NewsStartup Runway

Hiring – Executive Director

By May 13, 2021 June 10th, 2021 No Comments

About the Startup Runway Foundation

The Startup Runway Foundation is a 501c3 launched in 2016 to connect startups led by underrepresented founders (women and people of color) to their first investor. We use Showcase pitch events to shine a light on investable startups at the pre-seed and seed stage and monthly Startup Runway Angel Network meetings to highlight our pipeline to investors.

Underwriters include a coalition focused on supporting more inclusive innovation, including presenting sponsor Cox Enterprises, Amfam Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility, Georgia Power, Innovator’s Legal, Truist, Avanta Ventures, Slalom Consulting and Valor Ventures. Dozens of VCs including Khosla, KKR, Harlem Capital, Co-Founders Capital, America’s Impact Fund, Techstars, 500 Startups and more join us to mentor founders and provide feedback. Since our funding, we’ve accomplished a lot. 92 founders selected have been selected and mentored as Finalists, with 1 in 3 successfully raising a first round. VCs including Canaan Partners, Floodgate, ffvc, Techstars and more have all led seed rounds into our cohorts. 

Purpose of This Role  

Given this momentum since our founding in 2016 we’ve identified an opportunity to create a sustainable organization of national service.

To accomplish this, we’re hiring an Executive Director. As the Executive Director, you’ll lead the organization. You’ll be the first full-time employee of Startup Runway and responsible for:

  1. Building this grassroots, regional phenomenon into a national standard for introducing top under-represented founders to first check writers as measured by the number of companies funded.
  2. Honing programming and networking opportunities that drive more investments into under-represented founders at the seed stage in trackable, metrics-driven ways including leading our developing angel network and our VC network;
  3. Growing significant, meaningful, lasting partnerships across the ecosystem in order to fundraise and execute on a best-in-class, structural-barrier-destroying program.

Your 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.
  • 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: Startup Runway board of directors and underwriters; the ecosystem of venture capital firms that support us, corporate sponsors, our Startup Runway Angel Investor Network, 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.
  • A builder’s mindset: 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. 
  • Operational chops: Ideally, you’ve designed and executed events-heavy programming for executives with inclusion as a core focus. You have worked in the startup environment before in an operational role.
  • 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 sales or a sales-related (fundraising, development) role.
  • 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.

Role Details

  • Compensation: $80K base salary with significant fundraising bonus (scales up to $100K for exceeding target of $500K in new funds raised for the program year 2022).
  • Full healthcare benefits for employee 
  • Retirement benefits / IRA
  • Ability to work remote regularly; Atlanta, GA location preferred although candidates from other startup hubs are welcome and will be considered on equal footing
  • Job type: Full-time (During Startup Runway session prep weeks, it’s more like double-time.)
  • Visa sponsorship: No

How To Apply

Your resume is not required to express interest in the opportunity. Candidates who have expressed interest will be notified by July 10 if there is further follow-up requested by our Board and Advisors.

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, or age.