Location: Detroit, Michigan
Newlab is a community of experts and innovators applying transformative technology to solve the world’s biggest challenges. Newlab membership and studios bring together entrepreneurs, engineers, inventors, and industry leaders to create sustainable solutions and enterprises. Newlab employs technologies, including robotics, A.I., and material science, to transform what matters most—health, environment, media, cities, and infrastructure.
In 2020 Newlab established a presence in Michigan with the launch of two Innovation Studios in partnership with Ford and Michigan Central focused on building the future of mobility in a way that benefits everyone. As Newlab further expands into the market we are seeking a Michigan based Program Director to manage the Michigan portfolio of Studio programs, partnerships and initiatives.
ABOUT THE ROLE
Newlab is seeking a Program Director to join its Michigan based Product and Programs team to oversee the launch, management and growth of Innovation Studios in Michigan. This position will report to the VP of Product and Programs and will manage and build Michigan based teams to support the day-to-day operations of Studios and Newlab initiatives in Michigan.
The Director will work with Newlab leadership to advance partnerships, strategy and operations of Newlab programming in Michigan. The Director and their team will oversee the research, startup outreach and diligence, pilots, and the facilitation of outcomes including partnerships, investment and deployment for each Michigan Studio in line with Newlab’s methodology and framework. Prior experience in technology ecosystem development and programmatic roles working at the intersection of entrepreneurs and enterprises, investors, and public stakeholders is critical.
- Program Strategy & Execution: The Program Director will be responsible for leading the delivery of Michigan based Studios and managing the team members who run day-to-day operations of each initiative. Key activities include: leading client management, cultivating relationships with key stakeholders and prospective partners, creating decks, presentations and reports, drafting proposals and developing a vision for how to strategically grow partnerships in the region to support Newlab’s Studio expansion. Within each program that is operating, the Director, along with the Program Managers on their team, will: develop KPIs and reporting structures with external stakeholders, develop and track program timelines and phases (from problem definition through product development and piloting), establish milestones and track budgets, recruit startups through Newlab’s network and global open calls, engage external parties including advisors, experts and new program partners, organize and host events and ensure the alignment of all collaborators across each Studio.
- People Management: Over time the Program Director will build Michigan-based teams to manage the initiatives under their purview. This includes managing Program Managers, freelancers, community engagement partners and part-time analysts who support the operations and delivery of the Studios and working closely with the Product Design team. The Program Director will also manage external contributors, which may include identifying and recruiting entrepreneurs, academics, workshop facilitators, and advisors. They will also be responsible for client management, leading check-in meetings, preparing milestone presentations and reports.
- Ecosystem Expertise: At Newlab Program Directors have a grasp of our member community and broader network and actively assess how the programs under their purview can add value and deliver impact to this ecosystem. They attend industry events, speak at relevant convenings and stay up to date on relevant trends in frontier technology, startup formation and growth, VC, product design, corporate and government innovation. The Program Director will be plugged into these ecosystems and serve as a Newlab ambassador and champion in Michigan.
- Partnership Cultivation The Program Director will serve as a lead in cultivating new partnership opportunities on the ground in Michigan and working with Newlab’s Partnerships team to nurture opportunities and shape new revenue generating partnerships. Program Directors support the Chief Product Officer and VP of Product and Programs in preparing and delivering client presentations and funding applications. Additionally, they proactively seek out RFPs and partnership opportunities to complement and grow the roster of new and existing programs at Newlab and help to evaluate when and how best to pursue these opportunities working collaboratively across the organization. They often engage with prospective partners, write proposals, and help win new business.
- 7+ years full-time professional experience or the equivalent with 2+ years of direct management experience
- Prior experience working on innovation, incubator, accelerator, or product design programs
- Exposure to working with government, corporate businesses and entrepreneurs to develop multi-stakeholder programs
- Proven ability to develop new partnerships and experience in client engagement and management of external stakeholders
- An established network and familiarity with the Michigan innovation ecosystem is a plus
- Some public speaking experience and demonstrated ability to serve as a public-facing ambassador for an organization
- Track record for securing program funding, either corporate sponsorship or government RFPs
- Full-spectrum project management experience with demonstrated ability to build strategies that take into account the demands of multiple stakeholders to keep projects on time, on budget and ensure the quality of all deliverables
- Experience developing and tracking both quantitative and qualitative program metrics
- Familiarity with Google’s business tools (Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc.)
- Proficiency with Excel and project management and CRM tools such as Monday, Hubspot and Airtable
Skills & Attributes
- Demonstrated leadership potential
- Highly organized and detail-oriented, mature self-starter with strong interpersonal skills
- Creative, strategic thinker with a bias for action and a willingness to contribute to ensure the job gets done
- Comfortable conversing with entrepreneurs, technologists, scientists, government officials, policy-makers, corporate partners, philanthropic donors and an understanding how to adapt tone and messaging for each audience
- Excited by setting ambitious goals, building teams, bringing projects through to completion and being part of a fast-moving, lean organization
- Adept at working both collaboratively and independently and managing cross-functional teams (across and up)
- Passionate about frontier technologies, innovation, and startups
Compensation & Benefits
- Competitive salary
- Equity in Newlab
- Health, dental and vision insurance
- Generous paid time off
- Professional development stipend