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CTV is now preparing to launch its seventh accelerator, with funding support provided by NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), focusing on cybersecurity innovations emerging from university research labs. The Executive Director of Inventors-to- Founders (I2F) Program will oversee the Inventors to Founders (I2F) program of CyberNYC, which will be launched jointly with Columbia, NYU, CUNY, and Cornell Tech. The incumbent will work closely with the Lab-to-Market team, NYCEDC, and our partner institutions to design, plan, launch, and scale this initiative.

The Candidate will receive supervision from the Director, Lab-to-Market Accelerator Network, as well as oversight and mentorship from Columbia Technology Ventures’ Executive Director and Director of Strategic Initiatives.  The Candidate will also assemble a board of advisors for I2F, and will also serve on the broader Cyber NYC Steering Committee.


Responsibilities

  1. The Candidate will have primary responsibility for designing, planning, launching, marketing and scaling the full operations of the Inventors to Founders program within the CyberNYC initiative, according to the objectives and deliverables agreed to between Columbia and NYCEDC.  This will include developing the curriculum, identifying external resources needed (such as program instructors, judges, and mentors), developing an event plan (outside speakers/educational events, showcases, pitch days, investor meetups, etc.), developing a communications plan (newsletter, social media), designing and maintaining a sophisticated database of contacts and matches, managing vendors, and defining the metrics to be collected and reported. Inventors to Founders will include two primary workstreams: a) developing a version of the existing L2M accelerators but focused on cybersecurity, to help promising, early-stage cyber innovations receive the mentorship, scientific validation, entrepreneurial education, and access to capital they need to launch; and b) design a program to connect venture-backable cybersecurity C-level executives to cybersecurity startups to ensure they can raise funding and scale.  While much of the approach for these efforts may be based on existing programs in other industry verticals, the Candidate will have significant flexibility and authority to meet the program’s goals and objectives.
  2. The candidate will have oversight of the full application cycle for teams based on academic research innovations across the universities, including its initial design, infrastructure development, and protocol for evaluation and decision-making.  In addition to providing robust programmatic support, I2F will make substantial funding available to participating teams to perform validation experiments with mutually agreed milestones and deliverables, with an expectation that 5 – 10 teams per cycle will receive follow-on funding. 
  3. The candidate will have full responsibility for developing and managing all external relationships for I2F, including the existence and makeup of any advisory boards or oversight committees, the mentors and judges selected for the programs; Columbia’s peer academic institutions; other program operators of the NYCEDC Cyber NYC initiative (Jerusalem Venture  Partners, SOSA, Full Stack Academy, and others); with NYCEDC; and with members of government, the press, industry, venture capital, and not-for-profit institutions.  This will include both reporting as required under the contract with NYCEDC, as well as generally providing open and enthusiastic communication with a wide array of stakeholders.
  4. As the I2F initiative launches and gains traction, the candidate will oversee the efforts to develop and execute the program’s long-term strategy that will aim to ensure its programmatic and financial sustainability beyond the duration of the contract term with NYCEDC. These efforts will include developing relationships with academic peers in NYC and beyond for programmatic collaborations. They will also include forging strong partnerships with industry stakeholders with the goal of cultivating strong for investment and funding support opportunities.

Minimum Qualifications

Applicant MUST meet these minimum qualifications to be considered an applicant       

  • Bachelor’s degree; Masters or PhD preferred.
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience, ideally in a technical environment (software / cybersecurity industry; venture capital; military; academic research lab)
  • Excellent writing skills, with passion for science and technology, and familiarity and comfort with technical/scientific language.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and high attention to detail. Must demonstrate the ability to multi‐task and be responsive to the needs of multiple internal and external constituents.
  • Positive outlook, enthusiasm, extroversion, self-motivation and high energy.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Able to exercise mature judgment, discretion, and tact, referring questions and issues, as appropriate.
  • Willing and able to adhere to and uphold University policies and standard operating practices of the Office.
  • Must possess a ‘can-do, whatever it takes, results-driven’ attitude to getting the job done.
  • Extremely trustworthy and able to work independently.
  • An existing network of industry and venture capital connections, including strong relationships in the Cybersecurity community would be a strong plus, but not required

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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