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Houston Program Director

Department: Accelerator Management
Location: Houston, TX

After a successful first year in Austin, MassChallenge Texas is looking to expand into Houston as part of its state-wide initiative. In year 1, MassChallenge plans to host a smaller Houston-based program to introduce the brand to the local innovation ecosystem. We will be modeling the program after our many successful Bridge to MassChallenge programs: while working closely with the Austin team, the Houston program will offer programming to entrepreneurs, service corporate partners, and forge a stronger connection with activities throughout Texas.

While Massachusetts is our headquarters for our programs worldwide, we recognize that there is leadership and a robust ecosystem of innovation happening all over Texas. Houston represents a huge opportunity to support the needs of aspirational entrepreneurs in a growing economy, as well as develop value for key partners in the community.

With support from the state, corporate partners, and other private organizations, we now need an inspiring leader to maximize the success of our main accelerator model in Austin and build on the foundations already laid. This is a challenging, high profile and highly rewarding role in an incredible start-up ecosystem.

  • MassChallenge, the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet, is partnering with public officials and key community leaders to create a program that will provide Texas-based startups with space, programming and a strong network to tap into.
  • The Program Director will have a critical role in translating elements of the MassChallenge model into the context of Texas.?Key features of the program will include mentorship, two workshops, regular networking and community events, office space, and corporate access. 
  • We will convene events and host networking opportunities for startups, investors and other stakeholders in the ecosystem and develop partner relationships across the state.
  • This new initiative will complement the MassChallenge Texas Accelerator program, held in Austin, which will launch its call for applications in February 2019.

What You’ll Do: 

  • Strategy and Tactics: Create and set strategy and tactics to expand upon the success already seen in Austin.
  • Creatively Tailor MC to the Houston Program: Understand and utilize resources available through the MassChallenge Austin program to enable the Houston program to be successful, adjusting as required, to meet regional customs and challenges but without changing the fundamental guiding principles.
  • Uphold MassChallenge Guiding Principles: Maintain MassChallenge’s guiding principles in support of startups and our organization overall. 
  • Fundraising: Own the P&L required for MassChallenge in Houston, under the guidance of the Texas Managing Director and with support from the Director of Partnerships and Senior Director of Operations. 
  • Execute Full Year Calendar: Design and execute the full year calendar, from applications, judging, the 6-week accelerator, and the closing activities. 
  • Stakeholder Management: Successfully manage relationships with key partners, advisors, and board members and ensure their value to the Houston program. This also includes charity board compliance as applicable and assuring startups are satisfied with the program.
  • Representative for MassChallenge in Houston: Establish relationships with all constituencies, including public, private, and government. 
  • Opportunity Identification: Lead the strategy to acquire from the ecosystem new opportunities for funding, team members, program initiatives, and office space. 
  • Office Space: Maintain ownership over the space dedicated to MassChallenge in Houston. 
  • Reporting: Execute on given reporting tools to align with MCTX requirements. 
  • Judging: Execute round 1 and round 2 judging including startup scheduling, judge scheduling, event space curation, catering and staffing.  

Who You Are: 

  • You are at the center of the entrepreneurial universe. You need to either be or have been a successful entrepreneur and are well-known in the community. You bleed the MassChallenge mantra, “We Help Entrepreneurs Win.”
  • You are a motivational and engaging leader with 3-5+ years of leadership experience. You have proven skills in leading a team, task follow-through, and fostering a strong team spirit. You must be capable of leading team members across different departments.   
  • You understand Houston, the culture, the opportunities, the challenges, the industry direction, and the economics.
  • You have excellent communication, speaking, and writing skills. You are a great speaker yourself, inspiring people with your knowledge and style.
  • You have the ability to connect and engage with stakeholders at varying levels. You can influence people intelligently by understanding their agendas and identifying how the organization can appropriately respond to those agendas.
  • You have the ability to leverage existing relationships in the Houston business community and also to generate leads for the partnerships team. 
  • You have a highly collaborative approach and are able to work across teams and functions to achieve success.
  • You are extremely organized with a high attention to detail and very strong ability to prioritize and manage time well.
  • You have the ability to think creatively, developing fun, engaging and innovative strategies and ideas.
  • You are skilled with budget planning – MassChallenge is a non-profit, so you must be able to manage budgets for our activities effectively.
  • You are able to learn and adapt to new technological systems and approaches to fit with the MassChallenge methodology and comfortable with latest technologies that help coordinate efforts.

How to Apply:
In addition to completing the online application and providing your resume, please include a one-page cover letter in which you tell us about yourself, why you want to work at MassChallenge and why you are a perfect match for this job.  

Employment at MassChallenge is contingent upon verification of identity and eligibility to work in the country that the position is based in, based on applicable laws.

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