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Director, New Ventures

Posted on Apr 5, 2021 by Duke University

Durham, NC 27701
Immediate Start
Annual Salary

Lead and support all programs for assisting and promoting Duke related spin out projects with the objective of increasing the probability of company success as measured by investment, recruitment of management, products on the market, and capital exits. The Duke New Ventures Group will provide faculty, staff, and students with assistance in market readiness assessment, venture mentoring/team building, venture incubation/acceleration, venture introductions and investment. The Director will be responsible for driving continuous development and improvement of this strategy and devise metrics to track such success. Director will manage existing new venture programs and also have the flexibility to create and incubate new programs to serve the mission of startup company success. Director will also coordinate with other Duke organizations promoting student spin outs, serving as a primary point of contact for external groups (investors, service providers, etc.) interested in Duke startups. This position will report to the Executive Director of Duke's Office of Licensing & Ventures (OLV).

Work Performed

Faculty, staff, and student outreach:
Work with other Duke entities to develop and present a variety of outreach programs to help constituents learn the path to commercial development of their inventions
Identify and help develop programs targeted for specific entrepreneurial needs that match Duke research and entrepreneurial strengths
Provide advice, guidance and referrals (but not approval) to outside legal counsel and other appropriate vendors (insurance, accounting, etc.) to startup projects
Market readiness assessment:
Recruit and manage a cadre of competitively selected business school students ( New Venture Fellows ) to assist the Mentors in Residence (MIRs) in preparing market analyses, financial models, and other necessary business and scientific data as context for prospective new venture opportunities
Venture Mentoring/Team Building:
Manage recruitment and mentor/mentee matching of a network across many industries
Manage MIR program including spinout assignments, collaboration with New Venture Fellows and related meetings and events
Manage recruitment and deployment of talent for matching spin out company needs including early management, regulatory advice, and board advisors
Develop and oversee maintenance database/network of vetted talent for talent needs, including working with other partners in the Triangle (NCBio, UNC, etc) as well as other databases tracking startup metrics (investment, employees, etc) as well as MIR project management
Make introductions to prospective entrepreneurs, business partners and technical talent in order to increase the probability of success in attracting early investor interest
Venture Incubation/Acceleration:
Recruit, prepare and assist faculty, students, or staff in presenting proposals for proof-of-concept and technology validation studies for various Duke and North Carolina translational programs.
Represent Duke OLV in a variety of national, state and local events related to innovation and entrepreneurship, including I&E Institute, NC Biolabs, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the NC Biotech Center, JP Morgan, among others
Venture and Angel Investment:
Coach researchers in presenting their ideas to investors especially in terms of market potential and technology development plan to create additional value
Iterate the plan and the pitch proposal using the feedback over several investor meetings to modify the direction of a venture towards a more fundable plan
Identify, arrange and facilitate investor meetings to identify a lead investor, build a financial syndicate of co-investors and potential corporate collaborators/strategic investors to launch new ventures
Engage corporate partners to assist faculty with incorporation and financing documents and other aspects of launching the new venture
Manage events such as Duke Venture Day and others to connect investors with Duke spinouts
Assist in attracting philanthropic and other support of funds and programs for seeding faculty and student spinouts
Formulate New Ventures Group short and long term goals. Oversee allocation of resources to meet priorities of ensuing operational plans. Develop and oversee budget. Direct establishment of procedures and policies for operational aspects.

Required Qualifications at this Level


Work generally requires a Masters or higher degree in biological/life sciences, or engineering/physical sciences or computing sciences/information technology.


Work requires ten years in successfully commercializing technology via startups in an academic technology transfer office or in industry in a directly related specialty field..

Candidates who possess an advanced degree, which exceeds the degree minimum requirement, may count the additional education obtained from the degree completion towards the minimum work experience qualifications.


MBA or other advanced degree desired.

Preferred experience in venture or industry investment firm or in starting their own successful company that has been through all stages of startup from formation to exit.

Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to influence senior stakeholders within the University, entrepreneurial alumni, local business leaders and corporate partners.

Demonstrated experience in developing and managing an entrepreneur-oriented organization of growing scale, complexity and stature.

Proven capacity to network and build long-lasting rapport with a diverse set of corporate, venture, legal, academic and other thought-leaders in building venture teams.

A demonstrated systems thinker, who can develop and implement strategic and tactical plans to efficiently support teams through project conception

Reference: 1152699104

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