Innovation Works, Inc.

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

Pittsburgh, PA - Full Time

Sr. Program Manager – Robotics Factory Accelerator


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 accelerator program within the IW Hardware group strategy. S/he will play a leading role in the application selection process and have the opportunity to work closely with the Factory companies and founders 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 working 1:1 with startup teams. The ideal candidate has prior experience as an entrepreneur in a a robotics, AI, hardware or other advanced technology startup. Ideally, has connections in the startup and business community and is comfortable working with a diverse team at a fast-pace, comparable to our accelerator companies. 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.

Primary Responsibilities:

Program Operations

  • Lead application recruitment and selection process for the Robotics Factory resulting in offers and ultimately investments in accelerator companies, consistent with organizational goals
  • Define, implement and lead accelerator programming and general robotics programming,  including educational sessions, project and program planning, , mentor support and coordination, and partner and community events which enhance support for companies.
  • Work in coordination with the Manufacturing Program Manager to support and implement manufacturing and technical programming.
  • Support overall operations of Robotics Factory facility and systems, including working with administrative support, building management and IT service provider.

Company Engagement

  • Work closely with accelerator companies during the program, leveraging domain expertise and functional skills to assist companies on strategic business and product development plans, including development of investor pitch, product and user testing strategy, customer acquisition, development of investor materials including presentation, operating plans and financial projections, etc.
  • Continue to support accelerator companies, post-program as part of alumni engagement efforts. Act as IW primary relationship owner and advisor for select accelerator portfolio companies (post-program) on fundraising strategy, hiring strategy, and additional company growth plans.
  • Represent Innovation Works as Board of Directors Observer for select Robotics Factory companies that raise additional seed funding from Innovation Works


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. Ensure they are integrated into overall IW networks by collaborating with departments responsible for managing overall networks.
  • Manage and support relationship with Pittsburgh Robotics Network, including integration of PRN mentor network and regional marketing and branding initiatives.
  • Represent Innovation Works, Hardware Group/Robotics Factory AlphaLab Health at community and partner events, through attendance, participating and speaking.

Investment Strategy and Management

  • Lead decision process on accelerator candidates (including market due diligence) and getting companies under contract.
  • Support overall team recruiting strategy and efforts (e.g. accelerator and seed; key sources of companies) In particular, lead accelerator application recruitment and selection processes, including application office hours, review of applications, interviews, follow-up due diligence efforts and finalizing cohort (offers).
  • Ensure completion of Administrative (and CRM systems) requirements including state reporting, final client reporting, client surveys and site visits.


Internal Collaboration

  • Work collaboratively with internal partners (e.g. Legal Counsel, Investment Committee) to execute on software investments (accelerator, seed) including legal due diligence
  • Participate fully on team discussions around accelerator and seed program design, planning and execution
  • Deliver against team and individual performance against KPI’s around network development and engagement with companies.

 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.
  • 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, Slackand 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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