Virginia Tech is seeking an Associate Director for LAUNCH to lead commercialization and start-up activities for the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI). The incumbent will be a member of the Virginia Tech LINK | LICENSE | LAUNCH team embedded in the CCI Hub in Arlington, VA.
CCI’s mission is to build an ecosystem of research, innovation, commercialization, and learning to establish Virginia as a world leader in cybersecurity. CCI consists of a Hub located in Northern Virginia and regional nodes across the Commonwealth, each led by a public institution of higher education and consisting of regional stakeholders in higher education, industry, local government, and economic development.
LINK LICENSE LAUNCH within the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) offers a holistic and integrated approach to commercialization technology from “discovery to market” to ensure strategic partnerships and innovation management deliver impacts and growth for the university, region, state, and beyond. This position is key to the ambitious plans Virginia Tech is making to be a leading 21st century land grant university that delivers innovative solutions to the most pressing global challenges of our time.
The successful candidate will plan, execute, and implement a comprehensive portfolio of programs and activities to encourage and build an entrepreneurial cyber ecosystem in Virginia, providing leadership and assistance in cultivating local entrepreneurship and innovation environments, and leveraging research and research faculty from across Virginia Universities. The successful candidate will provide leadership to connect entrepreneurial programs and ecosystems across the Commonwealth. The Associate Director of LAUNCH for CCI will work closely with the Executive Director of CCI and the leadership of the Nodes, as well as technology transfer offices and faculty from across the Commonwealth to determine areas of research that could be further developed into commercially-viable products or services. A successful candidate will support a full range of activities to promote start-ups and build the innovation ecosystem, Commonwealth-wide. In collaboration with university technology transfer professionals, he/she will analyze market demands for innovative products and services that faculty are developing; engage the market and potential partners, including venture capitalists, incubators, accelerators, etc.; support business planning; host events and networking opportunities to help faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows successfully commercialize their innovations.
The successful candidate will be familiar with best practices in innovation and commercialization of inventions in the information and communications technologies area, in particular those emanating from academic institutions.
Reporting to the Associate Vice President of Innovation & Partnerships, the successful candidate will:
Engage with a broad network of stakeholders across the Commonwealth, including faculty, staff, and graduate students, tech transfer professionals, and investors, entrepreneurs, executives, community/state leaders, and others externally to support start-up formation and spin-outs in cyber-related technical domains;
Work closely with the Executive Director of CCI and those supporting the nodes to meet CCI goals as outlined in the CCI blueprint;
Engage, connect, leverage, and amplify entrepreneurship and commercialization activities underway at the Nodes to build a comprehensive innovation network across the Commonwealth.
Collaborate with technology transfer professionals, those in university-industry liaison roles, faculty, and external partners to evaluate opportunities, inform appropriate commercialization paths, and in some cases, pursue start-up formation in parallel with other commercialization activities.
Assist start-ups in raising capital and create funding opportunities for faculty, staff, and students, e.g., SBIR resources, grant programs, local mentoring opportunities, etc.
Through a range of programs (e.g., classes and informational sessions on issues relevant to startup companies) and hands on support, help develop commercialization skillsets among faculty, post-doctoral, and graduate and undergraduate student inventors.
Cultivate invention disclosures from multiple sources to expand CCI’s startup pipeline.
Assist with early business development, potential customer interactions, and business/development partners.
Organize alumni and external partner mentor programs and Entrepreneur-in-Residence activities.
Support analysis and concept development and business planning to market startup companies and technologies to prospective investors; serve as a liaison with potential investors.
Source new venture investments including meeting with founders and entrepreneurs, attending relevant conferences and networking events, and calling on new prospects.
Conduct detailed industry, business, and financial due diligence on prospective investments; prepare in-depth financial and data analysis for potential investments, including customer and management references, market sizing and mapping, and industry research.
Support development of pitch materials, grants, and other communication materials.
Develop financial models relating to financing, restructurings, valuation analyses and liquidity, and perform careful evaluation of ROI opportunities.