Associate Director, Consumer (Advising)

Position overview:

The Associate Director, Consumer is responsible for advising and mentoring Harvard students, alumni, and affiliate-founded ventures that are in the consumer product and/or services space. The role is also responsible for program development (workshops, roundtables, outreach, etc.) to inform our community about the opportunities and challenges in tackling problems and creating value with consumer-centric innovations.

The ideal candidate has led or been part of the leadership team of a consumer-centric startup, is connected to the Boston consumer entrepreneurship ecosystem, has experience as a mentor to startups and students, and is an excellent presenter, communicator and project manager.

Job mission:

Create meaningful, life-impacting value for Harvard students, alumni, and affiliate teams interested in consumer-centric innovation and/or startups.

Primary responsibilities:

  • Serve as the primary Staff Advisor for all assigned consumer-focused teams and students in the Harvard Innovation Labs ecosystem (i-lab, Launch Lab X and Life Lab) using the Harvard Innovation Labs assessment and guidance methodology to ensure traction.
  • Develop and implement innovation skills development programming and resources that align with the core Harvard Innovation Labs pedagogy and support all three Harvard Innovation Labs programs. Plans will be developed in coordination with contacts from assigned Harvard schools, student clubs, and/or outside groups. Balance recruiting external speakers with personally delivered sessions.
  • Serve as the primary liaison to students, student clubs, selected faculty, and administrative staff from across Harvard schools working on consumer-centric ventures.
  • Initiate activities and programs that build the Harvard Innovation Labs as a community home for student entrepreneurs and innovators pursuing consumer-centric ideas.
  • Serve as a contact point for consumer innovation-focused faculty across Harvard who are interested in partnering to drive their teaching and program ideas with the Harvard Innovation Labs.
  • Participate in the guidance of the President’s Innovation Challenge Open Track and overall execution with support from the Operations and Marketing teams.
  • Build and maintain understanding and relationships with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Boston and other key national hubs, i.e. San Francisco and New York City.

Other Tasks and accountabilities:

  • Work with Marketing and Operations to ensure consumer programming is executed flawlessly.
  • Work with the Director of Advising to optimize the Venture Incubation Program.
  • Actively participate in the broader innovation community and the consumer sector in particular.

Key behaviors:

  • Outgoing
  • Proactive
  • Collaborative
  • Methodical
  • Thorough

Harvard Innovation Labs brand personality attributes:

  • Passionate
  • Nimble
  • Thoughtful

Harvard Innovation Labs performance principles:

  • Raise your own bar – be an active learner
  • Start with Why – be strategic
  • Get outside – learn from others
  • Think sideways – collaborate across departments
  • Don’t look back – let go of legacy thinking

Requirements and qualifications:

  • BA/BS required; MBA preferred
  • 10 years of experience leading or helping to grow a consumer-focused startup organization
  • Strong understanding of and passion for the latest technologies and technology trends
  • Excellent local network in the consumer startup space
  • Experience with consumer business models
  • Experience working with university students preferred
  • Strong diplomacy, organizational and communication skills (verbal, written)
  • Proven ability to deliver results with minimal oversight (self-starter)
  • Excellent communication skills – verbal, written, presentation
  • Some experience with event management preferred
  • The ability to work occasional extra hours, including evenings and weekends, to meet deadlines and oversee and/or attend events
  • Agility, gravitas, and high EQ are valued attributes
  • Solid PowerPoint and Excel skills required

Direct Reports: NA

Reports To: Director of Advising

Last Updated: 6.19.19

To apply: Please send a cover letter and resume as a single PDF, titled “[First name] [Last name] Associate Director, Consumer ” to i-lab@harvard.edu with the email subject line “Application for Associate Director, Consumer position”.