Director for KickStart Venture Services – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (On Hold)

This position is currently on hold.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (Innovate Carolina) is seeking a Director for KickStart Venture Services (KVS). Working in coordination with the Innovate Carolina team and key university stakeholders, KVS helps faculty evaluate opportunities for starting UNC-IP-based ventures and guides faculty entrepreneurs through the process of advancing technologies to market through the formation and growth of new ventures.

The Director provides vision and leadership for this program and is integral to the entrepreneurial culture and ecosystem of the University.

The Director of KickStart Venture Services responsibilities are to:

  • In collaboration with the Innovate Carolina leadership team, create strategic and operational plans for KVS, implement, and measure the impact.
  • Support and advise faculty in the pre-startup phase by evaluating potential opportunities with Innovate Carolina team members and other advisors
  • Facilitate the creation of startup companies founded on UNC-IP
  • Identify and implement new programs, resources, and funding designed to enhance best practices in new venture creation and commercialization of innovations
  • Implement best practice programs that further develop faculty innovation and entrepreneurship capacity, align with Innovate Carolina core strategy and objectives
  • Manage KVS staff and coordinate a network of mentors and advisors
  • Support joint initiatives with key campus partners, such as the Institute for Convergent Science (ICS), Eshelman Institute for Innovation (EII), Kenan-Flagler Business School, Carolina Angel Network, and the Carolina Research Ventures Fund
  • Engage and continually develop a network of appropriate resources and partners inside and outside of the university

Required Qualifications & Experience:

  • 8+ years of experience with startup companies and commercializing technologies from universities or academic medical centers
  • Strong knowledge of and experience with intellectual property, entrepreneurship, startup companies, and public/private investment
  • Demonstrated proficiency in company and business operations

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Multiple experiences in starting companies, with more than one success, preferably in the life sciences, and related to university innovations
  • Experience mentoring university IP-based startups and faculty members
  • Experience as an investor or experience working closely with investors
  • History of leading and implementing innovation-based programs
  • Experience launching and managing incubators/accelerators
  • Access to a broad network of leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and investors related to new venture creation


  • Relevant post-Baccalaureate degree required; for candidates demonstrating comparable independent research productivity or professional-level background in technology transfer, will accept a relevant undergraduate degree and 3 or more years of relevant experience in substitution.
  • Technology transfer experience would be related to managing the flow of research innovation, disclosures, patents, trademarks, copyrights and other aspects of technology commercialization.
  • PhD in science or engineering and/or MBA is highly preferred.

Equal Opportunity Employer

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.

Interested candidates can email resume, salary expectations and any questions to Lisa Rooney at

All applicants must submit their application via

Read the full position specification here.

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