Caltech Entrepreneur in Residence
The Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), as a member of the Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships, will facilitate Caltech start-up company formation in order to increase both the quality and quantity of start-up companies based on Caltech intellectual property. He or she will serve as an experienced mentor to faculty, students, and alumni who intend to commercialize Caltech technologies. The EIR will work with OTTCP staff to identify technologies with potential to form the basis for successful start-ups. The EIR will help faculty, students, and alumni with limited start-up experience to successfully navigate the company formation process, and beyond. The EIR will help define milestones necessary to position the technology for outside investment and focus the faculty, student, or alumni on achieving these milestones.
The EIR will evaluate candidate technologies identified with the assistance of OTTCP staff and through outreach to Caltech faculty and students. He/she will prioritize candidate technologies in terms of market potential, technical and regulatory risk, intellectual property status, near-term financial needs, outside investment potential, and other relevant criteria. The EIR will work with faculty and students to put together and execute a plan for start-up formation. This plan may include market research, further technical proof-of-concept work, or other risk reduction activities necessary to determine whether the technology is appropriate for a start-up. When appropriate, the EIR will work with the faculty and/or students on practical tasks such as company formation, selection of corporate counsel and financial services (CFO and accounting support), as well as preliminary strategic tasks such as team building and business plan development. The EIR will help the founders to prioritize start-up activities to maximize value and secure long-term financing. The EIR will also assist in recruiting leadership and other management personnel to the company, will act as a mentor to the company and provide advice on managing financial and personnel resources. The EIR will use his/her experience and contacts to assist with financing and help the start-up secure long-term capital.
In addition to start-up creation, the EIR will support entrepreneurial activities at Caltech. This may include supporting technology Demo Days or Tech Reviews to highlight Caltech technology which may be of interest to corporate partners or investors. The EIR will engage in outreach activities with faculty, students, and alumni to make them aware of the entrepreneurial resources Caltech offers. Outreach efforts may include one-on-one meetings with faculty or small campus events which showcase the technologies being actively supported by the EIR. Additional responsibilities will include, providing connections to the venture capital community, maintaining a list of experienced entrepreneurs and domain experts to serve as mentors, and serving on the selection committees of the Grubstake and Rothenberg Innovation Initiative (RI2). The EIR will work to build a network of alumni entrepreneurs who can act as mentors, funding sources, and potential leadership to new Caltech start-ups. The EIR will propose and develop additional programs and activities to support entrepreneurship at Caltech and will work with OTTCP to continually enhance commercialization efforts on campus and other duties as requested.
- Masters’ degree with 10 years’ experience in start-up companies as CEO or CTO in the technology sector, such as sensors, electronics, photonics, or semiconductors.
- Founder of multiple technology start-ups, with track record of successful exits (acquisition or IPO).
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required.
- Excellent organizational and time management skills.
- Combination of engineering and business education (e.g., BS in engineering and MBA).
- Experience with bringing engineering products to market from initial pitch through diligence and terms negotiation for a start-up company.
- Experience recruiting leadership to start-up companies.
- Have a network of venture capital contacts and resources with existing relationships.