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Managing Director, Activate Houston



Houston, TX, USA
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2023

About Activate Global

Activate empowers scientists to reinvent our world and address climate change by bringing their research to market. We partner with leading funders and research institutions—including a groundbreaking new partnership with the National Science Foundation—to offer the Activate Fellowship, providing the funding, technical support, networking, community, and time that scientists need at the outset of their entrepreneurial journey.

The results are game changing: Activate Fellows have launched 106 new companies since 2015. These companies have raised more than $1.3B in follow-on funding, created more than 1,200 U.S.-based high-tech jobs, reached scientific breakthroughs, and defined new market categories. Activate supports fellows in Berkeley, CA; Cambridge, MA; New York, NY; and across the U.S. through Activate Anywhere.

Activate exists to create a better future, for all. In service of this purpose, we are building a foundation of equity and inclusivity across our business, including our operations, our fellowship, our partnerships, and our brand.

Position Summary

Activate is looking for a Managing Director to mentor a community of Activate Fellows in the Houston area by serving as their primary advisor. In this role, you will drive key fellowship programmatic efforts and connect your community of fellows with resources, support, and each other to enable their entrepreneurial success. This role will be responsible for designing and deploying customized program elements to best leverage the local ecosystem and for representing the Houston fellow community to the larger Activate Global team and to external stakeholders across academia, industry, finance and government. In this role you will report to the Executive Managing Director, and build and lead a programmatic team focused on supporting the Houston fellow community. Join us as we work to create the world’s leading platform supporting the earlier stages of science entrepreneurship!

Primary Responsibilities

  • Serve as Managing Director and primary advisor for a cross-disciplinary community of entrepreneurial fellows.
  • Drive successful outcomes for each individual fellow, providing mentorship, support, network connectivity, and resources.
  • Oversee core elements of the fellowship, including review and selection of fellows, goal setting, advisory board formation, 1:1 mentorship, quarterly board meetings, and weekly educational programming.
  • Support ongoing design and management of the program and organization.
  • Establish and/or manage partnerships with research institutions and laboratory partners.
  • Build collaborative, cross-functional relationships with staff and partners to ensure the program operates effectively and efficiently.
  • Represent Activate at an executive level with public- and private-sector stakeholders from across the technology innovation ecosystem.
  • Engage with current and potential government and philanthropic sponsors.
  • Lead and develop their program team to provide best-in-class support to the fellows.

As the Ideal Candidate, you...

  • Have an advanced degree in the physical or biological sciences and 5-7 years years experience in research, development, management, and commercialization of science-driven technologies, with entrepreneurial experience as the leader of a new company or business unit.
  • Have led high-performance technical teams and have demonstrated a commitment to nurturing talent through mentorship.
  • Have a strong network and reputation among stakeholders from across the innovation ecosystem (academia, industry, finance, and government) and in the Houston area.
  • Strongly exhibit objectivity, empathy, and inclusiveness in leadership.
  • Are an excellent communicator and collaborator.
  • Can manage a complex, dynamic portfolio of projects and stakeholders.
  • Believe in the power of science innovation to combat climate change and create a sustainable, resilient, equitable global economy.
  • Have debated the merits of venture capital as a source of funding for early-stage hard-technology companies, and is supportive of a broad range of finance and business models for advancing hard-tech to market.
  • Would be excited to wake up each day asking the question, “what can I do to make our fellows successful?”

Our Team: Culture and Benefits

Activate’s culture is built around the following values:

  • We put people first through mutual support, respect, and continuous improvement
  • We live in trust, acting with authenticity, integrity, and a presumption of good intention
  • We appreciate experimentation, using data to improve, and accepting that failure and discomfort are necessary for growth
  • We create value through connection and building community
  • We are guided by intention and are purpose-driven to improve society

This is a full-time position with a competitive salary and a comprehensive suite of benefit offerings. This position will be located in Houston (TX).

Encouraging Applications from All Backgrounds

We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to age, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status. We will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics. Activate Global, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.