Managing Director, AlphaLab Health

Pittsburgh, PA
Full Time
Innovation Works, Inc.

Managing Director, Life Sciences/AlphaLab Health


Overview of Position:


The Managing Director, Life Sciences/AlphaLab Health role is one of the most visible within the startup community - both in Pittsburgh and across the country, especially in the life sciences/health tech community. The MD shapes the overall program by setting the strategic direction and leading a team to execute upon the strategy.  S/he is ultimately responsible for the recruitment and selection of life sciences 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 life sciences, health care, and medical community and develops relationships outside of Pittsburgh through our extended network and our involvement in the Global Accelerator Network. S/he directs life science initiatives for Innovation Works, most notably AlphaLab Health, and sets the tone and culture of the program. This position reports to Innovation Works’ Chief Strategic Operations Officer.


Primary Responsibilities:


General management

  • Overall responsibilities for Innovation Works’ Life Sciences program including strategic direction, staffing, budget, programs, applicant recruitment, investments, company engagement and support, mentor recruitment, and partner relationships, most notably AHN.
  • Drive overall AlphaLab Health accelerator program, from strategy to recruiting to programming.
  • Represent Life Sciences group and AlphaLab Health at community and partner events, through attendance, participation, and speaking. Also represent Innovation Works at national conferences or other forums convening healthcare, life sciences, or technology development leaders
  • Represent the Life Sciences group within IW and work effectively in a collegial, cross-functional organization. In particular, work with the CSOO and colleagues across hardware, and software sectors to ensure consistency in company engagement and investment approach.
  • Serve as an exemplary model of servant leadership, followership, and our defined culture.
  • Work across sector teams to define and deploy best practices and implement formal methods of continuous improvement to drive key quantifiable measures of success.


Company Engagement

  • Act as primary relationship owner and advisor for a portfolio of Life Science companies, guiding them on growth plans appropriate for the company stage across different functions including product, clinical, regulatory, go-to-market, reimbursement, funding, and talent acquisition. Represent IW as the Board Observer for seed investments that have a BOD in place.
  • Support IW strategy for programs and other scalable methods to benefit companies in the portfolio, including developing Life Science specific programs (e.g. programming, content, or events) and leveraging IW resources and networks.
  • Maintain and enhance the founder/alumni network by building community among the Life Science entrepreneurs in the IW Portfolio and Pittsburgh.


Partner and Network Relationships

  • Manage AHN relationships to ensure successful collaboration and partner satisfaction while meeting overall AlphaLab Health program objectives.
  • Build new and nurture existing relationships with key partners and individuals – ranging from corporate, investor, mentor, university, government, and industry groups, including GAN.


Investment Strategy and Management

  • Lead efforts and work with CSOO and IW Investment Team to set and execute investment strategy for life sciences investments including portfolio mix and recruiting strategy
  • Drive decisions on Life Science investments (AL Health and seed), including presentations to IW BOD.


Team management

  • Work with the team to provide clear goals; support successful execution; provide constructive feedback and advance professional development in alignment with organizational needs.
  • Led team to execute Life Science programs and investments (accelerator and seed-stage), setting goals and measuring group performance.
  • Lead team to work collaboratively with internal partners (e.g. Investment Committee, Legal Counsel, Finance) to execute seed and accelerator software investments.
  • Ensure completion of Administrative (and CRM systems) requirements including state reporting, final client reporting, client surveys, and site visits.


Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Prior executive experience as a founder, running an entrepreneurial company, managing products/services, leading innovation, and making investments.
  • Bachelor’s degree, minimum 10-15 years’ experience.
  • Previous finance experience.
  • Ability to bring your extensive network to help grow the LS partnership
  • Strong interpersonal skills, leadership, teamwork, 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 affect 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 highest level of integrity and the ability to maintain confidential information are a must.



  • Familiar with different sources of early-stage life science investments including university, non-dilutive, angel, and seed
  • Current knowledge and active experience in the current trends and methodologies for developing life sciences and healthcare-related startups
  • Industry domain expertise in a life science-related sector (e.g. Diagnostics, medical device, therapeutics, HIT) and understanding the key regulatory, clinical, and reimbursement pathways for companies. Technical skills and understanding are a plus.
  • Advanced degree in business or technical field. Understanding of finance.
  • Comfort in using productivity tools such as Google Apps, Streak, Slack, and Salesforce is important.
  • Passion for the entrepreneurial and startup community is important. Demonstrated ability to build partnerships (corporate, university) is a plus. The ability to develop a community and engage with the startup community, including through online methods a 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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