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Head of Biotech and Life Science Ecosystem Development

The Head of Biotech & Life Science Ecosystem Development is a team member of Innovation Quarter (iQ), in partnership with the Economic Development Department at Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. (GWSI). The purpose of this leadership role is to promote Winston Salem as the nucleus and gateway to access knowledge and resources in biotech and life sciences in Innovation Quarter and to develop opportunities for new life science companies to enter Forsyth County, with an emphasis in our identified focus areas, as noted below under position functions. (e.g., regenerative medicine, population health-value health transformation, healthy aging) The Head of Biotech & Life Science Ecosystem Development will contribute to the development and implementation of strategies for relevant industry recruitment, in coordination with Innovation Quarter and Greater Winston Salem, Inc. economic development goals and strategic plan. This person will collaborate and work closely with team members at Atrium Health and Wake Forest Baptist (AHWFB).

Qualifications & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, economics, urban planning, or life science related fields required. Graduate Degree preferred. Post professional health sciences credentials a plus.
  • At least three years of business, economic development, project management experience, preferably in a healthcare or life science related organization. Or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Familiarity with academic and healthcare institutions, startup community, life science industry, economic development a preference. 
  • Technical understanding of the life sciences and strong interpersonal skills to build credibility with companies and effectively connect with clients, projects and partners. Confidence in interacting with key prospects and C-level executives. 
  • Substantial experience in strategic planning, due diligence, program development, customer relationship management, operations and change management.
  • Previous experience in biotech/life sciences, economic development, business development or related field ideal.
Industry knowledge
  • Working knowledge and comfort communicating about science and business fundamentals of healthcare, biotechnology, and life science.
  • Ability to assess and oversee a portfolio of opportunities including concept testing, selection of products for further development, prototyping, scale-up planning and economic model development.
  • Strong facilitation, consultation and convening skills and experience. Prior project management expertise and proven success is preferred. 
  • Intermediate to advanced computer skills including Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Salesforce and other virtual meeting platforms, and various real estate software packages. 
  • Ability to professionally communicate in verbal and written form, exhibit exemplary presentation skills, along with strong interpersonal skills. 
  • Outstanding sense for spotting new business opportunities.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to build trust and productive relationships.
  • Ability to work effectively with a diverse group of stakeholders including business executives, site consultants, economic development allies, and business partners/employers. 
  • Ability to interact with researchers and scientists from Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and the Atrium Health enterprise.
  • Entrepreneurial approach to problem solving with strong process management skills and critical thinking abilities.
  • Excellent time management skills including managing multiple tasks and priorities; attention to detail; adaptability; dependability. 
  • Ability to display leadership behavior, integrity, and professionalism in the workplace and while representing the organization. 
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally as required. 

  • Liaison and advocate of internal and external partners
  • Professional representative of the institution
  • Innovative and problem-solving abilities
  • Emotional intelligence (relationship building)
  • Ability to manage projects and assets
  • Self-driven and growth-oriented mindset
  • General understanding of facilities planning and real estate development
  • General understanding of healthcare, biotech, and life sciences

Essential Functions
  • In appropriate partnership with Innovation Quarter and Greater Winston Salem Inc. and the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist (AH WFB) system innovation and academic innovation teams, create new connections and partnerships in regenerative medication and biotech/life sciences with areas of focus in Population Health and Value-Health Transformation, Healthy Aging, Virtual Health, Personalized Care & Precision Medicine, Learning & Experiential Systems. With a commitment to a collaboration and alignment, directly manage these opportunities when required and warranted by the size of the business.
  • Work collaboratively as part of the Innovation Quarter and Greater Winston Salem Inc. leadership teams with external stakeholders to build a business & partnership network.
  • Promote the translation of R&D into practice through complementary partnerships. (e.g., Integrated Research Organizations)
  • Cultivate and actively maintain meaningful professional relationships with life science specific economic development stakeholders and allies, site consultants, real estate brokers as well as established and prospective businesses, through various forms of regular contact and communication and partner with the SVP of Economic Development, Greater Winston Salem, Inc.
  • Develop, implement, and lead strategic goals and business creation for biotech and life sciences, thus facilitating ecosystem development.
  • Represent iQ and GWSI as part of external advisory committees, panels and relevant events at the local, regional, state and national levels.

Biotech/Life Sciences Business Development
(Real estate and new partnerships)
  • Become familiar with the region’s marketable assets specifically within AH WFB in life science, including local leadership, Innovation Quarter, and real estate opportunities to showcase to potential leads and entrants into the community.
  • Establish connections with new and prospective partners that will grow the biotech and life sciences ecosystem in Winston Salem with the goal to locate business operations and research in the Innovation Quarter.
  • Partner with iQ development teams to enhance and grow areas building a strategic vision for real estate expansion that will support the recruitment of future industry partners tenants.

Biotech/Life Sciences Knowledge
  • Maintain knowledge of biotech and life science opportunities by attending relevant conferences, tradeshows, marketing missions, and site consultant visits.

Economic Development
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of community outreach that align with goals and objectives of business and economic development in Winston Salem.
  • As part of ensuring our evolving innovation eco-system, liaise with community entrepreneurial stakeholders to build an effective entrepreneurial ecosystem network.

Relationship Management
  • Drive positive client experiences and perceptions of Winston-Salem and its life science assets to maximize jobs and investment via expansion and attraction of life science companies. 

  • Monitor and measure project activity and pipeline through entry into a Customer relationship management system. (CRM)
  • Identification, prioritization, and evolvement of key areas of focus as part of a sustainable innovation Quarter Labs (iQ Labs) ecosystem.
  • Support organizational initiatives as needed, including conducting research, determining fiscal/economic impacts of projects, and preparing and delivering high-level correspondence and presentations.
  • Optimize asset mapping through a combination of collaboration with multiple stakeholders internally (GWSI, IQ), as well as through external connections from the biotech/life sciences ecosystem, community & global business partners, academic and investor relationships.
  • Lead the development and manage all applicable processes to evaluate and assess key solutions that bring value to Greater Winston Salem, Inc., the Innovation Quarter, its external partners and the local, Regional, State and National communities/ stages.

Innovation Quarter
Innovation Quarter a fast-developing mixed-use innovation district located in downtown Winston-Salem, NC, with a mission to drive economic growth and build vibrant community. The Innovation Quarter is an enterprise of Wake Forest Baptist Health, in collaboration with private developers, the City of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.
As the heart of the region’s innovation ecosystem, the Innovation Quarter is home to more than 90 companies in advanced digital analytics, clinical research, regenerative medicine and more. In addition to the 3,600+ people working here, the Innovation Quarter is home to more than 1,400 degree-seeking students. Five different academic institutions have a presence here along with 1,100 residential units, making this a true “Live, Work, Learn, Play” community.
Innovation Quarter is also a founding member of the Global Institute of Innovation Districts (GIID), which recently recognized iQ as a “Best Practice for Creating Integrated Places.”

Greater Winston Salem, Inc.
Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. works to develop a vibrant, thriving community that’s good for business growth and sustainability. With focus areas in economic development, talent recruitment and retention, career-readiness, and advocacy, GWSI initiatives are designed to help business and community grow.
Growing the economic prosperity of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County has been a part of GWSI history for more than 135 years. Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. was built on the legacy of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce and Winston-Salem Business, Inc.

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist is a pre-eminent academic health system based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and part of Atrium Health Enterprise. Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s two main components are an integrated clinical system – anchored by Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, an 885-bed tertiary-care hospital in Winston-Salem – that includes Brenner Children’s Hospital, five community hospitals, more than 300 primary and specialty care locations and more than 2,700 physicians; and Wake Forest School of Medicine, the academic core of Atrium Health Enterprise and a recognized leader in experiential medical education and groundbreaking research that includes Wake Forest Innovations, a commercialization enterprise focused on advancing health care through new medical technologies and biomedical discovery.