The Program Manager plays a vital role in the success of University City Science Center's Commercialization programs, ensuring their smooth execution, impact, and alignment with organizational goals.
The Program Manager will oversee all aspects of program planning: implementation, evaluation, and collaborating with diverse stakeholders and leading cross-functional teams. This strategic and results-oriented position requires a seasoned professional with expertise in program management, facilitation, event planning, budget management, and effective communication.
The Commercialization team offers key programming to startups and entrepreneurs. The Program Manager, Commercialization will primarily provide operational management of the Science Center’s entrepreneurial commercialization programs and new venture activities. The Program Manager will ensure the programs are run with quality and efficiency, while maintaining participant engagement and successful program completion. The Program Manager works closely with Commercialization team members, along with internal and external stakeholders to manage programs within approved budgets and meet timelines and benchmarks for assigned programs and projects.
The Program Manager’s primary responsibilities include program planning and coordination, program execution and facilitation, and relationship building and communication.
This position has access to sensitive Science Center information and is expected to handle such information with integrity and professionalism. The Program Manager will report directly to the Director of New Ventures. This position will participate in additional department activities, as necessary.
Program Planning and Coordination:
- Collaborate with stakeholders to define program objectives, target audience, and key learning outcomes.
- Develop detailed program agendas, ensuring logical flow, variety, and engagement. Help the Director of New Ventures source and secure top-notch subject matter experts (SMEs) and Investors-in-Residence (IIRs) aligned with program content.
- Facilitate pre-planning meetings with internal teams, SMEs, and IIRs to discuss logistics, expectations, and roles.
- Manage logistics for all program components, including onsite facilities, technology, catering, and participant materials.
- Coordinate and oversee speaker contracts, travel arrangements, and honorariums.
- Formulate, organize, and monitor project plans for assigned programs and projects, ensuring on-time and on-budget delivery of Commercialization programs and activities.
- Develop and manage program budgets, track expenses, and adapt plans based on resource availability. Ensure that program and activity tasks are implemented within deadlines and budgets.
- Identify and mitigate risks associated with programs, developing, and implementing mitigation strategies.
- Establish and track key performance indicators (KPIs), analyzing data and reporting on program performance.
- Manage staff and external resources assigned to program tasks, optimizing resource utilization.
- Produce reports and/or materials to provide to leadership and external stakeholders
- Collect data and perform analyses relevant for Commercialization programs and projects.
- Complete and maintain key documentation across assigned functions, programs, and projects within Commercialization.
Program Execution and Facilitation:
- Oversee the smooth day-to-day execution of programs, proactively addressing any challenges or issues.
- Facilitate program sessions, ensuring active participation, knowledge transfer, and a positive learning environment.
- Manage time effectively and adapt schedules as needed to maintain program pace and objectives.
- Collect and analyze participant feedback to improve program delivery and content in future iterations.
- Manage participant engagement throughout programs, supporting their progress and graduation; including tracking participating companies and supporting their graduation to post-program opportunities.
Relationship Building and Communication:
- Build strong relationships with internal stakeholders, SMEs, IIRs, and participants.
- Maintain open and transparent communication throughout the program planning and execution process.
- Proactively address concerns and questions from all stakeholders.
- Represent the organization professionally and effectively.
- Collaborate with other program managers to share best practices and lessons learned.
- Advocate for the needs of Commercialization programs and projects within the organization.
- Attend relevant workshops or join professional industry groups as necessary to maintain professional knowledge.
- Adheres to the Science Center's security guidelines and ensures the appropriate handling of sensitive information.
- Facilitates and attends relevant staff meetings to promote communication and execution of goals.
- Completes special projects specific to the function of the department or as needed for the department as directed by the supervisor.
- Other duties as assigned within the scope of position expectations.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Advanced comprehension of the startup lifecycle and the nuanced continuum of startup commercialization, demonstrating a holistic understanding from inception to full-scale operations.
- Strong understanding of customer experience, marketing, public relations, and communication tactics and ability to align these tactics with program objectives.
- Ability to align program objectives with these critical areas.
- Proven expertise in envisioning, planning, and implementing programs and events.
- Excellent organizational, project, and task management skills.
- Clear views and positions without being dogmatic, favoring a consensus-oriented approach to decision-making,
- Ability to manage multiple facets of event planning and program implementation with strong attention to detail in an often fast-paced and constantly changing environment.
- Commitment to follow up and follow through.
Communication and Collaboration:
- Outstanding written and oral communication skills, coupled with active listening skills.
- Strong meeting facilitation skills
- An inclusive, welcoming, and hospitable approach to building strong communities and solving problems directly and ethically.
- Ability to communicate and collaborate effectively across diverse business, academic, government, and community stakeholders, both verbally and in writing, with exceptional listening skills.
- Proven ability to build and maintain strong relationships with diverse stakeholders.
- A strong relationship with technology and proficiency in relevant software and tools.
- Familiarity with data analysis and reporting methods.
- Potential need for technical skills specific to program types (e.g., online learning platforms, Microsoft Office Suite).
- Financial management skills, including budgeting, forecasting, and cost analysis (preferred).
- Risk management experience (preferred).
- Leadership skills to motivate and lead teams.
- Possesses strong interpersonal skills as demonstrated by compassionate, courteous, cordial, cooperative, and professional interaction with diverse groups of co-workers, external business partners, and the community.
- Adheres to all Science Center and departmental policies and procedures.
Embodies and Models Science Center Values:
- Unity: Promotes one Science Center, united and guided by our mission.
- Open Communication: We make space in our work for people to be seen and heard while expanding our empathy and mutual respect of each other’s boundaries, experiences, and person.
- Integrity: Creates an environment of trust and integrity. Honest and ethical in everything.
- Impact: Works to make a meaningful and measurable difference in the lives of others.
- Equity & Inclusion: Fosters an environment that embraces the strength in the diversity of our team and our community.
- Innovation in Action: Committed to continuous learning and open to new ideas that drive positive change.
Experience, Education, and Licensure
- 3-5 years of experience in a program management ownership and SME development role, preferably within a commercialization or startup
- BA/BS degree in a relevant field (e.g., business, science, technology) from an accredited college or university or commensurate professional
experience, PMP or commensurate certification and experience preferred
About the Science Center
The University City Science Center is Philadelphia’s premier catalyst of entrepreneurial activity, healthcare innovation, and economic growth. Established in 1963, the nonprofit has been recognized by The Brookings Institution as a best-in-class investor, mentor, and economic development partner for young technology companies. Working alongside industry partners and leading research and academic institutions across the globe, the Science Center has supported over 1,000 early-stage companies. Today, the organization advances healthcare innovation from idea to the marketplace through startup support services, allocating capital, gathering the innovation community, and building inclusive STEM pathways for Philadelphia youth and adults. For more information visit sciencecenter.org or follow us at @UCScienceCenter.