Associate Director, Venture Programs

Job Title: Associate Director, Venture Programs
School/Unit: Harvard Innovation Labs
Time Status: Full time
Schedule: Full time
Salary Grade: 58

About the Harvard Innovation Labs:

The Harvard Innovation Labs (HIL) is a unique collaboration and education space designed to foster entrepreneurship and innovation across the Harvard University community. The Harvard Innovation Labs consists of three programs:

  1. The i-lab is available to all current students from any Harvard school who are looking to explore innovation and entrepreneurship at any stage. The i-lab provides all the physical and intellectual resources needed to develop and grow startups, including co-working space, advising, office hours with industry experts, workshops, the Venture Incubation Program (VIP), and the President’s Innovation Challenge (PIC), an annual student (and select alumni) venture competition.
  2. Launch Lab X (LLX)is a nine-month accelerator for 15 Harvard alumni ventures. Housed inside the i-lab, the program commences every September and culminates in May with the LLX track of the President’s Innovation Challenge. Applications are accepted from all over the world and open to any alum from any school.
  3. The Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab is a shared laboratory space for high-potential life sciences and biotech startups founded by Harvard faculty, alumni, students, and postdoctoral scholars. The 15,000-square-foot facility has 36 lab workbenches and 50 co-working spaces, conference rooms and kitchen.

Position overview:

The Associate Director is responsible for assisting Harvard students, alumni, and affiliate-founded ventures. The role oversees programming (workshops, roundtables, outreach, dinners etc.) to equip our community to tackle the opportunities and challenges in creating new ventures and working on their ideas.

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

Job mission:

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

Primary responsibilities:

  • 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 developed from assigned Harvard schools, student clubs, and/or outside groups. Balance recruiting external speakers with personally delivered sessions.
  • Serve as a primary Staff Advisor for 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.
  • Serve as a liaison to students, student clubs, selected faculty, and administrative staff from across Harvard schools, especially those working on technology and business-to-business and consumer facing ventures.
  • Initiate activities and programs that build the Harvard Innovation Labs as a community home for student entrepreneurs and innovators pursuing technology- consumer- and business-centric ideas.
  • Serve as a contact point for faculty across Harvard who are interested in partnering to drive their teaching and program ideas with the Harvard Innovation Labs.
  • Participate in the guidance, assessment and coaching 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 programming is executed flawlessly.
  • Assist in optimizing the Venture Program.
  • Actively participate in the broader innovation community.

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 startup organization, or in product or technology roles in fast growing organizations
  • Strong understanding of and passion for the latest trends
  • Excellent local network in the startup space
  • Experience with 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 evenings a few times a month and occasional weekends, to meet deadlines and oversee and/or attend events
  • Agility, gravitas, and high EQ are valued attributes
  • Solid PowerPoint and Excel skills required


  • Client to Marketing, Tech Dev and Operations
  • Supplier to Marketing, Tech Dev and Operations


Please apply with a cover letter and resume to Req 51445BR on the Harvard employment site. In your cover letter, please explain why this job posting speaks to you.


Direct Reports: NA

Reports To: Director of Product

Last Updated: 5.6.2020