Job Opening: Director, Zynga.org-NewSchools Ed Tech Accelerator, SF
POSITION: Director, Zynga.org-NewSchools Ed Tech Accelerator
ORGANIZATION: NewSchools Venture Fund Co.Lab in partnership with Zynga.org
LOCATION: San Francisco (Zynga HQ)
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume via-email to Melissa Estrada at hr@....
Do you believe in the power of technology and innovation to solve complex social challenges? Do you see the proliferation of tablets and smartphones and the availability of high bandwidth as an opportunity for students, teachers and parents? Do you believe learning apps and games can be a positive disruption to prevailing teaching and learning modalities perhaps even to our current system of education itself? Do you believe in the spirit and power of entrepreneurs to deliver on the promise of emerging technologies?
Zynga.org and NewSchools Venture Fund recently announced the creation of a new education technology accelerator. Together, we want to help early-stage companies with educational apps and games make their products better. We want to work closely with companies to improve their products' ability to engage and inspire. And we want to help them scale and be sustainable. We believe there is tremendous potential for education innovation through games and we believe games can make a meaningful contribution to learning enrichment and improved outcomes in the classroom and beyond.
Zynga.org and NewSchools are looking for an experienced professional to manage and operate the new accelerator. Qualified candidates will have a strong background in technology and product development, either for consumers and/or for education audiences (i.e., students, teachers, parents). An understanding and a passion for games and game design would also be an asset. Qualified candidates will have experience with start-ups and the process of growing and sustaining early stage enterprises. And they will have experience and/or a deep interest in improving education through technology and innovation. Finally, qualified candidates will be proven leaders who can effectively develop and cultivate relationships with a variety of stakeholders, including advisory board members, team members, volunteers, edtech entrepreneurs, funders, partners, media, and, most importantly, students, teachers, and parents the end users.
Working with the accelerator's advisory committee and senior staff from Zynga.org and NewSchools, the director will be responsible for the overall success and effectiveness of the accelerator and its programs. The director will help develop and implement the overall strategy for the accelerator and will be responsible for implementing it. The director will manage the accelerator's day-to-day operations. The director will play a lead role in the selection of cohort companies and will manage the full lifecycle of each cohort from beginning to end. The director will represent the accelerator to partners and other stakeholders and demonstrate thought leadership on the topics of edtech, learning games, and education innovation.
Key responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, the following activities.
Work with Zynga.org and NewSchools to develop the strategy and operational plan for the accelerator
Manage the day-to-day operations of the accelerator
Lead and manage the selection process for cohort companies (starting with cohort 2)
Hire and mange a small team to operate the accelerator
Report to the advisory committee on a regular basis regarding the work and effectiveness of the accelerator and its programs
Act as the spokesperson and main point of contact for the accelerator; develop and execute a communications strategy
Demonstrate thought leadership on topics such as edtech, learning games, education innovation, etc.
Work with Zynga.org and Zynga Inc. to involve Zynga employees in the work of the accelerator; oversee / coordinate Zynga employee involvement
Act as a the primary support person for cohort companies; ensure they are provided with the services and support they need to succeed
Lead the design and implementation of content programs for the accelerator, including special events
Establish objectives and success measures for the accelerator and its companies; evaluate and report against these objectives and metrics
Ensure technical and operational support is provided to cohort companies
Coordinate playtesting of accelerator products with schools and classrooms/teachers
Work with Zynga.org to support the design and implementation of education-related programs (as appropriate), eg, partnership with SF USD
Work with NewSchools to manage the budget, finances and accounting for the accelerator
Staff and coordinate the activities of the advisory committee in cooperation with NewSchools and Zynga.orgOther duties as assigned
Skills and Qualifications Required
10+ years of experience in edtech or a relatable / translatable field, 5+ years in a leadership role
Understanding of product development and product lifecycle
Understanding of consumer side of technology emphasis on content, apps, games, platforms, social networks, etc.
Experience with incubators
Experience in a leadership role with a start-up, preferably a tech start-up
Strong network in tech and/or education
Deep understanding of the current field of play in education innovation and reform
Understanding / appreciation for the culture of schools, teachers' needs
Familiarity with innovative approaches to learning both in and outside the classroom
Strong knowledge of both public school systems and charter schools
Knowledge of major trends in education, including curriculum and testing trends, funding levels, and other relevant policies
Proven track record establishing and building new programs
Proven track record of developing and executing against strategic plans
Operationally minded and entrepreneurial strong understanding of entrepreneurial values and culture
Ability to develop relationships and get things done in a dynamic, resource scare environment with myriad competing priorities
Willingness to "roll up" sleeves (ie, not a policy strategist or hands-off director)
Proven track record as a collaborator
Strong project management skills
Strong written and spoken communication skills, including an ability to present work to senior executives
Strong interest and commitment to data collection and analysis; measurement and evaluation
Strong sense of the education "market" and what will work and not work from a product perspective
An interest in, if not a passion for games and creating fun and compelling user experiences
Patience (and an understanding and appreciation of startup concepts like useful failures, low hit/win rates, bootstrapping, pivoting, etc.)
Sense of humor
NewSchools Venture Fund is an equal opportunity employer. People of color are encouraged to apply.