Managing Director Software - Innovation Works Inc.

Pittsburgh, PA
Full Time

Innovation Works, Inc.

Managing Director, Software


Overview of Position:


Innovation Works has been recognized as one of the most active seed investors in the US and includes a family of nationally ranked accelerator programs for early-stage software companies. We help startup companies make rapid progress through critical stages of product, market validation, and scalable customer acquisition by providing them funding, networks, programs, space, and our experience from over 300+ investments over the past 20 years. Innovation Works is seeking a Managing Director (MD) to oversee its engagement, support, and investment in software companies.


The Managing Director role is one of the most visible within the startup community - both in Pittsburgh and across the country, especially in the software community. The MD shapes the overall approach by setting the strategic direction and collaborating with colleagues to execute her/his vision.  S/he is ultimately responsible for the recruitment and selection of software companies for IW’s investment and programs, advising them during the different stages of IW support. S/he builds relationships with most of the groups and leading individuals in the Pittsburgh startup community and develops relationships outside of Pittsburgh through our extended network and our involvement in the Global Accelerator Network. S/he sets the tone and culture of our software sector engagement. S/he manages the budget for the sector and directs software sector-related initiatives for Innovation Works.


The ideal candidate is a dynamic leader, who has prior experience as an entrepreneur/founder, investor, or ideally both. The candidate is a thought leader in the latest areas of startup development for software companies (e.g. digital customer acquisition), in early-stage software investments (accelerator and seed), and is well-connected in the startup and business community.  Outstanding leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills are essential. This position requires an ability to drive results (both individually and with teammates), work effectively in a variety of settings, and be comfortable communicating with substance in a transparent, direct manner. Executive experience working with technology, software startups, innovation, and investing is strongly preferred.



Primary Responsibilities:


General management

  • Overall responsibilities for Innovation Works’ software sector including a budget, applicant recruitment, investments, mentor recruitment, and partner relationships
  • Represent IW’s software sector team at community and partner events, through attendance, participation, and speaking. Also, represent Innovation Works at national conferences or other forums convening technology development leaders
  • Represent IW’s software sector team within Innovation Works and work effectively in a collegial, cross-functional organization. In particular, work with the Chief Operating Officer and other Managing Directors (Hardware, Life Sciences) as well as the Director of Accelerator Programs to ensure consistency and compliance in our company engagement and investment processes.
  • Ensure completion of Administrative (and CRM systems) requirements including state reporting, final client reporting, client surveys, site visits, pipeline, and company engagement tracking.


Company Engagement

  • Guide companies on company growth plans, including product, customer acquisition, funding, and talent acquisition strategies, appropriate for the stage of company development
  • Support recruiting top companies to IW programs.
  • Maintain and enhance alumni/portfolio network relationships.
  • Leverage other IW networks for the benefit of portfolio companies. Examples include investor, corporate, and digital networks.


Partner and Network Relationships

  • Lead efforts to continue building software-related investor, corporate, and mentor networks for Innovation Works, as part of the overall IW effort to build these networks
  • Build new and nurture existing relationships with key partners – ranging from corporations, investors, universities, government, and economic development.
  • Maintain a leading profile and develop key relationships within the Global Accelerator Network  – especially with GAN leadership and other GAN Managing Directors.


Investment Strategy

  • Lead team and worked with IW Investment Team to set and execute strategy for software investments including
    • Portfolio mix (sector strategy, accelerator cos, seed investments)
    • Recruiting strategy including key relationships to nurture



  • Support team to execute software programs and investments (accelerator, seed)
  • Set goals and measure performance against KPIs around network development and engagement with companies


Qualifications and Requirements:


  • Bachelor’s degree, minimum 10-15 years experience.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, leadership, and verbal and written communication are a must.
  • Demonstrated ability to simultaneously drive multiple projects for various stakeholders to tangible results with the ability to innovate and effect change.
  • Needs to be flexible and adaptable in a fast-moving environment.
  • Ability to think strategically and direct tactical execution.
  • Comfort communicating with substance in a transparent, direct manner.
  • The ability to maintain confidential information is a must.
  • Ability to consistently exemplify our core values of integrity, innovation, inclusion, collaboration, and service.



  • Prior executive experience in running an entrepreneurial company or making investments, ideally both.
  • A thought leader in latest areas of startup and software company development (e.g. Lean Startup, digital customer acquisition)
  • Domain and industry expertise in software-related domains, including various business models (e.g. SaaS, marketplace, B2C, mobile) and customer acquisition methods, especially low-touch, digital. Technical skills and understanding are a plus
  • Advanced degree in business or technical field.
  • Online presence and passion for the entrepreneurial/startup community are important. Demonstrated ability to build community is a strong plus


To include any other duties 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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