The Executive Director is the chief executive of and responsible for managing the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator. The primary responsibilities entail program execution, mentor and Entrepreneur in Residence management. A close but secondary focus is managing the following connections: startups to mentors, corporate to ecosystem partners, consumer and industry groups to The Accelerator.

Listed below are fundamental job duties that an individual who holds this position must be able to perform with or without assistance of a reasonable accommodation. This is not a comprehensive list.


  • Conduct and manage selection process to enroll startups to the program.
  • Develop and oversee program timeline, event and curriculum.
  • Provide lead support to entrepreneurs in residence.
  • Coach and counsel mentors in the program.
  • Continually evolve the mentor program to fit current and future needs.
  • Support, nurture and foster mentor relationships among new and existing mentors.
  • Network and market The Accelerator to help the organization evolve in the startup ecosystem.
  • Identify and maintain corporate and public-sector partnerships.
  • Maintain and grow investor participation in The Accelerator.
  • Solicit and use feedback from startups, alumni, mentors, corporate partners and the ecosystem to help evolve the program and The Accelerator.
  • Manage the operating company budget and regular reporting to the board.
  • Maintain current and strong understanding of how startups operate and grow.
  • Connect to the Des Moines/Iowa startup ecosystem.
  • Develop and maintain experience in Agile or lean methodologies.
  • Demonstrate project management skills with the startup teams and Accelerator program.
  • Mentor, coach and lead the startup teams and individuals.
  • Present at industry events and conferences.
  • Write and present via blogs and professional and social networks.
  • Make strategic plans and recommendations to further the impact of The Accelerator.
  • Establish and maintain vendor relationships.


  • Experience managing people and complex processes within an organization.
  • Ability to coordinate people and resources required to accomplish objectives without use of supervisory authority.
  • High degree of respect for information exposed to in this position and the need to protect that information and keep it confidential.
  • Ability to speak to groups and individuals with a wide variety of communication skills, interests and needs.
  • High degree of enthusiasm for the startup community and connecting people within that community.
  • Comfortable with technology.
  • Work and communicate with internal and external clients, partners and investors to meet their needs in a polite, courteous and cooperative manner.
  • Display a high level of initiative, effort and commitment toward completing goals efficiently. Demonstrate responsible behavior and attention to detail.
  • Sufficient stability to respond to intensely emotional reactions, to adjust to work pressures, change or difficult situations without being negatively impacted by stress.
  • Ability to conceptualize, draft, edit and finalize a variety of proposals and strategic plans.
  • Basic understanding of business evaluation/analysis, including financial and operational elements.


  1. Education/Experience: Bachelor’s degree (preferably in business administration or related degree) plus minimum of five years of business experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience. Experience in a startup business is preferred.
  2. Direct experience in a startup/high-growth company.
  3. Understanding of startup funding ecosystem.
  4. Certifications, Licenses and Other Registrations: Valid driver’s license.
  5. Supervisory Responsibilities: Must possess the supervisory skills and experience to effectively lead and manage large and small groups.
  6. Computer/Office Skills: Strong proficiency in modern web-based communications, project management, task management, presentation and other applications utilized by startup companies. Significant knowledge of Microsoft Office applications, including Word and PowerPoint.
  7. Communications and Writing Skills: Ability to effectively respond verbally and/or in writing to stakeholders of the Accelerator and members of the business community. Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations to public groups and/or boards of directors.
  8. Mathematical Skills: Ability to work with mathematical concepts.
  9. Reasoning Ability: Ability to read, analyze and interpret complex documents. Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions.
  10. Other Skills and Attributes: Strong language skills required in individual situations as well as in small and large group settings. Must appear professional at all times. Must also possess exceptional time management skills and the ability to multi-task.

* Resumes can be emailed directly to Mike Colwell at