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Associate Director, Commercialization Programs

Apply now Job no: 494571
Work type: Staff
Location: Newark
Categories: Venture Development/ Entrepreneurial, Full Time

Pay Grade:  32E

Context of the Job:

Deadline:  Position open until filled; priority will be given to applications received by Friday December 6, 2019

Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. In this role, Horn Entrepreneurship seeks to build upon the University of Delaware’s proud tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship through the operation of the Blue Hen Proof of Concept (BH-POC) and other commercialization programs (e.g., NSF I-Corps Sites Program, Startup Village). Under the general direction of the Horn Director, and in partnership with the Faculty Director, Venture Support, the Associate Director, Commercialization Programs will lead, develop, launch and administer programs aimed at moving nascent scientific discoveries and new technologies from UD labs into the marketplace.


The Associate Director is charged with six major responsibilities: (1) devising and implementing policies, procedures and processes, (2) soliciting and supporting proposals, (3) presentation preparation and evaluation, (4) award management, (5) personnel oversight and program execution and (6) program sustainability.


Major Responsibilities:


Policies, Procedures and Processes

  • Collaborate with the Horn Director and other key stakeholders (internal and external) to periodically review and refine all policies, procedures and processes needed to successfully operate the BH-POC Program. This includes:
    • Proposal application form(s) and processes,
    • Initial proposal screening procedure to guide external review and determine, whether additional business model development effort is needed,
    • Funding award policies and processes, and
    • Grantee reporting policies and process.
  • Lead the implementation of all policies, procedures and processes pertaining to the BH-POC and other commercialization programs.


Proposal Solicitation and Support

  • Collaborate with representatives from the College of Engineering, Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Innovation, and Office of Economic Innovation & Partnership to promote the availability of BH-POC awards and other commercialization programs to faculty, students and other eligible grantees/participants.
  • Host information sessions for students and faculty to raise awareness of Horn Entrepreneurship’s full spectrum of New Venture Development Offerings, including commercialization programs.
  • Proactively encourage faculty from all colleges, especially those who have filed technology disclosures and received significant funding awards, to pursue BH-POC awards.
  • Actively collaborate with faculty to support their preparation of BH-POC and follow on funding proposals.
  • Collaborate with the Faculty Director, Venture Support to determine eligibility and provide basic assistance to students who are interested in pursuing BH-POC awards.


Proposal Presentation and Evaluation

  • Work with members of an internal review committee to select BH-POC funding proposals for presentation to the external review panel.
  • Work with program applicants to prepare competitive presentations.
  • Establish an annual meeting schedule and invite participation in the external review process.
  • Set meeting agendas and distribute relevant written materials, especially proposals for funding, to panel members.
  • Oversee the process of completing proposal evaluations and making award decisions.


Award Management

  • Collaborate with members of the Horn Entrepreneurship team to maintain and help to grow Horn Entrepreneurship’s network of industry experts and external advisors to provide technical guidance and unique value proposition assessments of technologies under consideration for funding awards.
  • Communicate changes in proposal status to faculty and students in a timely manner.
  • Work with awardees to establish a set of customized customer, business and technology development milestones associated with program funding tranches.
  • Collaborate with Horn Entrepreneurship’s Business Administrator to initiate and monitor funding awards, including financial and project outcomes.
  • Prepare and present program reports, at least annually, to document commercialization activities and outcomes, especially in terms of key outcome metrics pertaining to follow-on funding and economic impact.


Personnel Oversight and Program Execution

  • Collaborate with relevant others to execute, augment and seek to optimize all Horn Entrepreneurship offerings that seek to move nascent scientific discoveries and new technologies from laboratories into the marketplace. This currently includes the BH-POC, NSF I-Corps Sites, Startup Village and mentoring programs.
  • Oversee postdoctoral fellows who are supported by BH-POC-related funding (to end June 30, 2020).
  • Assist in providing oversight to part-time members of Horn Entrepreneurship’s new venture development team, as necessary and appropriate.
  • Engage in volunteer management of mentors and business service providers who invest their time into Horn Entrepreneurship’s commercialization programs.


Program Sustainability

  • Identify and pursue program funding opportunities, including federal and foundation grants, philanthropic investments and other funding sources.
  • Develop and continuously assess program policies with relevance to the sustainability of commercialization programs.
  • Perform other tasks, as needed, to create and maintain best-practices-based commercialization programs.



  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant science, technology or business field and a minimum of six years of related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Must possess deep knowledge of technology transfer; startups; SBIR/STTR and NSF I-Corps programs; venture capital; and technology commercialization best practices.
  • Ability to design, implement and conduct monitoring & evaluation research related to commercialization and proof of concept programming is highly desirable.
  • Strong passion for innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and analytical skills with a strong customer service orientation.
  • Strong collaboration and networking skills. Existing relationships with federal agencies (NSF, NIH, DOE and others) and directors of peer commercialization programs preferred.
  • Ability to: handle sensitive activities with confidentiality; work independently and/or as a team member; handle multiple assignments concurrently and re-prioritize; successfully adapt to rapid change; and communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders (e.g., students, faculty, corporate representatives, other universities, government funding agencies, entrepreneurs, investors and others).


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