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Director of Venture Development

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

University Staff



Posting Close Date:


Date Posted:


Job Summary

We are looking for a driven and passionate team member to join CU Boulder’s innovation engine. The Director of Venture Development oversees a comprehensive series of training programs for university researchers including faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers. These programs help researchers to develop entrepreneurial and business skills while evolving their ventures from ideation to traction with investors, partners, and the market. The Director of Venture Development is a team member within Venture Partners at CU Boulder, whose mission is translating research innovations into economic and positive social impact.

This senior position plays a leadership role in two principal programs: i) the Western Region I-Corps Hub and ii) Ascent, the deep tech startup accelerator. The I-Corps Hub is a consortium of eight research universities that deliver the nationally recognized I-Corps curriculum to teams of innovators. The Ascent deep technology accelerator helps deep tech startup founders spin their ventures out of the university through a five-month program.

The Director of Venture Development reports to the Managing Director of Venture Partners. 

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

As one of 34 U.S. public research institutions belonging to the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU)—and the only member in the Rocky Mountain region—our goal at CU Boulder is to directly benefit the world through collaborative research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Our faculty, staff, and students work with the broader community to establish unique connections that have lasting outcomes—both across Colorado and around the world. CU Boulder aspires to be the top university for innovation.

Venture Partners at CU Boulder is a key catalyst for innovation. Venture Partners’ mission is to translate breakthrough inventions from the University to society. Our work is exciting, fast-paced, and multidisciplinary, bringing together the domains of business, science, and law. We work with university researchers and external business partners to commercialize new products and form new startup companies.

The University of Colorado Boulder is situated in one of the most innovative communities in the country. Boulder has been ranked by Forbes as the best city in America in which to start a business, and as the top city in America by Bloomberg’s Brain Concentration Index. 

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

Western Region I-Corps Hub

  • Together with the CU Boulder principal investigator, faculty lead, and Managing Director of Venture Partners, play a leadership role for CU Boulder within the Hub.
  • Direct regional I-Corps trainings online and throughout Colorado, for both teams and trainers.
  • Collaborate closely with other Hub member universities to ensure sharing of best practices, curriculum uniformity, and coordinated recruitment of teams and mentors.
  • Identify local candidate teams to participate in national I-Corps cohorts, including delivering a minimum of four participating teams annually.
  • Deliver Hub objective for diverse and inclusive team participation.
  • Manage two dedicated full-time employees who serve as Hub Program Manager and Program Coordinator.
  • Personally complete I-Corps instructor training and occasionally lead programs.
  • Oversee tracking of regional Hub metrics.


  • Oversee all aspects of this 5-month, cohort-based accelerator for early-stage startups spinning out of the university’s research labs.
  • Manage 1.5 full time employee who serves as Program Managers for Ascent.
  • Liaise across the Venture Partners team to recruit startups into Ascent.
  • Direct recruitment and retention for program speakers.
  • Evolve and grow Ascent through each annual edition to better serve CU Boulder startup founders and prepare them for commercial success.
  • Pursue grant funding opportunities in support of Ascent.

Additional Venture Development

  • Collaborate closely with Venture Partners’ licensing team, to build a deep understanding of CU Boulder’s innovation pipeline and optimize the allocation of venture development resources.
  • Design and direct occasional workshops on special topics in entrepreneurship.
  • Provide pitch training and coaching for researchers and founders applying for commercialization grants and seeking investments.
  • Build and nurture relationships within the local and national startup ecosystem, including mentor networks, investors, accelerators, and competitions.
  • Foster relationships with university and community speakers and teachers who participate in Venture Partners programming.
  • Promote venture development programs across the university campus, and in cases beyond, to prospective participants.
  • Conduct diligence and benchmarking with other commercialization education programs at leading universities and startup support organizations.

What You Should Know

  • We anticipate that this position will support a hybrid format (remote/in-person), with the expectation to support in-person work primarily. 

What We Can Offer

The hiring range is $110,000.00-$140,000.00. Relocation assistance may be available per department guidelines. 


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be adaptable. Be successful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience may substitute.
  • A combination of job-related education and experience equivalent to 6 years. 

What You Will Need

  • Strong presentation skills and public speaking, including an ability to inspire your audience and lead group conversations.
  • Commitment to a founders-first approach and to advocating for researcher-entrepreneurs.
  • A collaborative and relational style that builds strong ties inside and outside the university.
  • Insightful eye for early-stage startups and what they need to advance
  • Exceptionally strong leadership and networking skills.
  • Sensitivity to and appreciation of cultural, racial, political, and other differences.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • At least 5 years of professional experience with personnel management.
  • Master's degree or higher in science, engineering, business, or law.
  • 10 years of professional experience in innovation, entrepreneurship, startups, and commercialization of scientific and engineering technologies.
  • Experience teaching and/or using the I-Corps curriculum, business model canvas, and/or lean canvas.
  • Professional experience in innovation and entrepreneurship within the university setting.
  • Experience directing startup accelerator programs.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials: 
  1. A current resume. 
  2. A cover letter that specifically tells us how your background and experience align with the requirements, qualifications, and responsibilities of the position.
We may request references at a later time.

Please apply by November 2, 2021 for consideration.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, please apply through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: