Vice President of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

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The Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship oversees CenterState CEO’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship portfolio, which resides at The Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse, New York. The Tech Garden represents a significant portion of CenterState CEO’s overall economic development efforts.

The Tech Garden provides programs, events, fundraising and networking opportunities, office and co-working space, and startup resources that support rapid growth of early-stage tech companies.

Classification/Status: Full time/Exempt

Division/Department: The Tech Garden

Reports To: President & CEO

To apply: Forward cover letter and resume to:

Job Summary:

The Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship leads the development, management, implementation, evaluation, and growth of CenterState CEO successful tech entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem, which deploys and supports multiple programs through The Tech Garden business incubator. The services provided at The Tech Garden assist emerging, early-stage businesses and the acceleration of their technologies to the market.

The Vice President collaborates directly with CenterState CEO’s leadership team to design program strategies that lead to meaningful, measurable outcomes for the organization and the startup and entrepreneurial community it serves. The Vice President also manages collaborations and relationships with strategic partners across a network of incubators and startup accelerators in the region, as well as with industry partners and other stakeholders.

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities: (additional duties may be assigned)

  • Strategic oversight of:

        -The Tech Garden incubator, located at 235 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York, including facility management and construction projects relating thereto.
        -The Tech Garden membership, its membership pipeline, and the programs and events relating to The Tech Garden accelerator programs:  GENIUS NY (ESD-funded one-year accelerator program), and The Clean Tech Center (NYSERDA-funded clean energy incubator).
        -The Tech Garden commercialization and tax incentive programs:  Grants for Growth and NYS Hot Spot.
        -Educational, social, and networking programs.

  • Resource development, including a significant role in developing outside partnerships and securing sustainable funding.
  • Direct venture development services and coordination of technical assistance for Tech Garden investment team companies.
  • Financial oversight of all program areas and cost centers associated with The Tech Garden investment team, including development of budgets, P/L review, grant administration and reporting.
  • Special events development and management, ensuring all aspects of logistics and supporting sponsorships are executed and contributing to financial sustainability of The Tech Garden.
  • Strategic communications and marketing planning for the overall Tech Garden team and coordination of plan implementation with the CenterState CEO Communications team.
  • Strategic planning on key regional programs, including the development of special projects and briefings.
  • Closely monitor program participants to ensure likelihood of continued progress toward program outputs and outcomes.

Secondary Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop meaningful opportunities for business leaders and community members to support and connect with incubating ventures.

Supervisory Responsibility:

  • This position supervises CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden team in all aspects of supervision, including performance management, team formation and growth.

Education and Experience: 

  • Five to 10 years senior level experience in an entrepreneurial company and/or senior level management experience in an incubator and/or accelerator program is required.
  • Experience should include business development and/or sales – including a working knowledge of business plans, marketing plans, detailed financials, project financing, and project management; nonprofit environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, public administration or equivalent. Advanced degree preferred. Additional years of experience at a ratio of 2:1 may be considered in lieu of a bachelor’s degree.

Special Requirements:

  • The Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship demonstrates a complete understanding of the technology and innovation ecosystem – regionally and nationally - and has a proven ability to structure outcome-driven partnerships and projects. Strong experience with state and federal technology and economic development programs.
  • The Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship position is highly visible. The position requires extensive internal leadership and external community interaction at the most senior levels of the community, with elected officials, media representatives, and with CenterState CEO’s members. Professional decorum and diplomacy are essential. Results will be highly dependent on a deep working relationship with key university, public and private sector partners.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and passport.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • High level organizational and project management.
  • Strategic thinking, resource development and financial management.
  • Strong organizational skills including the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to build consensus with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Ability to read, analyze and interpret general reference periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures or government regulations.

Physical and Mental Requirements:

  • Close mental and visual attention required to perform work dealing primarily with preparing, analyzing, and interpreting data and figures, using a computer terminal, and/or extensive reading.
  • General office equipment is used.

Work Environment:

  • There is no exposure to adverse environmental conditions. Work is performed in a typical office work environment with outside travel to client/member/prospect locations. Occasional domestic and international travel.


  • All requirements are subject to modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities.
  • This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee(s) occupying this position. Employees will be required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform any other job-related duties requested by their supervisor.
  • The company reserves the right to add to or revise an employee's job duties at any time at its sole discretion.
  • This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an “at will” employment relationship.

CenterState CEO is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and are proud to be an equal opportunity employer without regard to race, creed, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, sexual orientation, domestic violence victim status, military status or veteran's status.