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RFP/RFQ

Operator, Wilmington Renaissance Corporation Kitchen Incubator

Overview

The Wilmington Renaissance Corporation is currently seeking an Operator for its Kitchen Incubator (“Operator”) to execute its mission and objectives to serve the potential food entrepreneurs in Wilmington, Delaware.

About Wilmington Renaissance Corporation and the Creative District
Wilmington Renaissance Corporation (WRC) was founded in 1993 as Wilmington 2000, a public-private partnership between The Office of the Mayor and the corporate community. The mission of Wilmington Renaissance Corporation is to develop and implement strategies that will increase the economic vitality of Downtown Wilmington, strengthen its role as a center of educational, cultural and social activity, and enhance its reputation as an exciting place to live and visit by marketing Wilmington’s unique history and character.

WRC’s geographic focus area is the Creative District. Wilmington’s Creative District is a part of a national wave of creative placemaking initiatives that seek to transform urban areas. The Creative District is defined by the area bounded by Fourth, Ninth, Market and Washington Streets. With the active engagement of a variety of partners from the private and public sectors, the Creative District will continue the momentum of urban revitalization started by LOMA and Market Street.

The Creative District is focused on creative production and consumption, developing a place where creative entrepreneurs — artists, musicians, designers, tech innovators, makers and manufacturers — and neighborhood residents thrive and where locally designed goods and original works are made and consumed.

Project Background
A kitchen incubator was identified as a key economic development project as one outcome of the Creative District community planning process undertaken in 2014. In 2016 WRC commissioned a feasibility study for a potential kitchen incubator in Wilmington, DE. WRC plans to develop an 8,000 square foot kitchen incubator in Wilmington’s Creative District. WRC is seeking an operator to manage the kitchen incubator while meeting the overarching goals that WRC has outlined regarding business incubation, employment opportunities and brick and mortar business creation in Wilmington.

A kitchen incubator was identified as a key economic development project as one outcome of the Creative District community planning process undertaken in 2014. In 2016 WRC commissioned a feasibility study for a potential kitchen incubator in Wilmington, DE. WRC plans to develop an 8,000 square foot kitchen incubator in Wilmington’s Creative District. WRC is seeking an operator to manage the kitchen incubator while meeting the overarching goals that WRC has outlined regarding business incubation, employment opportunities and brick and mortar business creation in Wilmington.

Project Objectives
Mission statement: The Wilmington Kitchen Incubator (WKI) will address the challenges faced by small food businesses and the ongoing demand for economic and employment opportunities in Wilmington by providing needed facilities and food-business skills and training opportunities. Through the support of the WKI, small food businesses will develop the skills and connections they need to be successful in the future, while providing new economic activity in the region. As a facility, the WKI will be a project that is of net community benefit for the Quaker Hill neighborhood, Creative District, and Wilmington as a whole.

Expected Outcomes and Metrics: Members of the WKI will be expected to:

  • Grow faster and stay in business longer than industry average for respective food businesses
  • Add jobs to the local economy, particularly jobs that will be available to people unemployed and/or lackinghigher-education degrees
  • Expand into physical locations within Wilmington and the greater Wilmington area and elsewhere across the state of Delaware and the region.WRC’s Expectations and Roles
    Wilmington Renaissance Corporation is currently in the pre-development stages of the construction of kitchen incubator. WRC will lead efforts to secure funding to construct and equip the kitchen incubator. In addition, WRC will work with the Operator within the expectations and roles described below:
  • WRC will own the kitchen incubator facility and all kitchen equipment including but not limited to stoves, ovens, fryers, grills, refrigerators, freezers, shelving/storage racks, and smallwares
  • WRC will work with the selected operator to design the kitchen incubator space, including but not limited to kitchen layout, dry and cold/frozen storage areas, office layout, loading and receiving areas, and event space
  • WRC is developing the preferred business model. However, WRC will work with the selected operating in finalizing the operating plan and membership charging model.

To learn more about the Kitchen Incubator Operator’s expectations and roles, and to read the entire RFP/RFQ, click here.


Director, MEC Business Incubator 

Employer: George Mason University

The George Mason University Mason Enterprise Center is seeking an enthusiastic and energetic individual for a new position, the MEC Business Incubator Director. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.

The Mason Enterprise Center (MEC) provides a comprehensive suite of business assistance services supporting Mason’s regional and statewide economic development engagement. Formal program services, available to all businesses, include emerging business incubators, Mentor-Protégé Program, Virginia Small Business Development Center Network, Virginia Procurement and Technical Assistance Program, and Community Business Partnership. These services are provided by professional staff, volunteers, and interns through a network of MEC regional and statewide programs.

Responsibilities:

  • The Business Incubator Director will oversee the day-to-day management of the MEC-Fairfax facility and incubator-related events and programming. This position will also be responsible for developing and implementing a coordinated strategy for the MEC incubators in Fairfax, Leesburg and Fauquier. Duties will include:
  • Plan, organize, and manage the daily operations of the MEC-Fairfax 30,000 square foot incubator;
  • Recruit and select client companies who demonstrate the willingness and capacity to engage with advising and mentoring offered by MEC programs;
  • Develop and deploy a process from client recruitment to graduation;
  • Oversee facility management to maintain a profitable vacancy level; ensure that rental offices, common areas, shared conference rooms, and training spaces are adequately furnished and maintained; maintain adequate technology and infrastructure to support clients and MEC employees; and, achieve overall efficient space utilization;
  • Identify and secure additional revenue sources (beyond office rental income) to support incubator operations;
  • Oversee MEC regional incubators; and
  • Collaborate with city and county partners to support targeted business retention and attraction efforts in MEC incubator communities.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in business administration or a related field;
  • Substantial demonstrated (at least five years is preferred) experience with business incubation, business counseling, or related experience;
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, and excellent interpersonal and organizational skills;
  • Excellent sales and networking skills;
  • Knowledge of business management principles, budget formulation and financial management, and property management and leasing;
  • Computer literacy; and
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a variety of constituents and organizations.
  • The scope of the position requires occasional evening and possible weekend work.

For full consideration, applicants must apply for position number FA64Ez at http://jobs.gmu.edu/; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information.


Director, Commercialization & Entrepreneur Support

Department: Business & Entrepreneur Partnerships (FKA Office of Economic Development)

Employer: SUNY

Hiring Salary: $100,000 – $150,000 

Brief Description:

The Director, Commercialization & Entrepreneur Support will lead the entrepreneur support unit within the UB’s Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships to both transition technologies into successful start-up companies and to dramatically accelerate the growth of early-stage companies. The ideal candidate will have extensive expertise and experience in entrepreneurial management with an emphasis on R&D, product development, fundraising, marketing, or general management. This position reports to the Associate Vice President, Economic Development.

UB’s Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships includes the NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences, NYS Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics, the Buffalo Institute for Genomics & Data Analytics and the Western New York Hot Spot.

The University at Buffalo (UB) offers incubation support and advisory services for faculty, students, and entrepreneurs who are transitioning an innovative “big idea” into a commercial entity. For qualified teams, UB’s Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships offers assistance through coaching and mentoring programs, incubation at UB facilities, funding, and other organized entrepreneur support initiatives and services. The goal of this unit is to enhance the commercialization of UB technologies through startup formation and to support student technology startups and other technology-based startups accepted into UB entrepreneur support programs thereby enhancing their success and growth in Western New York. UB seeks a hands-on leader to mentor and develop disruptive, scalable ventures through the commercialization of university technologies and the growth of business incubator client companies.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

Support the commercialization of UB technology through startup ventures in Western New York. Facilitate connection of startup companies to support resources and university faculty collaborators. Play lead role in vetting and evaluation of companies seeking funding and advisement services from UB. Assist early stage companies in developing business strategies. Mentor inexperienced entrepreneurs in key start-up activities related to team formation, strategic marketing, business development, strategic partnering, manufacturing strategy, and fundraising. Develop a network of qualified managers to fill key roles on startup management teams, including CEO and Board of Directors positions.

  • Develop and implement best practices and programs for accelerating startup formation and growth.
  • Establish a coaching/mentoring program.
  • Establish and manage seed funding.
  • Pro-actively lead and develop the other entrepreneurship team members.
  • Find, meet, track, rank, and monitor a pipeline of prospective technologies from UB and technology-based startups in WNY that could be good candidates for support from UB.
  • Make presentations to prospective UB faculty, students, and technology companies on the range of support programs available from UB (e.g. commercialization project funding, SBIR/STTR grant writing assistance, entrepreneurial mentoring, showcasing).
  • With other UB Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships staff members, work with prospective companies to identify intersections between the companies’ R&D needs/plans and potential collaborators from among UB’s member faculty and potential capabilities in UB’s labs that could be helpful in commercializing the companies’ technologies.
  • Provide feedback to teams (consisting of startup companies and university researchers) that are developing funding proposals to assist them in “putting their best foot forward”.
  • Lead the staff evaluation and vetting of funding proposals by the Commercialization Advisory Board including assessment of business strategies, value proposition, customer traction, technology viability, market size, and competitive positioning.
  • Assist and advise UB supported startups on their most important startup issues such as executive team formation, Advisory Board and Board of Director formation, customer development, channel strategy, manufacturing strategy, fundraising, and strategic partnering. Build relationships with investors (angel, venture capital, institutional) to encourage their involvement in WNY and facilitate introductions of entrepreneurs.
  • Build a culture of urgency among client entrepreneurs that encourages rapid development and graduation from incubation facilities.
  • Monitor, track, and report progress and relationships using Salesforce CRM.
  • Recruit high potential entrepreneurs into the rotating Entrepreneur-In-Residence position(s).
  • Oversees team and maintains results by counseling employees. Plans, monitors and appraises job results, while ensuring educational development and experiential growth opportunities.
  • Works with Leadership Team to prepare annual budget, strategy and metrics.

Minimum Job Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline, life sciences preferred. Ten years of experience leading, coaching, or investing in scalable, technology-driven startups. This role requires both a big picture, strategic thinker and someone to be directly involved in the work of starting and growing new businesses. The individual should be organized, self-motivated, and self-directed, with excellent human relation/communication skills.

  • Demonstrated experience as an entrepreneur in one or more startup companies or senior executive in one or more high-growth corporations
  • Demonstrated knowledge of early stage development and funding of technology companies
  • Extensive relevant work experience that can be drawn upon in advising and mentoring early stage companies
  • Demonstrated ability to ramp up quickly in understanding the key attributes of technologies, products, markets and teams that lead to successful startup companies
  • College degree in a relevant discipline, life sciences preferred.
  • Experience in raising private capital

Preferred Job Requirements

Extensive expertise and experience in entrepreneurial management with an emphasis on R&D, product development, fundraising, marketing, or general management. Track record of having simultaneously guided multiple science and technology-based ventures from idea to commercialization. Background in life sciences.

Desired Qualifications (some combination of the following):

  • Existing network of contacts in the business, technology, and/or venture community in NY
  • Experience making venture investments.
  • Startup company CEO or Senior Management experience.
  • Startup company CEO or Senior Management experience in one or more companies that successfully took an early stage company through product development to commercial sales.
  • Startup company CEO or Senior Management experience in a company that has delivered a successful exit to investors (IPO or M&A).
  • 5 plus years of experience in life science or a related industry including business development responsibility.
  • Experience as a licensor or licensee of university technology.

Click here to apply.

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