- 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.
- Review and assess 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 staff to facilitate tech transfer for new UConn technology companies.
- Graduate degree in an area of relevance to the position.
- A high degree of emotional intelligence and soft skills.
- At least five years of significant experience working in a leadership position in (1) a technology startup environment, (2) a growing technology company, or (3) a university technology commercialization program that relates directly to venture development, or some combination of the three.
- 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, government agencies, and investors.
- Understanding of issues and challenges associated with venture development from research in a university setting.
- Have experience in technology licensing contract drafting and negotiation.
- Excellent organizational and administrative skills.
- Experience in raising capital and solid connection to the investment community, including working closely with venture capital firms in the physical and chemical sciences.
- Willingness to carry out job responsibilities both in Storrs and Farmington and travel between campuses as required.
- Will support the staff at the Technology Incubation Program (TIP) – UConn incubators and work closely with the startup companies that are part of TIP.
- Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills.
- Experience with academic startup company formation.
- Advanced degree like a Ph.D. in STEM preferably in engineering and/or physical sciences.
- Proven track record for raising capital for early-stage companies.
- Deep understanding of startup financials and deal structure.
- Ability to mentor faculty and students during startup formation and throughout the startup life cycle providing guidance in strategy, financing, and research.
- Successful exit(s) from startup or technology companies including IPO or acquisition.
- Experience with successful IND submissions.
- Strong track record in the physical sciences or IT/software industry and startups in these areas.
- Clear understanding of the startup environment regionally, nationally, and globally including how to access investment from global and national venture capital firms.
- Ability to create and convey a great story including pitch decks.
This is a full-time, permanent position with an excellent benefits package including medical and retirement, as well as employee and dependent tuition waivers at the University of Connecticut. The salary for this position will be commensurate with experience. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.
Please apply online at https://hr.uconn.edu/jobs, Staff Positions, Search #497278 to upload a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references. Incomplete applications may not be considered.
This job posting is scheduled to be removed at 11:55 p.m. Eastern time on March 28, 2023.
All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at http://www.ct.gov/ethics/site/default.asp.
The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.