The College of Agriculture and Life Science is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and Cornell University's second largest college. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education and outreach. The questions we prove and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being.
Under the general supervision of the Director of Cornell AgriTech, launch and manage the New York Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture (CoE). The CoE will catalyze business development in the agriculture and food industry by serving as a connecting point and clearinghouse between startups and existing corporations and innovation assets in agriculture and food in New York State, thereby sparking investments and economic growth. The Executive Director will provide oversight for strategic planning, implementation and administration of the CoE.
To succeed in this role, the Executive Director will coordinate and consult with other ecosystem partners including Cornell's Center for Regional Economic Advancement which will provide expertise in areas of entrepreneurship, startups, and commercialization of university technologies.
The Executive Director will coordinate with Cornell AgriTech strategic and tactical priorities and leverage the expertise and resources from the institution. Develop and discuss with Cornell AgriTech and other partners to align efforts and leverage ecosystem partners that support food and agriculture innovation.
The Executive Director will need to interact with several stakeholder groups including entrepreneurs, investors, government officials, local governments, economic development offices, private industry executives, and academic researchers. This will necessitate travel and engagement throughout New York state.
Cornell University has been awarded $1 million in state funding to establish the first ever Center of Excellence (CoE) for Food and Agriculture. Funding will begin in August 2018 and will be renewed annually over an initial five-year period. The state currently helps fund 11 Centers of Excellence. The new CoE will be the first of its kind to facilitate academic and business connections and collaborations to grow the New York agriculture and food economy. The center will serve as a hub to connect New York businesses with services they need for success by linking them with world-class Cornell researchers, farmers, processors, businesses and consumers. It will pull together multiple partners to accelerate business development. In summary, the center will: PUSH new technologies to commercialization within New York State, PULL existing companies into New York State, attracted by the opportunities to work with sources of innovation and research, and GROW existing agriculture and food technology companies in New York State.
In partnership with the Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) the CoE will provide incubator services for startups- entrepreneurship training, business mentorship and space. Through a mentor network, participants will connect with distributors and marketers, potential partners, co-packing and manufacturing facilities and other existing resources.
The CoE will promote digital agriculture and assist in bringing technical products to market, expand technology-related business and employment, and encourage private-sector investment in emerging high-tech fields. In addition, it will help to commercialize Cornell food and agriculture-related innovations, inventions and intellectual property.
With industry partnerships and networking at its core, the Center will also offer:
A request for proposals to support university-industry collaboration
Marketing and promotion of New York Food and Agriculture Innovation
Marquee food and agriculture events to attract investors and international attention
Incubator services and commercialization support with partners at the Center for Regional Economic Advancement
Master's degree with at least 7 years of program management and organizational development experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience;
Proficiency in networking and communicating with a diverse population of groups and individuals;
Ability to manage multiple projects and tasks at any given time, to work independently, to make decisions that can significantly impact the university and projects;
Excellent interpersonal and written and oral communication skills;
Exceptional leadership abilities;
Experience in managing complex projects and priorities; keen attention to detail is critical;
Proven strong organizational, time management skills;
Strong computer skills required to manage spreadsheets and databases.
Founded (co-founded) a startup
Prior experience mentoring startups
Passion for entrepreneurship and the economic development of Upstate New York.
Substantial experience working in/familiarity with the food and agriculture sector or experience
Experience founding a food or agriculture company
No visa sponsorship is available for this position.
No relocation assistance is available for this position.
Cornell University has engaged JK Executive Strategies to help in this search.
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