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Rhode Island Program Director

Location: Providence, RI, UNITED STATES read more ...

Rhode Island Program Director

Purpose of the Role:

  • Develop and lead MassChallenge in Rhode Island to deliver all KPI’s across income generation, stakeholder development, programming and marketing deliverables.

  • Be the figurehead for MassChallenge in Rhode Island and embed it as the most effective and respected accelerator in the state.

  • Build a bridge and facilitate active collaboration between world-class corporations, government, and startups.

  • Achieve all agreed business and strategic goals to ensure the Rhode Island program is a sustainable self-financing, successful entity in the MassChallenge portfolio.

  • Ensure MassChallenge connects with and contributes to the Rhode Island innovation ecosystem, and becomes a model for further expansion in other territories in the U.S.

Key relationships: Executive Director, North America; Managing Director, Boston; Boston partnerships team; other stakeholders in MassChallenge

Contract: Full time, permanent, with a flexible approach


The MassChallenge Vision

We envision a creative and inspired society in which everyone recognizes that they can define their future, and is empowered to maximize their impact.

MassChallenge Primary Objectives

  • We help early-stage entrepreneurs win.

  • We connect entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch and succeed immediately.

  • Promote innovation, collaboration and commercialization.

  • Address the seed-stage investment gap, empowering novice entrepreneurs.

  • Provide educational opportunities for entrepreneurs.

  • Showcase entrepreneurship assets and infrastructure locally, nationally and internationally.

Key MassChallenge Activities

Running an annual global accelerator program and startup competition, documenting and organizing key resources, and organizing training and networking events.

Rhode Island and Role Context

After 7 years of success in Boston, MassChallenge is expanding worldwide and also expanding our footprint in the New England region. In year 1 of the Rhode Island program, MassChallenge produced a report to map the innovation ecosystem and executed an intensive boot camp to support early-stage entrepreneurs.

Now, MassChallenge is doubling down on activity in Rhode Island, expanding programming for entrepreneurs, services for corporate partners, and forging a stronger connection with activities in Massachusetts.

While Massachusetts is our headquarters for our programs worldwide, we recognize that there a robust ecosystem and leadership in innovation happening all over the New England region. Rhode Island represents a huge opportunity to support the needs of aspirational entrepreneurs in a growing economy, as well as develop value for key partners in the community.

With support from the state, corporate partners, and other private organizations, we now need an inspiring leader to maximize the success of our main accelerator model in Boston and build on the foundations already laid. This is a challenging, high profile and highly rewarding role in an incredible start-up ecosystem.

  • MassChallenge, the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet, is partnering with Commerce RI, the Rhode Island Foundation, Delta Dental of Rhode Island, FM Global, Verizon, and others to create a program that will provide Rhode Island-based startups with space, programming and a strong network to tap into.

  • The Program Lead with have the critical role of translating elements of the MassChallenge model into the Rhode Island context. Key features of the program will include mentorship, curriculum, regular networking & community events, Office Space (pending work with CIC or other partners), pitch practice, and corporate access.

  • We will convene events and host networking opportunities for startups, investors and other stakeholders in the ecosystem and develop partner relationships across the state.

  • This new initiative will complement the MassChallenge Boston Accelerator program, which will launch its call for applications in February.

Main Responsibilities

  • Strategy and Tactics: Create and set strategy and tactics so as to expand upon the success already seen in the Boston, from Application Phase all the way through to the Awards Ceremony.

  • Creatively Tailor MC to the Rhode Island Program: Understand and utilize resources available through the MassChallenge Boston program to enable the Rhode Island program to be successful, adjusting as required to meet regional customs and challenges but without changing the fundamental guiding principles.

  • MC Guiding Principles: Maintain MassChallenge’s guiding principles, adding to them as needed.

  • Fundraising: Accountable for the fundraising required for MassChallenge in Rhode Island, under the guidance of the Boston Managing Director and with support from the Boston partnerships team.

  • Full Year Calendar: Design and execute the full year calendar, from applications, though judging, accelerator, to the Awards Ceremony.

  • Stakeholder Management: Accountable for the successful management of key partners, advisors, and board members and ensuring their value to the Rhode Island program, including charity board compliance as applicable. Assure startups are satisfied with the program.

  • Public Person for MassChallenge in Rhode Island: Establish relationships with all constituencies, including public, private, and government.

  • Opportunity Identification: Lead the strategy to acquire from the ecosystem new opportunities for funding, team members, program initiatives, and office space.

  • Office Space: Maintains ownership over the space dedicated to MassChallenge in Rhode Island

  • Reporting: Propose a reporting structure to meet the needs of the program

Skills and background required

  • Be at the center of the entrepreneurial universe. You need to either be or have been a successful entrepreneur and well-known in the community.

  • You are well-versed with startups. You have been heavily involved in startups, ideally both as a founder and as a mentor.

  • You understand Rhode Island, the culture, the challenges, the opportunities, the industry direction, the economics.

  • You have excellent communication, speaking, and writing skills. You are a great speaker yourself, inspiring people with your knowledge and style.

  • Ability to connect and engage with all stakeholders at varying levels

  • Able to influence people intelligently, understand peoples agendas and how MassChallenge can appropriately respond to those agendas.

  • Ability to leverage existing relationships in the Rhode Island business community

  • Demonstrated ability to generate leads and close sales

  • Goal-oriented and self-motivated; hungry for success.

  • You are execution oriented. You are not just a planner but also a doer. You’re not afraid to get your hands dirty when needed.

  • Buy Into our Mantra/ Mission. You bleed the MassChallenge mantra, “We Help Entrepreneurs Win.”

  • A highly collaborative approach and able to work across teams and functions to achieve success.

  • Extremely organized with a high attention to detail and very strong ability to prioritize and manage time well.

  • Ability to think creatively developing fun, engaging and innovative strategies and ideas.

  • A motivational and engaging manager with 8+ years of leadership experience. You will need to have proven skills in managing and leading a team, task follow-through, and fostering a strong team spirit.

  • Skilled with budget planning – MassChallenge is a non-profit, so you must be able to manage budgets for our activities effectively.

  • Able to learn and adapt to new technological systems and approaches to fit with the MassChallenge methodology.

  • Comfortable with latest technologies that help coordinate efforts.

Benefits of working with MassChallenge:

MassChallenge provides significant professional development and growth opportunities, plus access to an incredible network of innovators and entrepreneurs.

Specifically, employees receive:

  • Access to Startups: Gain direct access to the world's highest-impact startups across all industries.

  • Access to Startup Resources: Gain direct access to the world's best and most supportive startup resources, including top investors, corporate executives, politicians, university personnel and more.

  • Constant Learning: Understand how to optimize the growth of startups across multiple industries.

  • Growth: MassChallenge is growing significantly and you can be a part of a top-tier team of dedicated staff.

  • Ownership: You have the ability to take ownership over really significant and strategically important projects in areas you wouldn’t ever expect.

  • Flexibility: You have the ability to dictate your own schedule; we are focused on impact and output so let us know what you need to be successful.


How to Apply:

Draft a one page cover letter in which you tell us about yourself by answering the following three questions:

  1. Why Startups: Tell us why you want to work with startups, and why at MassChallenge in particular.

  1. Why You: Detail why you are a perfect match for this particular job.

  1. Compensation Requirements: Please tell us your salary expectations.We regret that we cannot consider any candidate who does not provide specific salary requirements.

Please be sure that the cover letter is no longer than a single page. 

Finally, when you send us your LinkedIn profile, please do NOT cut and paste the URL from your browser's address bar. Rather, please provide the shorter URL that LinkedIn provides, which includes your name.

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