(Sr.) /or Program Manager – Robotics Factory Create

Pittsburgh, PA
Full Time

(Sr.)/or Program Manager – Robotics Factory Create


Overview of Position:

The (Senior)/or Program Manager role is highly visible within the startup community and will have the opportunity to shape the overall Robotics Factory Create program within the IW Hardware/Robotics group strategy. S/he/they will play a leading role in the program recruitment process and have the opportunity to work closely with the industry partners and entrepreneurs during the program. The (Senior) Program Manager will be expected to build and maintain relationships with groups and leading individuals in the Pittsburgh Robotics and Startup community including the Pittsburgh Robotics Network, Catalyst Connection and the ARM Institute.

This is a hands-on position where the (Senior) Program Manager will be managing and coordinating the many activities associated with the Create program, ranging from recruitment to management of industry summits and working with the industry partners and entrepreneurs. Outstanding leadership, communication and collaborative interpersonal skills are essential. This position requires strong organizational skills, an ability to drive results (both individually and collaboratively in an organization), and comfort communicating with substance in a transparent, direct manner. The ideal candidate has prior experience in a technology startup and is familiar with customer discovery and validation principles. The ideal candidate also has connections in the startup and business community and is comfortable working with a diverse team at a fast-pace, comparable to startup technology companies.

Primary Responsibilities:

Program Operations

  • Lead recruitment and selection process for the Robotics Factory Create program resulting in industry collaborations, entrepreneur applications for industry summits and the Create program.
  • Support the Entrepreneur-in-Residence to define the program for Create including workshop agendas, content and other educational sessions and events to incorporate industry knowledge into the creation of potential solutions.
  • Lead efforts to implement the program defined above including project management of the Industry Summits, overall schedule and sessions for the Create program and engage mentors, program partners (e.g. Pittsburgh Robotics Network) and other community partners to support the program.
  • Work in coordination with the program managers of the other Hardware/Robotics Factory programs including AlphaLab Gear/RF Accelerate, Scale (manufacturing program) to support and implement relevant programming as needed, looking for opportunities to leverage content and build community.
  • Support overall operations of Robotics Factory facility and systems, including working with administrative support, building management and IT service provider.

Partner and Network Relationships

  • Support efforts to build networks (investor, corporate, mentor, alumni/entrepreneur) for Innovation Works by developing individual and partner relationships especially beneficial to robotics portfolio companies with an emphasis on companies that could be industry partners for Create. Ensure they are integrated into overall IW networks by collaborating with departments responsible for managing overall networks.
  • Manage and support the relationship with Pittsburgh Robotics Network, including integration of PRN mentor network and regional marketing and branding initiatives.
  • Represent Innovation Works, Hardware Group/Robotics Factory at community and partner events, through attendance, participating and speaking.


Recruiting and Selection

  • Support overall Hardware/Robotics team recruiting strategy and efforts. In particular, lead recruitment processes for individuals, teams and startup companies that could work with industry partners to develop new solutions in the Create program. Outreach efforts include holding office hours, communicating with partners and enabling them to recruit, working with Comms team on marketing content and other activities as defined.
  • Lead the selection processes for the Create program including managing the overall project timeline, application reviews, interviews and follow-up due diligence efforts in order to achieve desired result for the Create program.
  • Ensure completion of Administrative (and CRM systems) requirements including state reporting, final client reporting, client surveys and site visits.


Company Success

  • Work closely with companies and entrepreneurs during the Create program, helping them utilize the assets of the program, including IW and partner resources and other networks. As applicable, leverage domain expertise and functional skills to assist participants on key customer discovery and product definition activities including customer interviews, defining product specifications based on industry feedback, creating a development strategy that incorporates iterations of customer input and manufacturing for design review
  • Continue to support Create participants (industry and entrepreneur), post-program as part of alumni engagement efforts. Enhance ongoing success of projects that continue to the next phase of commercialization by helping them identify options both within Innovation Works and within the ecosystem.

Internal Collaboration

  • Work collaboratively with internal partners (e.g. Accounting, Business Development, Communications, HR, Legal Counsel, Investment Committee) to execute on program delivery including funding, reporting, marketing
  • Participate fully on team discussions around Hardware/Robotics sector including other Robotics Factory programs, AlphaLab Gear and seed investments
  • Collaborate with other sector teams and programs (e.g. AlphaLab, AlphaLab Health, Platform) to ensure consistency in delivery of IW programs and effective use of shared resources

 Qualifications and Requirements:


  • Bachelor’s degree in a technical field, minimum 5-10 years of experience
  • Demonstrated ability to simultaneously manage multiple projects and time-sensitive issues for various stakeholders with attention to detail, deadlines, and overall quality.
  • Ability to execute individually on program operations and working with fellow team members.
  • Needs to be flexible and adaptable in a fast moving environment; comfortable with less than 100% information.
  • Ability to think strategically and execute tactically
  • Ability to drive results (both individually and collaboratively) within an organization
  • Strong interpersonal skills, leadership, teamwork, verbal and written communications are a must.
  • Comfort communicating with substance in a direct, transparent matter
  • Ability to drive operational decisions and lead projects independently, with minimal supervision
  • Comfortable public speaking in a small or large group setting
  • The highest level of integrity and the ability to maintain confidential information are a must.


  • Prior experience working in a robotics or advanced technology startup company is strongly desired.
  • Domain and industry expertise in at least robotics domain such as autonomy, factory automation, AI, computer vision, etc.
  • Advanced degree in a business and/or technical field, including general management
  • Online presence and passion for the entrepreneurial/startup community is important. Demonstrated ability with building community and partnerships is a strong plus
  • Fluent in modern productivity tools such as Google Apps and/or MSOffice suite, Slack and Salesforce, are important. Individuals should be comfortable using various social networks to promote the Robotics Factory, Innovation Works, its companies and to engage with the startup community.


Complete other duties and projects as assigned.



Innovation Works provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.



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