Now Hiring: Executive Director, Kentucky Commercialization Ventures

Reports To: President / CEO, KSTC


Job Overview: Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC) (, a statewide independent and innovative 501(c)(3) non-profit leader in developing and managing creative initiatives in education, entrepreneurship, disruptive R&D, and economic competitiveness, seeks an Executive Director for the Kentucky Commercialization Ventures program.


The mission of Kentucky Commercialization Ventures (KCV) is to provide commercialization services and intellectual property protection resources to all of Kentucky’s regional post-secondary institutions (including but not limited to Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, and campuses and colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) system - together the “Participating Institutions”), working in partnership with and leveraging the strong nucleus for such services and culture at our two R1 universities (University of Kentucky and University of Louisville), and engaging the other entrepreneurial programs of KSTC to rapidly network, develop and commercialize the research performed at these Participating Institutions. The KCV initiative also organizes programs designed to enhance knowledge-based startups’ access to legal support, specifically, the Kentucky Intellectual Property Alliance (KYIPA) and partnership with Kentucky’s law schools.


The Executive Director must have strong abilities to influence, collaborate, build culture and lead the Participating Institutions related to commercialization and startup creation culture and capabilities, whereas these Institutions have different research strengths, different sizes and budgets and unique management structures, metrics and intellectual property policies. They all share a common goal of accelerating the collective power of Kentucky’s post-secondary institutions and their impact on the innovation competitiveness of our state and nation.


The Executive Director will organize and lead the KCV program across the Participating Institutions, including oversight of KCV team members, projects, budget and reporting. Responsibilities will be overall leadership and management of KCV services and initiatives, including marketing, education, outreach and coordination of engagement across Participating Institutions and their stakeholders. The Executive Director will develop and execute process management and have ultimate decision-making related to invention market assessment, patent filing and prosecution, technology marketing, commercialization and licensing negotiations, new venture creation, and other participation in KCV programs.


Direct oversight and reporting responsibility is expected to include the KCV Operations Manager, and shared oversight of two KCV Licensing & New Ventures Managers (each based at University of Kentucky and University of Louisville, respectively).


Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Foster ongoing and mutually beneficial relationships with relevant stakeholders at Participating Institutions, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville in order to design, build, implement, promote, and manage the KCV mission to those institutions’ faculty, staff and students, as applicable, with an specific focus on commercialization education and culture building initiatives and programs offered to Participating Institutions on a regular basis.

  • Design processes and ensure effective implementation and review of policies and procedures at Participating Institutions to incentivize inventor participation in and effectively build a pipeline for supporting university commercialization activities.

  • Develop, oversee and implement best-practice and efficient pathways to connect clients (faculty, staff and students at Participating Institutions, and the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville as applicable) to KCV services and programs.

  • Oversee, execute and optimize the current KCV programs, including but not limited to: o The Kentucky Intellectual Property Alliance (KYIPA) o The KCV Mentors in Residence Program

    • The KCV Growth, Opportunity, and Learning (GOAL) program o The KCV Fellows Program

    • The KCV Internship Program (in development)  

    • The KCV IMPACT Pitch Competition (in development)

    • Partnership with/between Kentucky’s law schools for the implementation of startupserving legal clinics (in development)

while also regularly assessing the needs and best practices regarding new programs and initiatives.

  • Oversee and execute the KCV commercialization and intellectual property support services, for which duties include but are not limited to:

    • Oversee effective and efficient practices and mechanisms for receipt, evaluation, and relevant protection of intellectual property for inventions at Participating Institutions.

    • Oversee and monitor processes to commercialize inventions through engaging industry partners and small and medium enterprises for license execution or other technology transfer partnerships and leveraging existing programs in Kentucky to create start-up ventures spinning out of Participating Institutions.

    • Establish processes to foster collaboration between institutions in the development and commercialization of inventions.

    • Evaluate and place new filings with IP legal service providers to support idea protection as requested by and approved for Participating Institutions.

  • Develop and pursue additional streams of revenue from federal, state, academic and private sources.

  • Evaluate and contribute to a set of metrics that measure the effectiveness of the KCV program.

  • In partnership with the KSTC Marketing Director, design and implement a marketing and public relations program for KCV which includes:

    • Representing KCV at networking, educational, and other events in the Kentucky legal and entrepreneurial ecosystems. o Representing KCV to state and county leadership, including elected representatives

    • Representing KCV and Kentucky to national technology commercialization communities

    • A website, social media and press releases

  • Assist KSTC leadership in other ways deemed central to the overall development and ongoing success of operations.


Skills & Experience:

  • Required: Master’s degree or other terminal degree

  • Required: Minimum five years of relevant experience

  • Required: Must be authorized to work in the United States • Required: Must be eligible to participate in federal and state funding mechanisms

  • Preferred: Experience in a knowledge transfer or technology transfer office

  • Preferred: Network connections in the statewide Kentucky innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem


Salary: $120K to $130K/year + full benefits package, including paid leave, health, dental, eyecare and life insurance, and retirement benefits.


Location: The position will be based in Kentucky, with preference to Lexington or Louisville. Due to the statewide nature of the job, regular travel to stakeholder locations, including Frankfort and university locations in Lexington, Louisville, Bowling Green, Richmond, Covington, Morehead, and Murray.


KSTC is an equal opportunity employer and offers a competitive salary and benefits package. To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter with salary requirements through Indeed. Applications are now being accepted and will be processed as they are received, with screening for interviews beginning immediately.