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Hiring Announcement:
The John Chambers College of Business and Economics seeks an Inaugural Executive Director for its newly formed Accelerator Program

On November 9th, 2018, West Virginia University (WVU) announced the naming of the College of Business and Economics in honor of John Chambers, former CISCO’s CEO and Chairman. At the same time the effort to align resources across WVU to propel entrepreneurship and innovation with the objective of making West Virginia a Start-Up State was introduced. The unveiled plans pointed towards having a new coordinated leadership structure that would expand the responsibilities of Dr. Javier Reyes, the Milan Puskar Dean for the Chambers College of Business, to coordinate efforts as the newly appointed Vice President for Start-Up West Virginia.  

The first step in the roadmap was to create the Start-Up Engine housed in the John Chambers College of Business and Economics and establish within it an accelerator program. The mission of the accelerator program is to propel innovative enterprises and high potential research to the next level through intense and targeted coaching, education and financial resources. Forming the right setup for start-ups to not only be mined and developed from within the research and innovation enterprise of WVU, but from across state of West Virginia, the Appalachian region, the nation and the world. 

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Propelling entrepreneurship in order to make West Virginia a “Start-up State” is not only the paramount mission of the WVU Start-up Engine and the accelerator program it houses, but it is an effort that is supported by a robust network across WVU, it is empowered by corporate networks with interests in the state, and includes the vision of agencies across state government and the Congressional Delegation of West Virginia in Washington D.C. It is also a vision that carries the financial support of John Chambers and Huntington Bank. Together they have committed over $7 million for the initial operating and seed funding to support the Start-Up Engine and the programs it houses.

As such, West Virginia University is seeking a proven leader to serve as the Inaugural Executive Director of the Accelerator Program housed in the West Virginia University Start-Up Engine at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics.   

The incumbent will be the key leader in driving the on-going development and growth of the program. The successful candidate must embody the values of West Virginia University, be able to leverage the extensive Mountaineer network and work with the university leadership to execute on the mission. The institution is seeking an individual that cannot only visualize the successful future of the accelerator program, but that can inspire others to believe in the future of West Virginia as a Start-Up State and can see the accelerator program as an integral part of the engine of innovation empowered by WVU. 

WVU and the State of West Virginia have a strong and robust network of successful and experienced entrepreneurs, innovators, and corporate leaders, the likes of John Chambers, Ray Lane, Brad Smith, and Ken Kendrick, to name a few. It is imperative that the inaugural Executive Director of the Accelerator Program cannot only inspire such energetic minds and leaders, but that can also work closely with them and others like them as they are some of the many passionate individuals that are keenly interested in moving West Virginia forward.

Select Duties of the Executive Director

Leading an entrepreneurial ecosystem and demonstrating a passion for driving innovation forward will be paramount to the success of the Executive Director.  Additional critical aspects to the success of this position will be: to be able work closely with and foster relationships with key partners ranging from corporate, investor, university, government, and economic development agencies; oversee events directed towards the success of the accelerator; work closely with the President and Provost’s office to execute the mission of and vision of the university; understand and leverage the Mountaineer network; and coordinate with state and nationwide entrepreneurial ecosystems with a focus on advancing West Virginia’s place in the innovation landscape. 

A full job description can be found at:


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