Global Expansion Project Lead - Venture Café Global Institute - St. Louis, MO or Cambridge, MA

CIC Related Orgs: Venture Cafe Global Institute & Captains of Innovation
The Expansion Project Lead will help develop and implement the Venture Café Network’s expansion strategy and provide ongoing support for current Network members. We seek a dynamic, seasoned, creative, and energetic individual who is an effective project manager, driven by a strong relationship-based approach, and has a deep commitment to innovation and startups. The role will focus on our growing, active pipeline of new city expansion and provide the highest quality service and relationship management for our current network members

The ideal candidate will possess the following characteristics:

• Exceptional project management, written/verbal communication, and organizational skills, including the ability to own and manage multiple tasks and get the details right
• Strong relationship building skills and the maturity and confidence to work with stakeholders ranging from university administrators to local volunteers. Ability to be an ambassador for the Venture Café brand and community.
• Positive, results-oriented “doer” with high quality output and ability to work under pressure/meet tight deadlines.
• Ability to proactively spot and find creative ways to make an impact. Natural inclination to improve and iterate on the way we do things.
• Team player who is personable, happy to help others, and naturally drawn to a continually-evolving environment. Ability to work well on a small (but mighty!) team.
• Trustworthy and always willing to both learn and teach; a love for problem-solving and comfortable working with ambiguity. A quick and adaptable learner.
• Commitment to seeing their work as mission-based and an opportunity to make a powerful contribution to a larger effort.
• Strong relationship with technology; Mac proficient; experience with Slack, Trello, and CRM platforms a plus.


You will be a member of the Venture Café Global Institute staff and report to the President of the Venture Café Global Institute. Your responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:

• Managing a portfolio of city-based expansion opportunities that Venture Café is either evaluating or pursuing. This includes responsibility for the process from start to finish, from market assessment and proposal development, to operational and programming launch. You will complete a wide variety of tasks independently to move projects forward, collaborate with key partners and stakeholders, and communicate ongoing progress with senior management. You will also manage local consultant and project resources to remain on scope and within budget
• Traveling (both independently and with senior leadership) to new markets to meet potential partners and evaluate opportunities as well as to support current Network Members.  While travel requirements will vary by project, you should expect to travel up to 50% of the time.
• Providing high-quality support service for new Venture Cafés during their initial launch year. You will be expected to successfully transition key relationships fostered during the Café's development process. You will be a trusted, reliable resource to local Café leadership and staff offering proven expertise, creative advice, and a listening ear.
• Planning visits and hosting partners at other Venture Café and CIC sites.
• Working closely with CIC’s Global Expansion and Launch Teams on the sourcing,  development, and roll out of new Venture Café's aligned and in partnership with CIC’s expansion efforts.
• Actively developing a robust expansion pipeline, with tasks including fielding new partnership inquiries, hosting delegations and visitors from different cities, and managing and growing strategic relationships that may grow into future Venture Cafe partnerships.

• Minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
• Minimum of 4-5 years of professional experience
• Willingness to travel up to 50% of the time, though typical travel demands are closer to 25% of your time.
• An interest in a long-term role, we are a growing company, and we like to hire people who can grow with us over the years
• A natural interest for helping/supporting others
• A deep understanding of building and nurturing innovation ecosystems/communities
• Dual-language fluency strongly preferred

In addition to helping our communities achieve great things, we work to ensure that our employees are healthy and supported. Some of the benefits of being here include:
• Fun people in a dynamic space. We pride ourselves on finding driven and bright collaborators who are eager to lend their own unique skills to the team, as well as to our inspiring clientele. The number one reason our team members say they like working here is because of their colleagues!
• Personal growth. This is a great opportunity to learn and develop skills within the epicenter of the innovation community at a growing company
• Great benefits for full-time employees (see below)
• Regular massages, access to a nursing room, secure bicycle parking, a game room, a gym, and shower rooms with towels

Starting compensation for this position is $75,000 plus 100% of the cost of a premium healthcare and dental package and full payment of expenses covered by your deductible, long and short-term disability, life insurance, 401K matching after the first year of employment (must be 21+) and three weeks of vacation from the start (more with seniority). Annual reviews with raises significantly above the national average every year for those on track with strong performance.

VCGI is committed to building teams that reflect the fabric of the cities we support. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and consider all qualified candidates regardless of race, color, ancestry, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, Veteran status, or any other legally protected status. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation please let us know.

Venture Café's mission is to connect innovators to make things happen. Founded in 2009 at CIC, Venture Café is now a global movement of local nonprofits working to build stronger and more inclusive innovation ecosystems and accelerate and enhance the innovation process, in cities around the world. It does this through its use of programming, physical spaces, storytelling, and broad innovation engagement. 

The Venture Café Global Institute is a public benefit corporation that operates as a nonprofit organization to support the Global Network of independent Venture Cafes. VCGI provides support in key areas including staff training, knowledge sharing, fundraising, shared systems and services, intellectual property, and guides expansion to new sites.

Venture Café is in eleven locations globally, and continues to grow rapidly. Our goal is to be in the top 50 innovation cities around the world, and we are actively working to expand to multiple locations domestically and internationally. Innovation leaders from around the world and across sectors recognize the impact Venture Café, and CIC, our primary growth partner, have generated and are approaching us to discuss new opportunities.