Venture Development Executive
AccelerateMSP & University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, MN

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The Board of Directors of AccelerateMSP (organizational working name) is seeking a Venture Development Executive to create, launch, and lead a new Venture Development Organization (VDO) to provide resources and support for early-stage, high-growth start-ups in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metropolitan area.

The VDO will be a nonprofit organization (or an affiliate of an existing nonprofit) with an emphasis on economic development. The goal of the VDO is to utilize, and build on, existing resources in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to assist in the creation of high-growth companies in the Minneapolis Saint Paul region. The VDO will develop a small seed-stage fund to invest in a limited number of high potential start-ups, and provide or develop services to fill identified service/technical assistance gaps.

This position will report to the Board of Directors (Board) of AccelerateMSP. The Executive will create the structure, and operational details, to launch this new VDO. The Executive will make mutually agreed upon adjustments, in consultation with the Board, and then move forward with all aspects of the establishment and implementation of the organization. Key initial tasks include: completing of the VDO Business Plan, establishing relationships with local and national entities, developing the name and brand for the organization, and launching fundraising efforts.

This is a contract position, which will be temporarily housed within the University of Minnesota. At the end of the contract period, the Executive (and the established team) may, upon Board approval, transition into employees of the newly created VDO, assuming sufficient operating dollars have been secured.

Scope of Work

1. Finalize VDO Business Plan

a. Finalize VDO Business Plan and Three Year Operating Budgets , Executive Summary, and Investor Presentation including:

  • Operation, Tactical & Branding Plan
  • Investment Fund Plan
  • Entrepreneur Support Services referral plan

b. Identify Success Metrics
c. Meet with initial AccelerateMSP stakeholder group, and other key community members, to obtain feedback and support for the VDO Business Plan.

2. Fund Development

Secure philanthropic and other funding for operations and investment based on the approved VDO Business Plan.

3. Organization Formation

a. Evaluate and recommend nonprofit status options; implement same upon Board approval.
b. Develop and file all organization documents (Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws, etc.)
c. Identify and secure permanent office space once sufficient funding to do so has been secured.
d. Work with founding Board to indentify skill-sets necessary for an effective board, and subsequently identify and recruit new board members.
e. Recommend tools to measure the performance and impact of the VDO

4. Facilitate community collaboration.

a. Create awareness in the start-up community (entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, etc.) and identify and recruit additional champions of AccelerateMSP.
b. Work with community groups and service providers on identifying potential service gaps, and work with partners to ensure seamless access to existing startup support.
c. Coordinate community events with appropriate groups.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum 10 years of success in managing, recruiting, and building teams.
  • Strong written and oral presentation skills.
  • Exemplary leadership attributes and relationship-building skills.
  • Strong ability to effectively function independently, and be a team player.
  • Prefer experience as CEO or member of C-team of at least one start-up company with a successful exit that created positive returns for early stage investors.
  • Prefer record of successful fund raising and/or success in investing in two early stage companies.
  • Passion for high growth start-up companies and working with entrepreneurs

Initially, this is a six-month contract, with the option for a six-month renewal. Within this 12 month period, this position may transition to a full-time permanent position.

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