Innovation Lead, Colorado

UpStart partners with innovators to redesign the experience and expression of Jewish life. If you want to inspire and advance innovative ideas that contribute to the continued growth and vitality of Jewish life, let’s talk.

We are looking for a talented leader, facilitator, and relationship builder to serve our growing portfolio of innovation projects in Denver, Boulder, and beyond. You are an experienced professional who understands the landscape of the Jewish community and knows how to activate the community’s innovation potential. Your job will be to deliver best-in-class coaching and professional development to local teen professionals, consult with established Jewish institutions that wish to develop strategic initiatives, and engage the greater community in UpStart’s work.

The Innovation Lead will facilitate an exploratory phase of UpStart’s work in Colorado, leading to the launch of a fully operational Innovation Hub in fiscal year 2019.  The process will include: 1) immersing with the local community, 2) framing local opportunities based on findings, 3) creating a customized plan to launch relevant programming for local innovators, and 4) testing viability of new programs.

The UpStart Innovation Lead is a full-time exempt position based in Denver or Boulder, CO that covers UpStart’s work in Denver, Boulder, and beyond. This position reports to the Senior Director of Design Strategy in California, and will hire and manage the Colorado Design Strategist and local Associates.

Overview of Responsibilities

  1. Teen Programs: (35%)

The Denver and Boulder communities host a robust array of organizations dedicated to engaging teens in Jewish life.  The Innovation Lead will manage the UpStart team member responsible for running our local flagship Jewish teen social entrepreneurship program. In addition, UpStart is proud to be launching an initiative to provide group professional development and individualized support to teen professional leaders in the community.  The Innovation Lead will drive the ramp-up, launch, and full execution of this project.  Responsibilities will include:

  • Community of Practice Meetings: Hosting Community of Practice meetings for teen program providers every other month.  These meetings will aim to build skills and provide opportunities for collaboration among participants.
  • 1:1 Coaching: Coaching teen professionals as they apply skills from the Community of Practice Meetings to timely organizational challenges.
  • Team Leadership & Oversight: Hire and manage a new Denver/Boulder-based Design Strategist, who will be responsible for running our flagship social entrepreneurship program for Jewish teens.
  1. Cultivation and support of local innovators (35%)

The Innovation Lead will provide entrepreneurs with the tools, network, and resources to transform their visions into successful, scalable Jewish social ventures through local workshops, bootcamps, and more. UpStart’s National Accelerator provides education and training to a highly select group of Jewish social entrepreneurs who are bringing new methodologies and a fresh approach to “doing Jewish.”  The Innovation Lead will identify, support and champion qualified local startup leaders to apply for the UpStart National Accelerator annually, and coach and support local participants in the program.

In addition, the Innovation Lead will partner with innovators leading change within established institutions.  Key initiatives include leading Innovation Workshops and Fellowships to help Jewish professionals expand their capacity for “out of the box” thinking. This also includes working with key partners to design and implement innovation consulting services aligned with programmatic goals and developing future potential work within the Colorado region and beyond.

  1. Network-Building and Fundraising (30%)

The Innovation Lead for Colorado will work with the UpStart CEO and Chief Advancement and Operations Officer to identify, attract, and steward advocates and funding partners. This includes:

  • Representing UpStart within the Denver and Boulder communities as a regional ambassador.
  • Leading a regional hub engagement plan for current and alumni program participants via convenings, innovation workshops, showcase events,  and networking opportunities.
  • Developing a network of highly qualified pro bono and reduced fee professionals to support UpStart social entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and UpStart’s broader work in the community.
  • Overseeing the local UpStart Local Advisory Board (ULAB), made up of key lay leaders tasked with advocating and supporting UpStart’s efforts in the region.
  • Effectively managing program budgets, funder relations, and grant reporting
  • Supervising Colorado-based staff, projects, and consultants.

Skills and experience:

You will have at least 8 years of work experience, having started your own project/ business/ organization or provided leadership in multiple organizations of different sizes and stages of development. You will have honed your skills in some or all of the following: program design, fundraising/grant reporting, business strategy, coaching, non-profit organization leadership/management. We hope that you have knowledge of entrepreneurial mindsets and practices such as design thinking and Lean Startup. Experience as a Jewish teen professional is a huge plus! It is a must that you are an amazing networker. We expect that you will be a team player who not only loves to imagine with others, but also hunkers down and make those ideas a reality. You are part program director, part consultant, part network builder and, underneath it all, you are excited to bring the Jewish community innovative experiences for today and to develop visionary leaders for tomorrow.

Salary and benefits:

Salary is commensurate with experience and benefits include medical, vacation, sick leave, Jewish and secular holidays.  UpStart believes that each individual is entitled to equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, age, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, ancestry, genetic information, medical condition, veteran status, or any other class protected under federal, state, or local laws. Ability to travel required.

To Apply: Send a resume with a cover letter that communicates why you would be a “fit” for the position to with the subject: UpStart Innovation Lead, Colorado.

About UpStart

UpStart inspires and empowers leaders to dream, build, and grow bold initiatives that enhance the vitality of Jewish life. UpStart hosts programs in dozens of communities across the country, supporting entrepreneurs and communal leaders looking to generate and nurture community-changing ideas. Since our inception, the UpStart network of programs has fueled the impact of over 1,300 organizations and trained nearly 3,000 of the Jewish community’s most inspiring leaders.

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