About the Startup Runway Foundation

The Startup Runway Foundation is a 501(c)3 launched in 2016 to connect startups led by underrepresented founders (women and people of color) to their first investor.  Startup Runway has catalyzed over $100 million in total funding for the Finalists we have selected. Since our founding in 2016 almost 200 founders have been selected and mentored. We have provided over $300K in grants. 1500 startups have been provided feedback through our process toward becoming a Finalist.

We use Showcase pitch events to shine a light on investable startups at the pre-seed and seed stage. Underwriters include a coalition focused on supporting more inclusive innovation, including presenting sponsor Cox Enterprises, Georgia Power, PIN (Partnership for Innovation),  Amfam Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility, Truist, Avanta Ventures and Valor Ventures. 

Dozens of VCs including Khosla, KKR, America’s Impact Fund, Harlem Capital, Co-Founders Capital, America’s Impact Fund, Techstars, 500 Startups and more join us to mentor founders and provide feedback. 


About our next Executive Director

You are already a big part of the startup ecosystem, with a network of founders, corporate innovation leaders, and investors to draw on. As you’ve developed as leader yourself, the lack of equity for founders of color and female founders has activated your sense of justice, fairness and accountability. You are internally motivated to change the landscape toward investors connecting with, and funding, founders from overlooked backgrounds. You’re been looking for the right role where you will have an impact. You are already committed to improving the culture of venture capital and innovation. You’re confident in your development / sales / fundraising skills because you’ve raised money before. For you, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to truly make a difference you can measure.

The Role  

As the Executive Director, you’ll lead the organization. You’ll be responsible for:


  1. Planning and execution of the Startup Runway Pitch events (4-6 per year at the moment)
  2. Honing programming and networking opportunities that drive more investments into under-represented founders at the seed stage in trackable, metrics-driven ways.
  3. Growing significant, meaningful, lasting sponsor partnerships across the ecosystem in order to fundraise and execute on a best-in-class, structural-barrier-destroying program.


Key responsibilities

  • Impact measurement: You will set and achieve high-level organizational goals with accountability to the Board of Directors. Key performance indicators include the number of under-represented founders funded; the number of founders introduced to investors; the amount of grant money we are able to raise and deploy; and the organizational endowment you’re able to build over time to scale the mission.

  • Program management: You’ll be responsible for designing and executing programming that focuses on getting investors in touch with startups led by under-represented founders at the first investment stage. There are many accelerator and incubator programs with strong educational programs in existence. Our aim is to complement these programs with excellence and outperformance when it comes to the investor-introduction-and-investment outcome specifically. 

  • Fundraising: You will be responsible for renewing existing sponsors and identifying new sponsorships to maintain budget and grow the organization from a functional program to a national standard.

  • Ecosystem awareness: You will serve as the primary spokesperson for Startup Runway and its programs, developing relationships with key stakeholders in the community, including VC firms, startups, and service providers and media. You will cultivate an active Startup Runway social media profile and be a clear leadership voice for it from your own social profiles, actively posting yourself in your professional role on both LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms as you see fit. 

  • Operational logistics: You will create and maintain financial controls, budget, legal documentation, etc. and manage outsourced resources (i.e. legal, tax, and finance service providers). You’ll be responsible for maintaining the website, social media accounts, and other marketing materials.

  • Team development: You will recruit, manage, and develop a team as our budget grows, including interns, as needed.  

Key relationships are: Valor Ventures (founding organization); Startup Runway board of directors and underwriters; the ecosystem of venture capital firms that support us, corporate sponsors, and startup founders and venture capitalists from underrepresented backgrounds.

The ideal candidate

Essential skills and qualifications:

  • High-level strategic vision: You need to be goal-driven, forward-thinking, and able to anticipate future needs of the organization. You need a proven ability to develop and implement strategic plans and be comfortable in the role of a trailblazer and “hands on” operator.

  • Nonprofit fundraising: Ability to achieve results with minimal oversight; self-starter. Strong sense of urgency, adaptability, flexibility, and resourcefulness. Entrepreneurial drive to define and reach the goals you set. Clear track record of fundraising successes prior to this role.

  • Operational chops: Ideally, you’ve designed and executed events-heavy programming for executives with inclusion as a core focus You have excelled at fundraising for nonprofits. Startup Runway is a small non-profit – you will be the doer. 


  • Proven relationship-driven sales experience: Whether for resources, partnership, or fundraising, you need to be able to build relationships with others to gather resources for Startup Runway. Partnerships and relationship building will be a key element of success. Thus, the successful candidate will have a track record in fundraising or development.


  • Excellent communication skills: You’ll need to be friendly and approachable, diplomatic and tactful in order to be a spokesperson for Startup Runway at high levels in front of endowments, governments and thought leadership groups. You’ll have proven oratory skills, can lead a room, and also project yourself well on social media through your own profile, advocating for Startup Runway as the leader.


Role Details

  • Compensation: $84K base salary and a significant fundraising bonus

  • Healthcare benefits 

  • Ability to work remote 3 days a week

  • Location: Atlanta, GA preferred

  • Job type: Full-time. We are a hybrid work environment that requires in-office hours 2 days a week (Studioplex office, Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta)

  • Visa sponsorship: No

Startup Runway prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, ability status, family or parental status, and age.