Job Posting: Innovation Lead (Chicago)

Posted June 2, 2017

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 coach, strategist, fundraiser, and relationship builder to serve our growing portfolio of innovation projects in the Chicago region 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 support local and national entrepreneurs in the UpStart Accelerator, partner with established Jewish institutions to develop human-centered programs that build creative confidence in staff, and engage the greater community in UpStart’s work.

The UpStart Innovation Lead is a full-time exempt position based in Chicago that covers UpStart work in Chicago, the Midwest, and beyond. This position reports to the Senior Director of Design Strategy in California and manages the Chicago Design Strategist and local associates.

About UpStart

UpStart partners with innovators to redesign the experience and expression of Jewish life. We recently announced a merger, creating a one stop resource for nurturing Jewish innovation nationwide. UpStart now hosts programs in 13 communities across the country, supporting entrepreneurs and communal leaders looking to generate and nurture community-changing ideas. Since our inception, UpStart and our merging partners have fueled the impact of over 1,300 organizations and trained nearly 3,000 of the Jewish community’s most inspiring leaders.

Overview of Responsibilities

  1. Accelerator: (40%)

Engage Chicago-based social entrepreneurs and the Chicago Jewish community in our UpStart National Accelerator, which provides them with the tools, network, and resources to transform their visions into successful, scalable Jewish social ventures. Working in collaboration with the Chicago Design Strategist, key activities include: outreach, recruitment and selection, program workshops, individualized coaching and consulting, and showcase opportunities. Support the design and delivery of our Accelerator model nationally, including coaching social entrepreneurs from other regions.

  1. Partnership Design Services (30%)

Oversee strategic working relationships with established Jewish communal institutions driving innovation efforts from within. This includes working with key partners to design and implement innovation consulting services aligned with programmatic goals  and developing future potential work within the Chicago region and beyond.  Partner with the Chicago Design Strategist on the design and launch of a pilot “intrapreneurship” program to support change efforts within established institutions.  Work closely with the national team to deliver on consulting and coaching engagements across the region and nationally.

  1. Network-Building and Fundraising (30%)

Work with the UpStart CEO and Chief Advancement and Operations Officer to identify, attract, and steward advocates and funding partners. Oversee the Chicago UpStart Local Advisory Board (ULAB), made up of key lay leaders tasked with advocating and supporting UpStart’s efforts in Chicago. Represent UpStart within the Chicago community as a regional ambassador, effectively manage program budgets, and supervise Chicago-based projects and consultants. Working closely with the Chicago Design Strategist, lead your regional hub engagement plan for current and alumni accelerator participants and local intrapreneurs via convenings, innovation workshops, showcase events,  and networking opportunities. Develop 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.

Skills and experience:

You will have at least 10 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. 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, Chicago.