The Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is seeking a Startup Community Director to lead an exciting new initiative to promote entrepreneurial growth in Chaffee County as a strategy for economic recovery, resilience to future disruptions, the creation of greater wage diversity, and economic diversification.  

This plan, which operates publicly under the name “Central Mountain Entrepreneurs,” is an initiative of the Chaffee County EDC that has broad support among community governments, business support organizations, and numerous area entrepreneurs and business community members. To further the plan and its associated work, the EDC has secured a Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) grant to fund the Director position for approximately two years.  

PROJECT SUMMARY 

The Central Mountain Entrepreneurs is a programmatic network of resources to support growth-oriented early stage companies, rural innovation and encourage private sector entrepreneurial activity to address community challenges including housing, healthcare, childcare, and workforce development. This economic expansion and diversification strategy includes the creation of programs and events designed to increase economic opportunity and address community needs.  

Efforts will support economic recovery and resilience, diversification, new firm and job creation, and solutions to identified community challenges. This strategy includes tactics to drive the development and attraction of key resources needed to support new startup formation and existing business acceleration: 

  1. Micro Accelerator Program – Develop and execute, with the support of the EDC Executive Director, a startup accelerator program. Cohorts of 10 companies per year receive intensive training around business growth strategies.  
  2. Access to Capital – Solicit and engage new and more capital sources, including a network of local angel investors and exploration of a community revolving loan fund.  
  3. Mentorship Network – Identify and engage local and statewide experts willing and able to support growing firms. 
  4. Education & Training – With partners, develop curriculum including Lean Startup and Lean Canvas, as well as startup growth basics like investor pitch training, team structures, accounting, finance, and leadership development.  
  5. Online Collaboration Platform for Entrepreneurs – Promote and manage the Startup Colorado – Central Mountain Entrepreneurs platform to connect entrepreneurs with educational, financial, and collaborative resources.   
  6. Meetups & Events – Ideate and develop events and programs to build a culture of collaboration and innovation, creating a “center of gravity” for a geographically dispersed startup community.   

Other Responsibilities:

  1. Facilitate meaningful introductions and collaborations between entrepreneurs, funders, mentors, and other ecosystem supports, resulting in measurable progress on economic development metrics including job creation, new firm formation, capital acquisition, etc. 
  2. Assist with and/or implement the set up and population of a project database.
  3. Create content (messaging & images) & manage communication platforms (SUCO network, Newsletters, social channels as defined, emails and calls)
  4. Assist with outreach, recruitment and engagement of REE partners, contributors & members.
  5. Assist in development and maintenance of metric tracking systems & communicate to partners. 

Required Education and Experience 

Bachelor’s Degree and/or comparable years of relevant experience with entrepreneurs; content knowledge of Lean Startup, Lean Canvas, Startup Community Development concepts acquired through direct work experience and/or course of study. Experience with facilitating teams and inspiring collaboration. Existing and substantial network of mentors, funders, and support service organizations outside of the region is preferred but not required. Experience innovating and creating new products, processes or industries is also preferred. Strong preference for candidates with an existing local network in Chaffee County through currently or previously living in or near the County. 

Skills & Abilities 

  1. Entrepreneurial by nature (experiences with starting organizations or small businesses is helpful).
  2. Flexibility, curiosity and willingness to experiment, fail, revise and try again.
  3. Excellent written, verbal, and group facilitation communication skills.
  4. Planning, visioning, and organizational skills.
  5. Ability to manage multiple tasks and prioritize accordingly.
  6. Familiarity with online collaboration tools, video conferencing, social media, presentation, and messaging platforms.
  7. Ideal candidates will be able to lead without requiring the spotlight, and exert influence without formal authority.
  8. Ability to interact comfortably with diverse groups, including small and large entrepreneurs, government, for profit and non-profit institutions and educators to facilitate collaboration and cooperation. 
  9. Ability to understand mapping processes and connectivity.

Job Posting: Startup Community Director (Program Director) 

Salary Range: $40,000-60,000 (DOE)

Location: Chaffee County, Colorado

Benefits: $500 monthly healthcare stipend, flexible work schedule, hybrid in person and work from home, 2 weeks paid vacation

Job Type: Program Director, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development

Application Window: Now through September 1, 2021

Target Hire Date: Sept. 30, 2021

To Apply: Send a cover letter and resume to info@chaffeecountyedc.com before September 1, 2021. 

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