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Job posting: Technology Advancement Coordinator

Position: Technology Advancement Coordinator

Reports to: Innovation Manager

Supports: CEO & Development Director

Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is a public-private partnership that supports entrepreneurship and economic development with a goal to make Tennessee the best state in the country for startups. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit we are uniquely positioned to provide direct investment, while also supporting collaboration among founders, investors, researchers, private sector institutions and government. We foster entrepreneurship, technology advancement and workforce development through capital access, commercialization, mentorship, marketing and partnerships.

Our core values are:

  • Don’t just think outside the box. Break the box.
  • Put people first in everything we do.
  • Go further together through collaboration.
  • Be accessible and inclusive always.
  • Be driven to serve.
  • Life’s too short not to love what you do!

Position Overview:

This position is responsible for supporting the execution of a statewide effort to support early-stage science and technology ventures. By establishing systematic processes around LaunchTN’s portfolio of commercialization support, this position ensures the connection of advanced technology and research to the appropriate stakeholders to build innovation capabilities in our ecosystem.

The position focuses in three key areas (1) systematizing programs that support founders in pursuit of SBIR/STTR and other federal commercialization opportunities, (2) aiding in the administration of the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund Program, and (3) supporting the execution of LaunchTN’s SBA FAST grant including coordinating workshops and other learning opportunities in partnership with various stakeholders (Universities, Industry Partners, etc.).

We are looking for an energetic professional who can manage multiple projects and stakeholders and can work independently with minimal supervision.

Roles and Responsibilities:

SBIR/STTR Grant Writing Support via SBA FAST

  • Evaluate applications to the Microgrants Program, which supports founders pursuing SBIR/STTR opportunities.
  • Develop and maintain a database of preferred commercialization consultants and their agency expertise to support the preparation of successful Tennessee applications to the SBIR/STTR programs.
  • Evaluate regularly the effectiveness of the Microgrants Program.
  • Maintain metrics collection related to the Microgrants Program, including awards secured, additional dollars secured, etc.
  • Share success stories with the marketing and communications team to support awareness of the Microgrants Program.

SBIR/STTR Matching Fund Program & data support

  • Provide administration support for the state’s SBIR/STTR Matching Fund; which includes reviewing and evaluating criteria and applications to the fund, notifying those chosen (and not chosen) for the award, and ensuring timely and accurate disbursement of the Fund in accordance with state guidelines.
  • Collaborate with the development team on communications to state legislators and other key stakeholders, highlighting the innovation from companies in their districts receiving Matching Funds; to increase awareness of/support for the growth of the state Commercialization Matching Fund.
  • In collaboration with the Commercialization Advisor and/or Innovation Manager, conduct mid-year updates/evaluations of current grantees, along with annual reporting of all companies receiving awards program-to-date, to gather data on the effectiveness and importance of the Matching Fund; to share success stories and connect them to other state/local resources as necessary
  • Establish LaunchTN as a state and federal policy influencer by conducting ongoing review/assessment of program eligibility/guidelines to ensure that Tennessee’s SBIR/STTRMatching Fund is competitive with the programs offered by other states, regionally and nationwide
  • Collaborating with other LaunchTN team members to promote Tennessee’s SBIR/STTR Matching Fund (along with other commercialization resources) as part of LaunchTN’s efforts to recruit and support new science-/tech-based companies

Support collaborative statewide commercialization efforts

  • Maintain working relationships with all commercialization partners, including universities and Industry Network Partners.
  • In collaboration with the Development Team, support opportunities to obtain new or expanded funding that supports commercialization-focused programming.
  • Facilitate SBIR/STTR and other federal commercialization workshops, as outlined in LaunchTN’s SBA FAST grant.
  • Facilitate the growth of successful TN-based SBIR/STTR applications by empowering the Tennessee ecosystem (including through LaunchTN’s own Microgrants and other program opportunities) and working alongside partners to increase understanding of value and impact of such resources within the ecosystem.

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
  • 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, and strategic thinking through a problem or opportunity to deliver a high-quality outcome
  • Collaborating, seeking feedback before action, and building trust among the team and stakeholders
  • Being decisive and action-oriented
  • Being aligned with our core values

Preferred Qualities:

  • Willingness to become a part of the Tennessee entrepreneurial support ecosystem and play a part in building a more thriving and innovative Tennessee
  • Bachelor’s degree in a technical field, with project management experience; or aligned project management and a strong desire to support technical founders
  • G Suite user experience
  • Familiarity with relational database management and integrations (i.e. Airtable platform, Zapier workflow automation)
  • Strong command of technology as a tool for organizational success and an interest in the effective utilization of technology
  • Effective communicator who is organized and detail-oriented
  • Ability to work with data to generate insights and present information in the form of data reports and dashboards
  • Time management and adherence to deadlines

What Success Will Look Like in 3 Months

  • Willingness to become a part of the Tennessee entrepreneurial support ecosystem and play a part in building a more thriving and innovative Tennessee
  • Learning about the SBIR/STTR programs through courses, participating workshops, and learning from founders and the team
  • Developing an engagement strategy and a calendar for FY24 SBIR/STTR Workshops
  • Providing administrative support for the FY24 SBIR/STTR Matching Fund Program

What Success Will Look Like in 6 Months

  • Improving the operations of the microgrant program, from application to award tracking
  • Having prepared a database of preferred commercialization consultants by agency to be utilized by microgrant recipients
  • Facilitating SBIR/STTR workshops and educational events at universities across the state

What Success Will Look Like in 1 Year

  • An increase in applications to the microgrant program and an increase in the number of SBIR/STTR awards made to Tennessee founders
  • An increase in funding to expand the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund program
  • Demonstrating an increase in the economic impact of the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund program by administer the FY24 SBIR/STTR Annual Company Survey
  • The ability to manage and administer the FY25 SBIR/STTR Matching Fund

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. LaunchTN values work-life balance. Evening and weekend work may be required as a part of very occasional organization-wide events. 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 Innovation Manager Charles Layne: charles@launchtn.org.

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