Position: Director of Commercialization
Reports to: Chief Executive Officer
Supervises: Innovation (Commercialization) Manager, opportunity for additional commercialization staff
Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is a public-private partnership uniquely positioned to cultivate and support collaboration among founders, investors, the private sector, institutions, and government. We support Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by coordinating resources, advancing capital access, and empowering our Network Partners and multiple stakeholders throughout the state to activate inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Tennessee.
Our core values are:
- Not just thinking outside the box, but breaking it
- Putting people first in everything we do
- Going further together through collaboration
- Being accessible and inclusive always
- Being driven to serve
- Life’s too short to not love what you do!
The LaunchTN Director of Commercialization will lead commercialization activities for LaunchTN, which includes a high level of direct support and collaboration with deep tech founders in Tennessee. Currently, the LaunchTN Commercialization Portfolio consists of over 100+ deep tech startups and as of FY23 more than $7M in funding for commercialization support. This position will report to the CEO, will work closely with the entire LaunchTN team and be a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
The position focuses in three key areas (1) serving as direct commercialization support to founders who are taking their technologies from lab to market (2) developing, collaborating, leading and executing on grant opportunities aligned with LaunchTN, research institutions, and higher-ed collaborators (think: NSF Engines, EDA’s Build Back Better, etc.) and (3) supporting and growing the vision for statewide resources for commercialization, including building new programmatic opportunities.
We are looking for an energetic professional who is experienced in managing multiple projects and stakeholders, and is able to work independently with little or no supervision.
Roles and Responsibilities:
Support of Tennessee’s deep tech founders
- Using your expertise and connections to work with founders taking their technologies from lab to market by providing insights on go-to-market strategies, including assistance in developing commercialization plans sufficient for Phase II SBIR/STTR applications.
- Leverage your existing relationships and form new relationships in order to expand (and improve) programmatic offerings such as commercialization consulting hours and securing new mentors for various Industry Mentor Networks
- Create best practices for engagement with deep tech founders across the state, which could include quarterly calls, showcase opportunities, etc.
- Develop and expand a platform strategy for LaunchTN commercialization portfolio, for both new and existing companies, to include and leverage:
- Hard tech capital connections
- Content and expert networks
- Talent support
- Incubators and programming (events, workshops, etc.)
- State and corporate customer discovery channels
Have a vision for TN’s commercialization trajectory
- Conduct an assessment of the Tennessee commercialization landscape and synthesize opportunities to create improvement and expansion opportunities for existing commercialization programs, in addition to identifying additional growth opportunities for future LaunchTN commercialization efforts.
- Using data based talking points, speak to Tennessee’s opportunities in the commercialization, tech transfer, and lab-to-market spaces to stakeholders such as lawmakers, university personnel, founders, etc.
- Utilizing your knowledge as well as data points to create improvements and expansion opportunities for existing commercialization programs, including the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund Program
- Communicate effectively with other LaunchTN departments, and outside organizations, on opportunities for commercialization
Lead and execute collaborative statewide commercialization efforts
- Serve as the LaunchTN point of contact and organizer behind initiatives like LabShare, shared technology transfer best practices, University roundtable discussions, etc.
- Initiate and support statewide and regional efforts for federal proposals (ex. NSF TIP Directorate, DOE Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations) that offer strategic growth opportunities for the commercialization of next generation technologies and future growth industries.
Additional Responsibilities and Expectations:
Plan and execute all responsibilities with a view toward:
- Maximizing authentic inclusion, collaboration, and partnership with Network Partners, ecosystem builders, and other stakeholders with a focus on user (and team member) experience and empathy for that experience,
- Expanding direct or indirect financial and non-financial resources available to Tennessee companies to enable their formation, growth, and sustainability
- Acting as an ambassador for and building awareness of our vision to make Tennessee the most start-up friendly state in the nation,
- Exercising creative, critical, strategic thinking through a problem or opportunity to deliver a high quality outcome.
- Collaborating; seeking feedback before action; building trust among the team and stakeholders,.
- Being decisive and action-oriented, and
- Being aligned with our core values
Indicators of Success
You should be able to:
- Talk to lab to market founders in a meaningful way;
- Communicate to large groups of stakeholders – everyone from entrepreneurs to mentors;
- See programmatic efficiencies to streamline opportunities;
- Imagine big picture opportunities while managing and participating in task driven work;
- Leverage your network for founder support;
- Manage other team members in a way that is supportive and aligned with LaunchTN’s values;
- PhD or Terminal Degree in a STEM related field
- and/or experience as a deep tech startup founder
- and/or a background in venture capital, with a specific emphasis on investing in hard tech or deep science ventures
- and/or experience working in federal or state innovation policy and programming
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
- This is a full-time position, and hours of work and days are generally Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required as job duties demand. LaunchTN is willing to offer flexibility in work arrangements for the right candidate.
- If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit your cover letter and resume to LaunchTN CEO, Lindsey Cox: firstname.lastname@example.org.