University Relations Manager

  • Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Mar 19, 2020
Full Time Communications Human Resources Sales

Job Description

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

Position Summary:

The University Relations Manager will be responsible for developing and executing a results-driven university relations strategy with universities and academic institutions in the LA region and beyond. Successful engagement will result in increased quality and quantity of startups from the LA academic ecosystem, increased technical expertise in LACI’s advisor network, additional benefits for startups in LACI’s programs, and greater overall ecosystem engagement.

What You’ll Do:

  • Startup Recruitment and Pipeline: Work with university tech transfer offices, student entrepreneurship programs, startup competitions, research professors and doctoral students, and relevant academic programs to recruit promising and diverse startups into the LACI programming pipeline.
  • Engage Experts for Curriculum and Technical Review: Identify and execute curriculum collaboration opportunities, including infusing university course content into curriculum for the LACI startup program suite. Identify and recruit technical experts to serve as reviewers in the startup vetting process and mentors to LACI startups.
  • Identify and Manage Opportunities to Benefit LACI Startups: Partner with HR team to identify opportunities to help LACI startups recruit top talent out of universities. Identify and manage high quality interns and capstone/project research opportunities for LACI startups.
  • Partner with LACI Investment Team: Generate relationships with university and student led venture capital and impact-investing initiatives .
  • Facilities and Lab Opportunities: Work with pilots team to identify potential on campus deployment sites for startups. Identify and execute lab or test-bed opportunities that could benefit LACI startups.
  • Ecosystem Engagement: Engage with cleantech-focused groups and research centers to build LACI’s general ecosystem engagement. Identify potential academic institution partnership opportunities with LACI’s development team. Work with career offices to encourage careers in cleantech, especially for traditionally underrepresented students.

Why You’re Right for the Job:

  • You are a connector: You are able to see partnership opportunities and create value for all parties involved. You are a natural at connecting the dots for others.
  • Relationship building is important to you: Networking isn’t just about business, you genuinely enjoy meeting new people at all stages of their careers.
  • Communication is key: You are most excited when you’re sharing an idea or thought with others. You feel comfortable when pitching a mission or program.
  • You are a team player and collaborator: Working with different colleagues and departments comes naturally to you. You can determine other’s needs and how you can problem-solve quickly.
  • Passion for cleantech and startups: You understand the unique needs of a startup. You are able to identify others who value sustainability and are invigorated by startup culture at the same time.


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

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • 3-5 years experience working in or with university ecosystems
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Excellent relationship management and professional communication skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in cleantech and/or startups
  • Ability to navigate complex ecosystems
  • Knowledge of local research universities preferred (ie UCLA, USC, Caltech)

Position Details:

This is a full-time position starting immediately. LACI operates out of the La Kretz Innovation Campus, 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 remote or from your home office, this is an in-house only position.


Capital Investment  

Experience level

Mid Level  


11-50 employees  

Organization type

Nonprofit,   Investor / Funder  

Role Type


Will sponsor Visa