Director, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
SEEKING QUALIFIED APPLICANTS
The Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship is responsible for leading, developing, and supporting a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Evansville region that contributes to the community’s goals for diversity, business and job growth, community vitality and wealth creation for all.
This position leads the innovation and business acceleration initiatives and resources for the Growth Alliance and serves as a key connector to the community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem which includes Innovation Pointe (managed by the Growth Alliance), Cowork Evansville (managed by the Growth Alliance), Evansville Tech-on-Tap, SWIN Chamber, Small Business Development Center, USI Outreach and Engagement, University of Evansville, The EVVangelist, Elevate Ventures and other loan programs for small business.
Essential Functions and Responsibilities:
- Leverage the IoT Lab – under construction at Innovation Pointe – to engage inventors and innovators via a wide range of activities including workshops, technology showcases, hack-a-thons, pitch competitions, entrepreneurial Meetups, etc.
- Initiate a high-profile event to provide exposure to the growing tech field in Evansville, IN
- Support and collaborate with the University of Southern Indiana to initiate a Coding Academy in the IoT lab
- Identify and understand best practices for growing early stage enterprises and the applicability for Greater Evansville
- Identify and initiate a Business Accelerator educational and mentoring program
- Create events where small business and early stage companies have an opportunity to create partnerships
- Manage startup business growth inquiries, and direct inventors, entrepreneurs and existing businesses to appropriate resources that will take them through the startup or new product/service continuum of ideation, startup, scale up.
- Build and maintain relationships with strategic partners within the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem that provide services to the startup and business growth community. These partners include governmental and non-profit organizations, private industry and educational institutions.
- Identify and facilitate connections between a full spectrum of funding services and capitalization resources, including regional banks and investor groups, seed funds, micro loans and grants.
- Identify and implement programming to engage growth potential companies, increase awareness of community resources for growth and engage community partners in increased collaboration
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
- Bachelor's degree in Business, Economics, Public Affairs or closely related field is required
- 5 years’ experience working with small and medium sized business
- Experience and/or knowledge of processes of preparation for local incentives, bank loans, investors and grants
- Knowledge of trends, developments, and techniques in the field of innovation, entrepreneurship, and manufacturing
- Ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment
- Ability to take initiative, work independently and juggle multiple tasks
- Ability to appropriately handle confidential information
- Ability to deal with problems and make sound decisions
- Ability to make and present public presentations comfortably using technology
- Superior verbal and written communication skills, as well as competence in public speaking
- Confidence, approachability and the ability to engage people and put them at ease
- Availability to work occasional non-traditional hours (early mornings; evenings, weekends)
METRICS FOR SUCCESS
- # Enterprises engaged in accelerator training and mentorship opportunities
- Year 1 – number of commercial bankers engaged in Commercial Lender Panel; year 2 and 3 – number of loan offers made to engaged clients
- # referrals made to Partner Organizations
- Increased diversity at Innovation Pointe – coworking members, office tenants, and events
- # participants in Innovation Pointe events, pitch competitions, IoT Lab activities
- # established companies engaging in Innovation Pointe activities to connect with early stage companies
- Development of sponsorship dollars leveraged by interest in Innovation Pointe and the IoT Lab
To apply: Email resume and cover letter to Growth Alliance president, Ellen Horan