Executive Director, Technology Commercialization at University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota Technology Commercialization facilitates the transfer of University technology and ideas to licensee companies–both established and startup–for the development of new products and services that benefit the public good, foster economic growth, and generate revenue to support the University’s mission.

The Executive Director, Technology Commercialization is responsible for managing the technology commercialization activities for the University of Minnesota through directing patenting, licensing, incubation and supporting activities.  This is a full time Professional/Administrative position reporting to the Vice President for Research.

The Executive Director is the senior leader responsible for the overall strategic direction, management, and administration of the technology commercialization operations for the five University of Minnesota campuses and the University’s collaborative research centers throughout the state.

The Successful Candidate Will be a Forward-Thinking Individual who will:

  • Be a strategic visionary leading a strong office to success and implementing strategies to grow the organization and its impact to the institution and the state.
  • Create partnerships that link university, state and industry resources to address technology and economic development needs.
  • Aggressively exploit all appropriate technologies arising from the discoveries of the University of Minnesota at all campuses in order to enhance the University’s educational and research missions for the public good.
  • Organize, manage, and maintain an effective Technology Commercialization program by assembling a strong professional staff; work with legal counsel inside and outside of the University.
  • Foster strong relationships with University faculty and ensure that faculty is provided guidance and information on the University policies as they relate to intellectual property.  This includes patent, trademark and copyright requirements, the processes and procedures that are involved in the seeking and obtaining patent protection for inventions, and in the marketing and licensing of University technologies.
  • Accelerate new company and job creation based on technologies and products developed at universities, colleges, research institutes, and publicly supported organizations throughout the State of Minnesota. Support a growth-oriented perspective regarding the Intellectual Property Management, Technology Transfer, and Business Development objectives of the institution.
  • Serve as an expert on all aspects of technology commercialization including but not limited to licensing, commercialization and start-ups.
  • Be comfortable with ambiguity and organizational change in an area that is continually evolving in processes and systems. 
  • Have the ability to deal with technical and business issues with equal skill.


  • A post-baccalaureate degree in an appropriate field and extensive experience with technology commercialization and innovation is required.
  • The successful candidate will have demonstrated both commercial and entrepreneurial success, so that s/he has the professional credibility to gain respect and confidence outside of U of M as well as inside the University.
  • Experience managing a group of professionals in a faculty-driven environment, as well as effectively collaborating with a wide variety of industry and legal professionals in a professional and positive manner.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; a flexible personality and ability to handle peak stress periods with logic and a calm demeanor.
  • Ability to mentor others and contribute to their professional growth through increasing responsibilities over time.