Director, Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Center for Innovative Technology

The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), a nonprofit corporation, grows and diversifies Virginia’s economy by accelerating next generation technologies and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, and market development initiatives. A primary driver of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Commonwealth, CIT concentrates on the early commercialization and seed funding stages of innovation, helping innovators and technology entrepreneurs launch and grow new companies and create high paying jobs.

The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) is seeking a Director for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, located in Virginia. This exempt position reports directly to the Vice President for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. In this role, the Director will help define the division’s strategic vision, and will deliver operational results for the division in support of Virginia’s diverse regional entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Key Responsibilities

The following is a list of functions essential to the performance of this job.  It is not exhaustive and may be supplemented as necessary.

  • Work with VP to shape and support the evolution and growth of Virginia’s diverse regional entrepreneurial ecosystems.
  • Work with VP to promote and administer the Regional Innovation Fund and other division-managed grant and sponsorship programs throughout Virginia. Support applicant organizations as they prepare proposals and grantees as they execute on their grants. Develop and execute efficient and equitable processes for proposal application, proposal review and grant management.
  • Develop and oversee management of the division’s public-facing profile, including its content on the website and a statewide entrepreneurship information portal.
  • Serve as a leader and connector among and between different participants in the statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem. Facilitate, organize and support events and conferences intended to strengthen regional ecosystems. Expand and grow CIT’s role as a trusted partner to Virginia’s entrepreneurial community, in part by developing and maintaining deep and positive relationships with key regional and statewide stakeholders, including GO Virginia.
  • Work with VP to establish annual strategic plans, operating plans and budgets for the division.
  • Operate and provide leadership within a high-performance team, and contribute to CIT’s positive, productive, and energetic organizational culture.

Experience and Qualifications

The preferred candidate will have direct experience working with early stage startups and founders. He/she will have experience in programs and initiatives that support the growth of entrepreneurship. The Director will have an understanding of entrepreneurial ecosystems, including the critical roles of entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators and other service providers. Knowledge of the Virginia entrepreneurial ecosystems will be extremely important.

The successful candidate will maintain executive-level relationships with key organizations and individuals within Virginia’s regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. Experience managing state-sponsored grant or equity investment programs will be a plus, as will be a solid understanding of how to build and execute such programs around equal access, diversity, and inclusiveness.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Experience as an effective and well-liked contributor in a mission-driven organization.
  • Strong go-to-market and partnership management experience.
  • Proven, hands-on professional with experience in driving growth and a track-record of business and customer performance.
  • Knowledge of the entrepreneurship support sector.
  • Comfort with data and analytics, as well as the technology platforms that support them.
  • Experience building consensus among a diverse set of stakeholders.

Setting Strategy

  • Track record of innovation in products and services.
  • Brings innovative and resourceful approaches to problem solving; evaluating all options to arrive at the optimal solution.
  • Vision for long-term market potential and go-to-market strategies.

Executing for Results

  • Helps the organization prioritize opportunities based on impact, goals, and mission.
  • Conveys an appropriate focus on key organization priorities.
  • Proven ability to align stakeholder priorities with business objectives, service offerings, and organizational needs.

Leading Teams, Building Relationships and Using Influence

  • Drives collaboration, shared vision, and prioritization in a highly matrixed organization.
  • Demonstrated leadership within high-performing teams.
  • Can work collaboratively and closely with each of the divisions.
  • Excellent communications and listening skills.

An advanced degree or 10 years of professional experience in the technology industry including public and private sector experience in technology-based economic growth programs and implementation processes.  A solid comprehension of business development, management consulting, early stage company development or general management of an entrepreneurial concern is required.  A solid understanding of how to build and execute programs around equal access, diversity, and inclusiveness is important.  Personal characteristics must include strong communication skills, attention to detail, dedication to teamwork, and a commitment to applying emerging technology to achieve work-place efficiency.

The Center for Innovative Technology is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in hiring, promotion, or other employment decisions on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, nationality, age, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other reason prohibited by law in provision of employment opportunities or benefits.  At any time a qualified applicant or employee may request provision of a reasonable accommodation.  Any applicants will not be excluded from a job if his or her disability impairs his or her ability to perform a non-essential aspect of the job.


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  • Foundations & Non-profit

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