Director Of Venture Development (University Staff Professional 1) -

University of Connecticut   Storrs, CT   Full-time     Administration / Clerical
Posted on February 8, 2024
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Director Of Venture Development (University Staff Professional 1)


The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is competitively recruiting talented venture development professionals to join our growing Technology Commercialization Services (TCS) team. 

TCS supports breakthrough research and cutting-edge innovation that benefits society and fuel economic development through a coordinated approach between tech transfer, licensing and startup teams, and enables success for faculty, business, Connecticut, and beyond, resulting in:

  • $1.1 Billion Total funds raised by UConn incubator companies.
  • $620 Million in Economic impact of UConn research.
  • 771 Patents granted based on UConn innovations.

The University of Connecticut (UConn) is a top-ranked public research university and land grant institution, rurally situated in the “Quiet Corner” of Northeast Connecticut.

We invite your application for the following open position. 

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Director of Venture Development will be responsible for identifying, developing, and expanding entrepreneurial opportunities for UConn faculty and students. The selected candidate will work directly with faculty and students on all UConn campuses, including UConn Health, to form new ventures and support existing startups based on UConn technologies in the physical sciences, life sciences and engineering, across a broad variety of business sectors such as biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, aerospace, cleantech and software, among others. 

The ideal candidate will have a track record of leading successful technology startups and will seek opportunities to identify and support the next generation of entrepreneurs. The Director of Venture Development will bring an ability to balance financial and business acumen with an aggressive, creative, and dynamic approach to startup creation. 


  1. Educate, recruit, and support faculty and student entrepreneurs to launch new technology-based ventures; facilitate business planning, development, and connections; coach to develop investable business plans and identify funding opportunities. 
  2. Work closely with the TCS staff and various deans and department heads across UConn to educate faculty and students on entrepreneurship. Conduct efforts to instruct faculty on the alignment of NIH and other federal agency goals with commercialization, and to understand business and financial models necessary to attract partners and investments.
  3. In conjunction with UConn’s other student and faculty innovation and entrepreneurial programs, provide educational and advising services prior to company formation to help startup teams research market opportunities among a broad range of industries; develop educational programming and curriculum addressing a variety of business topics to inform and support new and existing venture development and growth; establish, operate, and support a portfolio of UConn programs such that they are well-coordinated and highly effective.
  4. Work with startups to identify and meet specific business and scientific milestones critical to commercial success; help them utilize strategies to de-risk technologies and help in acquiring funding throughout the innovation continuum – from proof of concept to initial public offering or sale, and including funds able to support lead optimization, pre-clinical proof of concept and Investigational New Drug (IND) approvals. 
  5. Continuously evaluate and identify funding options for a portfolio of startups and prepare companies to attract funds from public investment programs such as those offered by Connecticut Innovations, CT Department of Economic and Community Development, and federal SBIR/STTR programs, as well as angel and venture capital organizations.
  6. Partner within UConn and beyond to develop substantial sources of capital for university startups. Cultivate strong relationships within the CT, NY, and MA investment communities, including leading VCs, angel investors, and corporate funding partners. Lead efforts to develop and execute investor and partnering forums at UConn including a signature event such as an annual symposium with the expressed purpose of aligning investors with faculty/student entrepreneurs.
  7. Identify and attract experienced entrepreneurs to lead, advise, mentor, and potentially invest in startups.
  8. Develop a dedicated pool of subject matter experts to mentor, advise, and/or manage teams on technical, regulatory, legal, and business topics.
  9. Coordinate with the UConn Technology Incubation Program (TIP) to transition ventures into TIP as they develop from virtual to physical operations.
  10. Review and assess technologies disclosed to Technology Commercialization Services to determine the optimum pathway for commercialization; and promote those that are startup opportunities among entrepreneurial communities at UConn and throughout Connecticut. 
  11. Work closely with the TCS staff to facilitate tech transfer for new UConn technology companies.


  1. Bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience working in technology commercialization or innovation.
  2. Demonstrated ability to act as an integrated member of a technology-focused team.  
  3. Demonstrated ability to forge mutually beneficial partnerships with industry.
  4. Understanding of issues and challenges associated with venture development.
  5. Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills.


  1. Advanced degree in STEM preferably in engineering and/or physical sciences.
  2. Proven track record for raising capital for early-stage companies.
  3. Ability to create and convey a great story including pitch decks.


This is a full-time, permanent position with an excellent benefits package including medical and retirement, as well as employee and dependent tuition waivers at the University of Connecticut. The salary for this position will be commensurate with experience. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. 


 Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.


Please apply online at, Staff Positions, Search #497278 to upload a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references. Incomplete applications may not be considered.

This job posting is scheduled to be removed at 11:55 p.m. Eastern time on February 9, 2024. 

All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at

All members of the University of Connecticut are expected to exhibit appreciation of, and contribute to, an inclusive, respectful, and diverse environment for the University community.

The University of Connecticut aspires to create a community built on collaboration and belonging and has actively sought to create an inclusive culture within the workforce.  The success of the University is dependent on the willingness of our diverse employee and student populations to share their rich perspectives and backgrounds in a respectful manner.  This makes it essential for each member of our community to feel secure and welcomed and to thoroughly understand and believe that their ideas are respected by all.  We strongly respect each individual employee’s unique experiences and perspectives and encourage all members of the community to do the same.  All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

The University of Connecticut is an AA/EEO Employer.