Director - Climate & AI Incubator

The Roux Institute at Northeastern University | Portland, ME, United States

Posted Date 1/16/2024

About the Opportunity

The Roux Institute’s Venture Creation and Acceleration platform supports high-growth ventures and founders that have the potential to fundamentally alter the way we live and work for the better.

As part of our mission to catalyze and grow the Clean Energy sector in Maine, we have partnered with the Governor’s Energy Office to launch the state’s first Climate Incubator, located on the Roux Institute’s state-of-the-art campus in Portland, Maine. The incubator will focus support on startups that are harnessing the power of AI and Data Science to solve our world’s most pressing climate challenges.

As the founding Director of the Incubator, you will be responsible for turning the bold vision we have outlined into a thriving and world-class incubator for clean energy companies. You will work closely with our partners and the Roux Institute Entrepreneurship Team to operationalize a suite of services and equipment that align with the needs of Clean Energy start-ups. You will work with Roux Institute leadership to bring the full force of Northeastern’s Research and Learning capabilities, particularly in Artificial Intelligence, to create a unique and compelling value proposition to startups we serve. The Director will play an active role in company recruitment, ensuring we have high levels of membership in the incubator as well as strong company retention. The Director will be responsible for securing sponsorships and developing the funding sources that add value to startups while also ensuring long-term financial sustainability of the incubator.

Company Recruitment: 

  • Engage with the Clean Energy community to recruit start-ups from within and outside Maine to the Incubator
  • Create and execute a Recruitment strategy to ensure membership in the incubator meets targets. 
  • Articulate a compelling value proposition and growth strategy that positions the incubator for long-term growth

Marketing and Branding: 

  • Select, and work with, an outside marketing vendor to create a compelling brand for the incubator
  • Work with Marketing vendor to create a strong digital presence and visual identity for the incubator
  • Execute programming and campaigns to position the incubator as a high-profile part of the country’s Clean Energy startup ecosystem
  • Execute a successful Launch and Kickoff Week that create appropriate buzz and excitement with the Clean Energy and Maine Startups Ecosystem

Strategy & Program Development

  • Work with Community and Operations Manager to lead day-to-day management of incubator events and operations
  • Work with our partners to execute a compelling suite of programs to support Clean Energy startups in the incubator
  • Work with our partners to develop and execute a compelling suite of community programs to grow the Clean Energy ecosystem in Maine
  • Develop new programs to support startups in the incubator and the clean energy ecosystem in Maine, Current Proposed programming includes: Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, Hackathons, Startup Networking Events, Weekly Expert Talks, Prototyping Services, and Investor Networks
  • Establish relationships with Clean Energy companies, investors, and experts to provide value to our startups and create new programs that deepen the impact of the incubator
  • Work with Northeastern’s world-class researchers and learners to create mutually-beneficial pathways to support the AI development of startups in the incubator

Fundraising & Partner Engagement: 

  • Refine and execute a long-term revenue and growth strategy that results in financial sustainability for the incubator
  • Develop a corporate sponsorship strategy, and identify and attract corporate sponsors to support the incubator’s continued growth
  • Identify and apply for grants and other non-dilutive funding on behalf of the incubator, to create additional programming as well as secure new equipment
  • Work with Advancement to curate and engage individual donors who have an interest in Clean Energy and AI in Maine
  • Work with corporate partners to design meaningful programs that both deepen our impact and ensure financial sustainability of the incubator

Reporting, Impact, and Metrics Management: 

  • Develop and maintain a robust system for tracking and reporting key metrics and performance indicators for incubator companies 
  • Manage the day-to-day and long-term finances and budget of the incubator
  • Prepare and present quarterly reports to the leadership team, highlighting achievements, challenges, and opportunities for improvement
  • Collect qualitative data to develop case studies which showcase the successes of our portfolio companies.


  • Proven experience in portfolio management, start-up support, or a related role. 
  • Background in Clean Energy and/or Artificial Intelligence strongly preferred
  • Strong understanding of the start-up ecosystem and the challenges faced by early-stage companies. 
  • Experience, fluency, and connections within venture capital and the investment landscape 
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills to articulate the value of the incubator to stakeholders
  • Exceptional organizational and project management skills. 
  • Creative and innovative thinker with the ability to design engaging programs and activities. 
  • Self-motivated and proactive in identifying opportunities for improvement. 
  • Bachelor's degree in business, entrepreneurship, or a related field (MBA or similar preferred). 
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic start-up environment. 

Key Responsibilities:

Strategy and Planning (30%):

  • Develop the strategic vision for Climate+AI Incubator programming that will further the Roux Institute mission Collaborate with full Roux Institute team to integrate and maximize impact of those programs across all aspects of the organization.
  • Strategize with team on where and with whom to partner Develop action plans and financial plans.
  • Actively participate in structured and unstructured thinking, dreaming, and iteration on how to increase impact and achieve our mission.
  • Act as a liaison between the Roux Institute and the larger Northeastern Network.

Fundraising & Partner Management (30%):

  • Develop a funding strategy to make the program financially feasible and sustainable.
  • Secure $500k+ in annual revenue and support to operate programming.

Operations & Team Management (20%):

  • Manage Community & Engagement Manager.
  • Work with Community & Engagement Manager to bring in the top experts in the world to give workshops.
  • Meet regularly with the entrepreneurs to assess their progress and help them advance in their journey as well as develop and create new valuable programs.
  • Make connections to technical experts and potential customers for our Founders where helpful.
  • Create a positive and cohesive environment for our entrepreneurs to.
  • Do whatever it takes for our portfolio entrepreneurs to be successful.

Reporting & Cross Campus Integration (20%):

  • Set aside time to articulate goals, reflect on progress, and learn from experience
  • Measure, track, and report on progress and impact of companies to both internal and external stake holders including working with NURES when applicable for reporting.
  • Communicate in a variety of mediums (verbal, written, graphic, video) the goals, progress, and learnings actively and consistently with internal and external teams, program participants and collaborators.

Position Type

General Administration

Additional Information

Northeastern University considers factors such as candidate work experience, education and skills when extending an offer.

Northeastern has a comprehensive benefits package for benefit eligible employees. This includes medical, vision, dental, paid time off, tuition assistance, wellness & life, retirement- as well as commuting & transportation. Visit for more information.

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see

Job Type
Education | Management

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