Finance - Enterprise and Innovation
Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK
Full time starting salary is normally in the range £40,792 to £48,677, with potential progression once in post to £54,765
Full Time - Permanent
Closing date: 20th August 2019
Do you want to be part of a dynamic team at a prestigious organisation, helping us to create commercial impact? The University of Birmingham is one of the most ambitious institutions in the UK and we are determined to be placed in the global top 50, with investment and strategic plans in place to enable us to achieve our objectives. We are looking for a talented, well organised and entrepreneurial individual, with proven experience and ability to develop new spinout companies.
This is an exciting time to join the University of Birmingham Enterprise (UoBE) team. The University is currently fourth in the UK for the identification and protection of Intellectual Property (IP), and has a portfolio of over 35 spinout companies, with a collective valuation of c. £200m. These portfolio companies have attracted £70m of third-party investment over the last four years, which is a testament to their quality. The University has committed significant additional investment to increase the support provided to the academic community for the translation of their research, and set aside an initial £5m in 2016 for investment in its spinout companies.
The Spinout Development Manager will help develop an emerging pipeline of new spinout opportunities, to the point that they are validated, investment ready, and established.
Internally facing activities
- To ‘project lead’ the validation and development of new spinout opportunities, working very closely with the academic inventors. This will involve joining or setting up specific teams around relevant IP commercialisation opportunities (including academics, members of the IP Services team, and potential consultants/management), and leading those teams through the work that shapes and tests the underlying hypotheses around the business idea. The individual will steer, monitor and/or undertake further proof of commercial concept work such as consultation with key stakeholders and opinion leaders.
- To assist in recruiting specialist consultants/early stage management talent and raising proof of concept and other early stage funds or grants from internal and external sources.
- To lead or assist in the authoring of investment ready business plans and presentation pitches in relation to emerging new spinout opportunities, for both internal and external boards.
- To provide the Head of Enterprise Acceleration with relevant information necessary to monitor emerging spin-out progress to enable the University to consider opportunities to invest its intellectual property and funds.
- To prepare appropriate reports for any relevant Advisory Boards or Governance Bodies established to monitor progress of emerging spinout opportunities.
- To prepare/assist with disclosure information (prior to seed investment).
- To assist the Head of Enterprise Acceleration in negotiations relating to the formation of spinout companies, working with the University’s in-house Legal Services team as appropriate.
- To assist the Enterprise Acceleration Team in further developing the entrepreneurial culture of the University, for example in acting as an internal ambassador in networking events, and participating in seminars and workshops.
- To assist the Reputation and Communications Development Manager in the preparation of case studies which will be used for internal communications and marketing to the academic communities, and for upward reporting.
Externally facing activities
To pitch or help pitch emerging spinout opportunities to regional, national and international stakeholders from time to time.
- To assist or lead the development of initiatives and events that attracts potential spinout partners, management or investors (e.g., Pitchfest West Midlands).
- To act as an ambassador for the University of Birmingham, raising its profile within the investment and industry audiences as a leader in technology, innovation and associated start-up ventures, and in supporting the Reputation and Communications Development Manager in news gathering and case study development for publicity to external audiences. .
- To provide technical advice and support from time to time to the Equity Manager in relation to spinout portfolio reporting, and investment due diligence (for companies that have already spun out of the University). The role-holder may from time to time (for example during periods of peak activity), take on an existing spinout relationship and reporting role, under the guidance of the Equity Manager.
- In addition to the above, the post-holder will be expected to carry out other duties as reasonably required in accordance with the needs of UoBE as the department continues its current growth, and/or the wider Finance Office of the University.
Demonstrable hands-on experience in developing new companies, preferably in a range of science based sectors. This experience may come through one or more roles such as serial-entrepreneurship, early stage investment, or university/corporate technology transfer. Individuals should be able to demonstrate competence in the development of realistic and compelling business plans, and ideally success in raising seed stage investment and/or grant funding.
Project management skills:
Conscientious, detail- and goal- oriented, resilient and tenacious with the ability to prioritise workload, to run a number of projects simultaneously, and to ensure that other team members contribute as required and on time.
- Experience and the ability to negotiate and structure corporate agreements would be an advantage.
- Understanding of the academic environment and how technology transfer organisations operate in leading universities.
- Credibility amongst the academic community. In addition to the new company development experience, the role-holder should at least have a science degree. A higher degree and / or qualifications in business management would be advantageous.
- Strong interpersonal skills, able to establish credibility with the prospective management teams, the external investment community and the leadership of the University.
- A natural team player with the ability to influence across, and engender respect from, a wide range of stakeholders including financial, scientific and commercial. Able to bring multiple parties together and align them around a common goal through effective questioning and listening and persuasive communication where appropriate. The tolerance, patience and interpersonal skills to work effectively with strong-minded/busy academics and business leaders who may be reluctant to involve others in business decisions.
- Ability to design, develop and critique sound business strategies based on scientific, commercial and financial analysis that can translate into a positive return for shareholders. Intelligent and creative with good analytical skills. Strong commercial judgement – the ability not to get over-excited by technology.
Ability to report technical, business and financial matters clearly and with appropriate consideration of risksAbility to report technical, business and financial matters clearly and with appropriate consideration of risks.
- A self-starter, driver, out of the box thinker. A strong work ethic with unquestioned integrity.
- Gravitas and the political acumen to navigate through the complexities of a University environment and to manage a diversity of sensitivities.
- Demonstrable understanding of, and buy-in to the values of team: integrity; service; innovation; ownership; respect; and teamwork.
In case of enquiries please contact Lesley Hewitt PA to James Wilkie Director of Enterprise and Innovation L.A.Hewitt@bham.ac.uk