Posted: July 30, 2020 | Closing Date: 28/08/2020
Program Administrator: TEC Edmonton
TEC Edmonton, on behalf of the Edmonton Regional Innovation Network (ERIN) Post Secondary Institutions (PSIs) subcommittee, is contracting a group of qualified mentors to enhance entrepreneurship activity and success across Edmonton’s PSIs. The current ERIN participating PSIs include the University of Alberta, Norquest College, NAIT and Concordia University. These PSIs are working together with TEC Edmonton and ERIN to deliver support to post secondary entrepreneurs. Other PSIs are encouraged to join the ERIN
This position is funded by Alberta Innovates through the Edmonton Regional Innovation Network.
What is a PSI Mentor?
Many entrepreneurs from PSIs need assistance with starting and growing both technology and knowledge-based companies. TEC Edmonton is contracting a group of qualified PSI mentors to work with students, post-doctoral fellows, research associates and faculty members to transform research and business ideas into viable products and services in order to bring them to market. This program is funded by Alberta Innovates’ Regional Innovation Network through and governed by the ERIN PSI Sub-Committee. In addition to a mentorship role, contractors must be able to connect PSI entrepreneurs to commercialization assets both within the PSI setting and in the wider ecosystem.
The following PSIs are looking for part-time mentors: Concordia University of Edmonton, NorQuest College, NAIT and the University of Alberta. Depending on the qualifications of candidates, it is possible for the same individual to be awarded contracts for multiple post-secondary institutions.
Below is an outline of the specific needs of each PSI:
In your application, please indicate which PSI(s) you are applying to.
Specific requirements for each of the University of Alberta and Concordia University of Edmonton (NOTE: this is not necessarily a joint position; a contract mentor (part-time) will be hired for each of the institutions unless otherwise determined as noted above)
Serving as connector and mentor, the U of A and Concordia University of Edmonton PSI mentor priorities include:
- Work with students, post-doctoral fellows, research associates and faculty members to transform research with business potential into viable products and bring them to market (e.g. understand product-market fit, develop business goals and monitor performance, contribute to the development of viable product and service plans and introductions of appropriate industry partners/consultants/lead customers)
- Thorough knowledge and understanding of institutional technology transfer and commercialization policies and processes and the ability to educate students, researchers and post-docs about such
- Work with PSI innovation teams to develop and deliver educational materials around institutional technology transfer options and other relevant topics, as well as host and lead entrepreneurial events
- Facilitate connections for PSI entrepreneurs/inventors to relevant innovation services providers in Edmonton and elsewhere
- Help establish and deliver a business development services program for PSI entrepreneurs to support one or more of the following: lean canvas or business plan development, prototype costs, patent development costs (e.g. patent strategy and patent costs), brief internships
- A general knowledge of a wide variety of fields is desirable including technology, software, life sciences/health, energy and agriculture
- Ability to interact with senior academic and business leaders across campus and the province
- Advise on the investigation of the commercial viability of various technologies, products and services (product-market fit) arising from the PSIs in the Edmonton community
- Timely submission of metric numbers
- Comply with all data entry requirements with TEC Edmonton’s customer relationship management software and other data systems
- Ability to provide appropriate contractor insurance
- Participate in innovation ecosystem activities to connect PSI entrepreneurs with stakeholders in the community
- Assist with development of work-integrated models for student founders at PSIs to advance their early-stage ideas into businesses
Specific requirements for NorQuest College
Serving as connector and mentor, the NorQuest College PSI mentor priorities and expertise include:
- Work with students, research associates, faculty members and staff to transform research and ideas with business potential into viable products and services and bring them to market (e.g. understands product-market fit, mentors on the steps of commercialization, develops business goals and monitors performance, contributes to the development of viable product and service business plans, advises on IP strategies and provides introductions to lead customers and potential investors)
- Facilitate connections for PSI entrepreneurs/inventors to relevant innovation service providers/partners in Edmonton and elsewhere
- Interface with the business development services funding program for PSI entrepreneurs to support lean canvas or business plan development, prototype costs and patent development costs (e.g. patent strategy and patent costs)
- Employ considerable knowledge and experience in the life sciences/health and green economy sectors, within the context of non-profit, social enterprise and for-profit business creation
- Timely submission of metric numbers
- Comply with all data entry requirements with CRM software and other data systems
Specific requirements for NAIT
Serving as a connector and mentor, the NAIT PSI mentor will focus on two primary outcomes:
- Identify research projects or business ideas with commercial potential
- Work with the Mawji Centre for New Venture and Student Entrepreneurship to help further student businesses beyond ideation
- Work with the Mawji Centre to develop a strong network of mentors to advise on topics such as market identification, legal issues (incorporations, copyrights, etc.), attracting investment, commercialization and other technical requirements
- Assist the Mawji Centre to facilitate connections for PSI entrepreneurs/inventors to relevant innovation services providers in Edmonton and elsewhere
- Act as an informal mentor and guide for student-based businesses that have the greatest potential for commercialization
- Assist with programs that transition opportunities into stages beyond ideation and promote hackathon and boot camp opportunities for students
- Collaborate with other PSIs to develop opportunities for students to further their business idea
- Collaborate with PSIs and external agencies to facilitate practical and hands-on workshops on specialized topics or engagement sessions (such as tours of accelerators, introductions to venture capitalist groups, organizing multi-PSI entrepreneurship networking, short-term internships, patent development costs/strategy, prototype costs, )
Applicants will demonstrate expertise in equity, inclusion, diversity and anti-racism principles and practices.
If you believe you have the qualifications, please consider applying to become a member of the PSI mentor team. You’ll have the opportunity to impact your local PSIs and business community in a measurable and meaningful way.
Seniority Level: Experienced technology business professional with 10 plus years’ experience promoting innovative product development, marketing and commercialization.
Education: Minimum of bachelor’s degree, additional specialized degree an asset (e.g. MBA)
Industry: Management Consulting; Professional Training & Coaching
Employment Type: Contracted to TEC Edmonton (contractor status, not employee), Full-Time or Part-Time, Onsite at various PSIs in the Edmonton region, virtually. More than one position is available. The position(s) will be contract position(s) for up to 20 months.
Job Functions: Consulting; general business
Reporting: Reporting directly to PSI management for day-to-day activities and to TEC Edmonton’s Executive Vice President of Business Development for metrics and support; activities will be reported to ERIN and Alberta Innovates.
Insurance: During the Term, the Contractor shall maintain at least the minimum insurance coverage specified by TEC Edmonton and shall provide to TEC satisfactory certificates of insurance confirming such coverage annually.
Funding: This position is funded by Alberta Innovates through the Edmonton Regional Innovation Network
Please address the following in a cover letter:
- Why are you interested in the PSI Mentor Program?
- Why are you a good fit for the PSI Mentor Program?
- Why are you a good fit for the PSI(s) you are interested in working with?
- What PSI(s) are you interested in and why are you a good fit for their values and vision?
- How much time can you commit on a weekly basis?
- Attach a CV.