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Executive Director of Venture Development

Indiana Wesleyan University
Fort Wayne, IN, Indianapolis, IN, Kokomo, IN

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Executive Administration Jobs
C-Level & Executive Directors
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Job no: 493019
Work type: Administrative (Full Time)
Location: Fort Wayne, IN, Indianapolis, IN, Kokomo, IN
Categories: Administrative/Professional, Other

Job Title: Executive Director of Venture Development

Reporting Relationship: Vice President for Learner Success & Regional Workforce Engagement

Unit: National & Global

Department: Regional Ventures & Operations

Campus Location: This position could work from either our Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, or Kokomo education centers.

Summary of Position: The Executive Director of Venture Development is critical to the success of planning and implementing new regional ventures that emerge from collaborations with strategic community partners, alumni, and institutional leaders. The Executive Director will serve as the leader for emerging endeavors within their region to address regional needs through strong community and academic partnerships. This leader will encourage growth in student enrollment, establish new programming, manage an agile team, and build robust business models.

The Executive Director will lead and develop the broader Venture Development team to support new ventures as they become viable initiatives and will serve on the Vice President’s executive team charged with making high level decisions for the division.

The Executive Director will be responsible for providing market analysis of the regional economic indicators and trends, collecting data to determine program viability and growth, and connecting with key community organizations and leaders in collaboration with IWU N&G programs such as Talent Ladder and the Bridge Initiative. He/she will develop a collaborative team approach to support the accomplishment of key university goals and reaching important financial indicators. A background in leadership, business development, entrepreneurship, and/or workforce development is preferred, along with a desire to build innovative, impactful educational models and robust community engagement.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Explore venture and partnership opportunities
    • Serve as the site leader for the educational center's regional ventures, responsible for development and growth of new regional initiatives and growth of pipelines into academic programs
    • Cultivate strategic community presence
    • Develop partnerships and collaborators in community and across IWU academic programs
    • Serve as a key player in partner development for the regions. Be consistently present within the region to build relationships with city, region, and state entities that support the development of ventures that drive enrollment growth
    • Regularly meeting with influential alums in the regions
    • Serve as a convener of local events and opportunities in the region to drive awareness of programs, develop new opportunities, and cultivate an environment where IWU's education center becomes a learning hub for the region
  • Shape new projects and initiatives
    • Collaborate with internal and external partners including academics, workforce development, alumni, and business leaders to shape potential venture and learning opportunities
    • Based on partnerships, opportunities, IWU's existing programs, and community needs, use a combination of intuition and data to make business case for new project pilots
    • Write and communicate with clarity
  • Manage launch and delivery of new projects
    • Provide project leadership and agile team management for new regional initiatives, ensuring significant regular progress, measuring success, and communicating updates to the Vice President and Regional Ventures leadership team
    • Coordinate across departments to launch new ventures and drive enrollment through programs and partnerships
    • Serve as a part of the overall ventures team to execute on selected broader ventures initiatives (typically one broader project per cycle)
  • Encourage local engagement at regional education center
    • Serve as a convener of local events and opportunities in the region, cultivating an environment where IWU's education center becomes a learning hub for the region
  • Leadership of Overall Regional Venture Strategy and Team
    • Oversee Directors of Venture Development and Director of Lifelong Learning & Engagement, leading regular check-ins, overseeing strategy, and reporting regularly on progress toward agreed KPIs
    • Coordinate and prioritize venture projects, ensuring fit with organizational priorities and strategy
    • Balance director project portfolios to ensure progress on work that makes a difference
    • Work with VP and Chancellor to identify and deliver on strategic priorities
    • Serve as a leader in workforce development and new venture development
    • Ensure team has a regular cadence of execution - scaling projects so they can be tested quickly while scoping to be scaled up
    • Support research and development grants for funding regional initiatives
    • Actively build relationships with foundations and granting agencies
    • Drive the communication and outreach efforts to inform various constituents of the changes occurring in the regional sites
    • In consultation with the appropriate budget officer, develop and manage the operating budget for the departments within the Executive Director’s areas of responsibility
    • Provide reports as requested to the administration on relevant issues and statistics related to regional growth and facilities
    • Execute need-assessments and data analysis for the continuous improvement of on-going regional efforts
    • Work in conjunction with the alumni office and IWU's Talent Ladder to involve a wide array of constituents in programming throughout the region
    • If based outside of Indianapolis, travel to Indianapolis monthly for ventures collaboration meetings
    • Demonstrate a Christian worldview and upholds the University's Christ-centered mission in interactions with students, faculty, and staff
    • Perform other duties as assigned

Qualifications: According to Indiana Wesleyan University employment policy all employees must possess a strong Christian commitment and adhere to the standards outlined in the IWU Community Lifestyle Statement.


  • Bachelor's degree required, Master's degree preferred


  • Five to seven (5-7) years of significant leadership experience in higher education, organizational leadership, business development, or entrepreneurial ventures
  • Extensive experience in managing change and pivoting to alternative solutions to problems when they emerge
  • Demonstrated skills in team building and collaborative leadership.
  • Record of strong oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Leadership experience including responsibility for operational functions in a complex organization
  • Ability to work under strict deadlines with a high degree of urgency and accuracy
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and efficiently manage operational and capital budgets

Required Skills

  • Display ability to execute fast program growth
  • Ability to lead a team of faculty, staff, and community partners
  • Excellent organizational and planning skills
  • Strong ability to prioritize tasks, work autonomously, and produce results quickly
  • Computer literate
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks at one time and to execute ambiguous assignments
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills used to build an array of partners
  • Strong writing ability including grant and report writing
  • Fast learner and inquisitive

Diversity Statement

IWU commits to create a community that reflects kingdom diversity. We will foster an intentional environment that exhibits honor, respect, and dignity. Acknowledging visible or invisible differences, our community authentically values each member’s earthly and eternal worth. We refute ignorance and isolation and embrace deliberate and courageous engagement.


As a religious educational institution operating under the auspices of The Wesleyan Church, Indiana Wesleyan University is permitted and reserves the right to prefer employees on the basis of religion (42 U.S.C., Sections 2000e-1 and 2000e-2).

The above job description is meant to describe the general nature and level of work being performed; it is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required for the position. Employees will be required to follow other job-related instructions and to perform other job-related duties requested by their supervisor in compliance with Federal and State Laws.

Advertised: 02 Jun 2023 US Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: 20 Oct 2023 US Eastern Daylight Time


A vision that began over 100 years ago has taken full form as today's Indiana Wesleyan University – a Christian comprehensive university committed to liberal arts and professional education.

IWU is an energized community. Its spiritually rich learning environment, academic commitment and caring instruction develop in students the knowledge, skills and disposition to change the world for Jesus Christ.

The following profile information will help you know a little more about IWU:

  • The Indiana Wesleyan University Story is one of faithfulness, remarkable growth, innovation, and the joyful expectation of God's next chapter for the University.
  • IWU was initially accredited in 1966 by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has maintained its Accreditation since then. Other agencies and associations also accredit individual IWU programs.
  • IWU is committed to several Distinctives, ranging from a Christ-centered educational experience to a commitment to comprehensive student support.
  • We are resolute in upholding our Mission and Values, including our mission to be a Christ-centered academic community committed to developing students in character, scholarship and leadership.
  • Our Academic Structure encourages innovation in education and honors academic achievements by students and faculty alike.
  • IWU is an institution of The Wesleyan Church, a worldwide body of evangelical Protestant believers with its roots in John Wesley's Methodism.

Indiana Wesleyan University is the largest member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and one of the largest employers in Grant County, Indiana.

Nearly 3,000 students are enrolled in traditional programs on the University’s 350 acre residential campus in Marion, Indiana. Most buildings on the Marion campus have been built in the past 25 years, so students live and learn in a visually striking environment with well-appointed residence halls and academic facilities, all on a campus that is only an hour away from both Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.

IWU-Marion offers more than 80 undergraduate degrees and an expanding list of graduate degree programs to residential students representing more than 80 Christian denominations and 10 foreign countries.

More than 8,000 adult learners attend classes through IWU-National & Global online or at education centers in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. IWU-National & Global offers over 100 degree programs at the associate's, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.

Wesley Seminary, founded in 2009, is headquartered on the Marion, Indiana, campus of IWU. Wesley Seminary offers a practical online path for working ministers to obtain a graduate- or doctoral-level degree while applying weekly knowledge to their local ministry contexts.

Company info
4201 S Washington Street
United States

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