The Executive Director of The Garage reports to the Associate Provost for Innovation and New Ventures. The Executive Director will lead The Garage as the hub of student entrepreneurship at Northwestern University. This position will ensure all fiscal, operations, fundraising, marketing, human resource, technology, and programmatic strategies are effectively implemented. The Executive Director will also provide guidance, network, and leadership in all aspects of entrepreneurship for residents of The Garage.
Please note: Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Candidates should provide a resume/curriculum vitae and a letter of interest. All nominations and applications will be held in the strictest confidence. Please contact Dayna Keene at Dayna.Keene@kornferry.comwith questions.
Motivate and inspire residents of The Garage and maintain a culture that prioritizes student education.
Drive long-term planning, define metrics and goals, and manage programmatic and operational performance of The Garage.
Increase collaboration across the University with respect to student entrepreneurship, as well as maintain strong relationships with and build connections among school-based academic centers including the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (McCormick School of Engineering), the Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurship Law Center (Pritzker School of Law), and the Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice (Kellogg School of Management).
Embrace and maintain a team environment that is creative, impact-oriented, generative, and highly-collaborative within and across Northwestern communities.
Foster a culture of trust and collegiality that fully embraces values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Enhance the organizational value of The Garage as it continues to scale and serve more aspiring entrepreneurs.
Seek opportunities to enhance program offerings and increase capacity of the organization by building and leveraging the alumni network.
Evaluate potential ventures generated by students at The Garage.
Provide strategic leadership that will determine specific programs that will integrate Northwestern’s innovative strengths.
Maintain and further develop relationships with marketing units housed in schools and centrally within Northwestern.
Serve as a chief ambassador and fundraiser by cultivating relationships and forging new and innovative strategic partnerships/alliances across the business, venture, and entrepreneurship landscape within Chicago and beyond.
Leverage a compelling narrative to build a network of external partners and supporters who are advocates for the students of The Garage to advance the organization’s opportunities, increase its reputation, and enhance students’ networks.
Ensure that The Garage achieves even greater prominence as a pioneering leader in the startup ecosystem and entrepreneurial education.
Increase network engagement to enrich the experience of The Garage’s program participants and alumni to attract more prospective students and partners.
Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
Proven senior executive experience in positions working with an early-stage startup or high-growth organization, building, scaling, and running an innovative nonprofit, business, or social enterprise.
Demonstrated experience building strategic plans and metrics coupled with an agility to pivot to meet student needs.
Experience and passion serving as a coach and mentor; high comfort levels with giving constructive feedback and patience for the learning process.
Demonstrated success building positive, effective, and collaborative cultures and representative teams that embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Superior communication skills and the ability to collaborate with faculty, students, and external entrepreneurs.
Strong analytical and strategic capabilities demonstrated through proven results bringing ideas or products to a market.
Track record of building, driving, and managing teams and influencing the broader constituents to work in concert toward common goals and objectives; understands what motivates different people.
Sensitivity to academic environments demonstrating the ability to influence and positively grow initiatives with professors and administrators across various units of the University.
Experience balancing diverse perspectives of multi-stakeholders with the ability to build trust across all levels of the institution and to gain buy-in.
Experience raising funds to support ongoing and new programs.
Ability to understand, communicate, and position a broad variety of innovations that address market needs across an array of industries and sectors with services, technology, or physical goods.
Motivating and high energy, but not a showcase individual.
Strong interpersonal skills; approachable and empathetic.
Ability to discern intent of partners and set boundaries.
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