Associate Director of Operations – EnterpriseWorks

  • Full Time
Posted: 1.9.23

Associate Director of Operations – EnterpriseWorks

University of Illinois Research Park

Associate Director of Operations – EnterpriseWorks

EnterpriseWorks at the University of Illinois Research Park 

About EnterpriseWorks and the University of Illinois Entrepreneurship Ecosystem: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a world-class leader in research, teaching, public engagement, and economic development. The University has research expertise in engineering, agriculture, business, social sciences, and many other top-ranked programs. Many of the technologies that enabled the modern electronic era were developed at the U of I, and we are among the top universities in NSF-funded research and development expenditures. The University of Illinois is a leader in generating innovations that translate into products, services, companies, and jobs that positively impact human lives and economic well-being. The University ranks repeatedly among the top ten universities in the number of alumni entrepreneurs receiving venture capital funding. The University has a vibrant and rapidly evolving entrepreneurial ecosystem, and many partners across campus work together to provide support and resources to the entrepreneurial community.

Job Summary
The Associate Director of Operations is responsible for the leasing of the incubator facility, budgeting for rental income and operational expenses, and maintaining the facility. The position optimizes space allocation and rental revenue associated with the incubator and finds space solutions to meet the needs of entrepreneurs. This position is also anticipated to support the planning for the expansion of EnterpriseWorks and the addition of LabWorks. The Associate Director of Operations leads the EnterpriseWorks incubator operations and property management. The Associate Director is also responsible for managing the physical property’s appearance, suites, common areas, and amenities to provide a competitive facility to serve the needs of entrepreneurs and help support the Research Park community. Additionally, the role includes the monitoring of incubator clients for graduation from the incubator and the transition into the Research Park or community when feasible. The Associate Director aids in the allocation and tracking of resources and programs utilized by entrepreneurs to support their business development.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Responsible for EnterpriseWorks Leasing. Entails allocation of lab and office space for incubator clients, managing lease pricing, managing renewal and graduation timelines, new client onboarding, space and equipment planning.
Provides project management of facility improvements, renovation, construction, and tenant improvement projects for EnterpriseWorks. Will navigate the procurement processes of the University for facility modifications and maintenance.
The Associate Director for Operations leads the EnterpriseWorks incubator operations and property management. Also responsible for managing the physical property’s appearance, suites, common areas, and amenities to provide a competitive facility to serve the needs of entrepreneurs and help support the Research Park community.
Monitoring of incubator clients for graduation from the incubator and the transition into the Research Park or community when feasible.
Responsible for managing allocation of EnterpriseWorks and Research Park services available to incubator companies in coordination with the management team at EnterpriseWorks. This includes allocation of entrepreneur programs for startup clients with contractors, referring clients to relevant events/training resources, purchasing resources on campus, use of core labs through on campus through EnterpriseWorks, allied status benefits, and other amenities through the Research Park.
Manages the annual renewal process with tenants of EnterpriseWorks, which includes scheduling annual reviews to determine company progress, evaluate programs leveraged, use of existing space, employment changes, future space needs, and adherence to safety and operating guidelines of EnterpriseWorks.
Provides tours of the incubator as requested for visitors and aiding with University official guests such as alumni, industry partners, and other university departments.


Supports the planning, strategy, and pre-leasing for new incubation facilities as the LabWorks and EnterpriseWorks 2.0 projects progress.
Supports outreach to other incubator locations in Illinois to provide expertise sharing and operations guidance where appropriate or contracted with UIRP LLC. This includes support for the EDA grant funded programs that assist entrepreneurs throughout Illinois.
Introduces incubator services and programs to new entrepreneurial prospects, including startup companies, faculty and student inventors, and community tech entrepreneurs.
Supervises staff including a part-time Lab Manager and the Facilities Manager. This includes task assignment, ongoing performance management with coaching and feedback, career development mentoring, leave approval, and conducting annual performance reviews.
Coordinates the relationship with the University of Illinois Division of Research Safety (DRS) with EnterpriseWorks, including planning new lab tenant plans, hazardous material disposal, annual lab audits, managing lab safety training verification, and troubleshooting safety concerns.
Manages the EnterpriseWorks facility budget planning with the Research Park Associate Director for Administration. This includes making revenue projections, facility investment recommendations, and forecasting capital improvements needed to maintain the facility.
Manages student employees that support entrepreneurship projects for startup clients. This includes interviewing and recruiting students for these roles, managing their projects for clients, and providing performance reviews.
Coordinates with others in the UIUC entrepreneurial ecosystem and the Research Park and EnterpriseWorks leadership to identify new emerging small businesses for incubator services.
Executes detailed data management of incubator client engagement with entrepreneurship programs, monitoring progress of companies, and tracking performance metrics and data of related companies. This includes management of the CRM system (Salesforce) for project management workflow and incubator company information, including employees, insurance, and lease information.
Prepares information on incubator activities and performance for the UIRP, LLC Board of Managers for meetings and other requested information.
Other duties as assigned or needed to support the EnterpriseWorks incubator.

Minimum Qualifications
Bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance or related field required. Minimum of five years of professional level experience working in management of operations. Experience working with small businesses in planning operations, business projections, and guiding entrepreneurs. Prior experience with higher education, purchasing, administration, and contracting systems.

Preferred Qualifications
Master’s degree preferred. Prior experience working with technology small businesses is highly recommended, with an understanding of entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. Experience in higher education administration, including work with faculty and graduate students to develop new ventures, license technology, and successful commercialize research. Experience with entrepreneurship ecosystems, business incubators, small business mentoring, accelerators, and commercialization programs.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Commercial real estate knowledge, including leasing and property management. Ability to use CRM or database systems for tracking of information and records management. Salesforce or other CRM software experience with experience with data management, metrics, dashboards, and presentation of analytics. Excellent interpersonal communication skills, writing ability, and comfort in public speaking with varied audiences. Problem-solving skills to address difficult, complex issues and overcome challenges with clients into positive outcomes. Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with faculty, students, staff, alumni, vendors, and other stakeholders. Professional excellence in customer service and business development, including experience with client development, proposals, and project management. Ability to act with initiative, make independent decisions, and prioritize with minimal direct supervision. Ability to multi-task by managing multiple projects simultaneously and meet concurrent deadlines.

Appointment Information
This is a 100% full-time Academic Professional position, appointed on a 12-month basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience.

Application Procedures & Deadline Information
Applications must be received by 6:00 pm (CST) on Feb 6, 2023. Apply for this position using the Apply Now button at the top or bottom of this posting. Applications not submitted through will not be considered. For further information about this specific position, please contact Erica Hanson, HR Coordinator in OVCRI, at For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.

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