Senior Vice President, Unlocking Innovation (Incubation Services)

Senior Vice President, Unlocking Innovation (Incubation Services)

Employer: Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)
Category: Development
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: Downtown Los Angeles


About LACI

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is a private non-profit organization creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation (through working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies), transforming markets (through partnerships in transportation, energy and sustainable cities) and enhancing communities (through workforce development, pilots and other programs). Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI is recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. In the past six years, LACI has helped 73 portfolio companies raise $184M in funding, $220M in revenue, create 1,700 jobs, and deliver more than $379M in long term economic value. Learn more at laci.org.

Position Summary

The Senior Vice President (SVP), Unlocking Innovation is a key member of the LACI Leadership Team, reporting directly to the CEO, and is responsible for the overall quality and success of LACI’s foundational program to provide incubation services for our portfolio of cleantech startups. This SVP will manage and motivate a talented team of staff and contractors supporting the commercialization of these startups to drive real impact in creating an inclusive, green economy. In addition, the SVP will draw from their expertise, experience and relationships in the startup world and collaborate with other leaders across the organization to align and maximize value for the portfolio companies we serve.

What You’ll Do

  • Take our incubation services to the next level: Develop and drive organizational clarity around essential priorities and goals for the Unlocking Innovation team that stem from big-picture objective to provide excellent recruitment, onboarding, service, and consistent portfolio-wide progress for our startups to succeed. This includes our core startup incubation program for Portfolio Companies, our lighter touch Innovators program, the CTO West acceleration program, and local pilot business accelerator program
  • Set the stage for internal team to succeed in their roles and goals: Lead, oversee and support a diverse and talented team of staff and consultants, including our Executives in Residence, maximizing on strengths and clearing obstacles along their path in order to maximize success of portfolio companies and LACI overall.
  • Support coaching and mentoring our startup companies to succeed: Manage, guide and support the Executives in Residence within your team while being prepared to also play the role of coach, mentor and confidant for our startup founders and teams, calling on your and/or your team's expertise, experience and network to guide startups through the inevitable ups and downs of entrepreneurship
  • Steward finances, resources and programs: Prepare and manage multi-million dollar budgets, manage government contracts, assist with proposal preparation and grant writing, and steward services and programs through active involvement.
  • Represent LACI and foster relationships to benefit community as a whole: Partner with the CEO and other SVPs to represent LACI with internal and external constituency groups, including startups, investors, government, corporations and other stakeholders on a national and international level.
  • Build, strengthen and measure impact of startups to align with LACI's values-driven culture: Support, advance, and measure startup impact – including environmental, diversity, gender, equity and community impact – through clear measurement and accountability structures to enhance culture within companies, while ensuring alignment with LACI’s mission and values.

Why You’re Right for the Job

  • You have a highly collaborative and inclusive approach to leadership. You naturally build strong relationships and establish credibility with a wide-range of leaders and employees across the organization as a trusted colleague and mentor.  
  • You are an exceptional communicator. You know how to synthesize and translate complex information for a broad spectrum of audiences, from technologists and engineers, to investors, to cross collaborative team members.
  • You are adaptable, strategic and agile. You naturally anticipate future consequences and trends, and incorporate them into the organizational plan, and when things (inevitably) don’t go according to plan -- you know how to roll with the punches.
  • You get start-ups. It might be another world to some people, but it’s your world and you speak the language. Your depth of experience and relationships with entrepreneurs, founders and investors position you well to support a diverse group of companies and entrepreneurs.
  • You’re a master planner and capacity builder. You know how to operationalize program strategy and develop the plans, processes and people to execute, ensuring the department runs smoothly and goals are met.
  • You are a coach, an ear, and a mentor for startups and LACI staff.


Basically, we want to know you can get the job done. This means you have:

  • 10+ years management and leadership experience with demonstrated progressive responsibilities;
  • Passionate about LACI's mission and able to promote and communicate the mission and values to stakeholders;
  • Must work from Downtown LA office with some travel required.

Position Details

This is a full-time, permanent position, starting immediately. LACI operates out of the La Kretz Innovation Campus, located in the bustling Downtown LA Arts District. Since we are rapidly growing, you will be getting in on the ground floor at LACI, with the opportunity to evolve with us and shape your future here.

In addition to working on a campus with other innovators, we offer industry competitive benefits including: paid holidays, vacation/sick time, 401(k) plan, and paid parking. We also support alternative transportation with a Metro pass for every employee. Although we trust that you can do amazing work remotely or from your home office, this is an in-house only position.

LACI is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) and committed to building a more inclusive ecosystem that integrates women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups into the cleantech sector and the overall tech industry.  We strongly encourage applications from qualified applicants and members of underrepresented groups. The information collected from the application helps us ensure that we are meeting our goal of an equitable and diverse campus and community.