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Job ID: 121239

Associate Director, Investor and Entrepreneurial Engagement
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Date Posted Mar. 20, 2019
Title Associate Director, Investor and Entrepreneurial Engagement
University University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Buffalo, NY, United States
Department Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Associate/Assistant Director
  • Fiscal Services
    Finance/Investment Management

UB’s inaugural Associate Director of Investor and Entrepreneurial Engagement (the "Associate Director") will support the engagement goals of both the UB Office of Alumni and Engagement and UB’s Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships specifically to advance the growth of the regional innovation economy. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to make a tangible impact on the Buffalo community and to be a key contributor in promoting entrepreneurial activities and programs among local entrepreneurs and the UB alumni population. A successful candidate will have the ability to identify, attract and connect the business resources necessary to support the commercialization of new ideas and technology generated at UB, ensuring that BEP is positioned to support the programs and initiatives in place to strengthen the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and improve the climate for business innovation.

The position calls for a strategic thinker with an understanding of the entrepreneurial atmosphere, in order to connect with and attract a diverse group of alumni that have technical knowledge, startup/business expertise, integrity, and a passion for learning/sharing ideas. The Associate Director’s primary objective will be to identify and recruit alumni from diverse backgrounds ranging from technology, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, chemistry etc. to support innovation outcomes. The main focus of this role will be linking alumni who have had entrepreneurial success (startups or within larger organizations), have deep technical knowledge (Subject Matter Experts), investment experience in disruptive technologies/startups, considerable market knowledge in one field or another, or a unique combination of the above, to the entrepreneurs and startups supported by BEP. Once these connections are made, the Director will be responsible for further cultivating and expanding upon these relationships to promote the continued success of the program.

The Associate Director will have a dual reporting relationship to the Executive Director of Alumni Engagement and the Director of Start-up Ventures.

The Associate Director will be a key player in the university’s entrepreneurial initiatives supported by a five-year $32 million dollar award provided by NYS Empire State Development.

An important part of making UB a more vital and impactful resource is challenging traditional boundaries between what has traditionally been the university and what has been the outside business community. The Associate Director will be responsible for encouraging people outside of the university (primarily alumni) to consider how they can lend their expertise and experience to support the commercialization of new ideas generated at UB. To do this, the Associate Director will:

  • Establish a philosophy and framework for connecting with alumni and other external business resources (EBRs), such as business leaders, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and entrepreneurs to understand their expertise, aspirations, and time commitments, in order to explore the most appropriate opportunities to align them with.
    o Opportunities for alumni and EBRs to partner with UB include:
     Subject Matter Experts (SMEs):
     Investment Advisory Committee members
     Co-founders of new technology
     Entrepreneurs In Residence (EIRs)
     Mentors
  • In collaboration with the Alumni Engagement and BEP teams, manage a portfolio of alumni and other EBRs moving them through a cycle of engagement, from solicitation, onto stewardship, to sustained and increased engagement/contributions to BEP.
  • Work with the Associate VP of Economic Development and the Director of Startup Ventures to define key performance indicators to achieve objectives. Track and report milestones.
  • Participate in new business meetings and other business development marketing and communications efforts led by the BEP team and Alumni Engagement in order to align messaging and department efforts.
  • Work with colleagues in University Advancement and the Blackstone Launchpad to coordinate outreach and engagement efforts in building and managing networks.
  • Through engagement and communications efforts, initiate widespread deployment of BEP’s purpose and mission to help turn more ideas into businesses that will create jobs, economic activities, and life-changing innovations.
  • Serve as a liaison between the BEP and the EBRs to help them collaborate, innovate and grow together. Help to create a place for mutual improvement and business idea exchange among EBRs and the entrepreneurs.
  • Attend conferences and events to further broaden network of contacts in this space.
  • Partner with key internal stakeholders to better understand the UB environment and to make the appropriate connections between UB and the outside resources and entrepreneurs.
  • Identify, cultivate and move prospects along in the donor continuum with a goal of seeking support for BEP and the Economic Development Center.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Actively engage in diversity efforts, understanding how diversity impacts the role, and how the role impacts the success of the diversity initiatives of the Alumni Office, the BEP and university as a whole.
  • Develop programs that attract, retain, and motivate alumni and other external resources, to ensure they are engaged and fulfilled in their contributions to the BEP, including:
    o Organizing events to bring leaders together / attract EBRs;
    o Understanding the EBRs interests and expertise to offer local opportunities for educational development and entertainment;
    o Being a local resource and providing the utmost in customer care to the EBRs.
  • Lead the partnership between the BEP and the business/entrepreneurial community to create an environment of a unified vision, transparency and trust.
  • Establish a practice of celebrating successes, sharing credit across the team, and reflect on the things that need improvement, while adjusting along the way.
  • Document contacts and strategies through the Advance Web database, Reeher platform and BEP tracking systems.
  • Actively participate as a full member of both the University Advancement staff as well as the BEP staff, attending team meetings, alumni officer meetings, professional development activities, and other staff meetings as appropriate.

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