What is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program?
Since its inception, Startup San Diego has been an organization by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program (EIR) is a year-long residency for local serial entrepreneurs to reside at the epicenter of all things startups in San Diego as they start or scale their companies. EIRs advise Startup San Diego on facilitating strategic growth and support with the execution of core nonprofit programmatic competencies including the Convergence Conference, San Diego Startup Week, 1st Mondays, and the Annual Startup San Diego Incubator.
About the Experience
EIRs are immersed into the ecosystem and have an opportunity to directly impact the future of Startup San Diego. We are looking for forward-thinking minds to:
- Work closely with the Startup San Diego Executive Director, Fellows, & Board of Directors
- Assist in setting Startup San Diego’s near term strategic priorities
- Advise on trending topics of interest in the startup ecosystem
- Suggest engaging content and speakers for community & signature events
- Serve as track/content captains for signature events
- Mentor early-stage entrepreneurs
- Collaborate on initiatives to connect SD founders and resources
- Promote and attend Startup San Diego’s signature events
- Moderate panel discussions and/or lead workshops
- Contribute to other projects/events as requested
The Startup San Diego Entrepreneur-in-Residence program is one of the most selective and prestigious programs for entrepreneurs looking to build community, grow an organization, and get connected to the most influential members of the San Diego startup ecosystem. Startup SD EIRs are organized across our programmatic competencies (Convergence Conference, San Diego Startup Week, 1st Mondays, and Annual Startup San Diego Incubator) but work together, leveraging individual expertise to ensure the success of internal targeted outcomes.
Limited entrepreneurs are chosen each year and given the mission of significantly improving and growing the San Diego innovation ecosystem. Work with the best, learn from the best, build with the best!
Benefits & Perks
We have a killer small but mighty team, Board of Directors, and Board Alumni who will be invested in your entrepreneurial growth. As an EIR, you will:
- Meet other entrepreneurs and investors in SD
- Connect and build meaningful relationships with Startup San Diego Board Members, key community leaders, and established partners
- Serve as a critical thought leader on the direction of the nonprofit and our signature events and programs aka. San Diego Startup Week
- Speak/moderate/emcee content during events & programs
- Receive access to Co-working space at Downtown Works
- And most importantly, be part of building the ecosystem you want to be a part of!
Purpose & Impact
We believe in fostering a collaborative and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem that is rooted in community, collaboration, and giving back. We are committed to making the culture of giving a fundamental part of how San Diego does business. The EIR program is Startup San Diego’s vehicle for achieving this community ethos.
On an annual basis, we select, cultivate, and invest in the growth of EIRs during their residencies in exchange for their investment of time and energy in helping to strategically scale our 501(c)3 nonprofit.
We know that our EIRs will go-on to have successful entrepreneurial journeys in our ecosystem, completing the life cycle from curious, committed, to crushing it. It is our goal that this program serve as a catalyst to continue to pass along this give-back mentality at every step of their way–to their co-founders, their peers, their future employees, their future founder mentees, and future companies they someday invest in.
It is our hope that the Startup San Diego Executive-in-Residence Program serves as the pebble in the pond, eventually yielding a community ethos that is truly innate to our region’s startup ecosystem.
Who Should Apply?
We are looking for entrepreneurs to complement the small team’s many superpowers to help us continue to pivot and respond to all the world’s challenges while taking Startup San Diego to new heights.
Our Executive Director, Alexa-Rae Navarro, came to the organization in December of 2019 just in time for the pandemic wave. For the last eight years she has worked at the intersection of the tech, corporate, education, non-profit, and public sectors focused on building and scaling entrepreneurship programming and community.
The ideal candidate:
- Has 5-10 hours of volunteer support bandwidth per week (This definitely ebbs and flows based on our programs and events, but the expectation is that folks are available for this timeframe on a weekly basis)
- One year of experience as a founder or one of the first five employees at a company
- Plans to start a startup (or currently starting one)
- Embraces diversity
- Has a passion for inclusive community and bringing people together
- Is a generalist with specializations such as marketing/communications, sales/BD, community building, customer success, event planning, or project management
- Tech savvy (ideally knows how to operate our tools ie. Slack, Hubspot, Mailchimp, Canva, Google Suite, etc.)
- Has a “Roll-up your sleeves-no task too big or too small” attitude; A majority of administrative tasks and heavy lifting for events and programs are executed by internal staff, contractual support and fellows, however, EIRs will need to be comfortable with being a “doer” and executing projects/tasks as needed
- Loves experimentation and isn’t afraid to throw away hours of work if there’s a better way to do something and definitely not afraid to fail
- Collaborative team player and low ego
- Comfortable speaking in front of crowds and representing our mission + values to the community
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