Now Hiring

Senior Director of Programs

NC IDEA is an independent private (nonprofit) foundation that offers grants and programs to serve primarily two groups: individuals (founders) attempting to start and scale companies of high economic potential (defined by job creation and tax revenues,) and organizations that help individuals start and scale companies of high economic potential. Our team is collaborative, open and driven to serve the North Carolina entrepreneurial community. Detailed information about our activities can be found at

Over the years, our efforts have helped start and grow over 500 companies around the state of North Carolina. Those companies have created over 3,300 jobs, raised over $360M in additional funding and generated significant tax revenues for the state. Dozens of our funded companies have been subsequently acquired, generating wealth for founders and early employees, while creating considerable investment returns for private equity funds. Hundreds more continue to create great jobs while strengthening the communities where they reside and operate.

What we have learned from our work is that financial resources alone are insufficient in helping individuals start and grow high potential companies. That is why we offer programs in addition to funding. Programmatically supporting more founders of diverse backgrounds, experience and from underserved communities, will result in more jobs, increased tax revenue and wealth creation; all important elements for having equitable economic development outcomes.

For these reasons, we are seeking to add a member to our team to help us increase the impact of our work by leading our programmatic priorities and partnerships to help people of North Carolina achieve their entrepreneurial potential.

Job Description

This hire will be a member of the NC IDEA Senior Leadership Team, in charge of overseeing all programs that provide education, training and mentoring for individuals seeking to start and grow companies in North Carolina. As there is tight coordination with our grant programs, this person will work in close coordination with the Senior Director in charge of our SEED and MICRO grant offerings to entrepreneurs. The Senior Director of Programs reports directly to the CEO and supervises one currently unfilled position.

Key Responsibilities

  • General program development, management and evolution for all entrepreneur programming; including customer discovery curriculum, such as our existing NC IDEA LABS program
  • NC IDEA grant (NC IDEA MICRO, in particular) programming and selection/support
  • Deployment of NC IDEA MINDSET (Ice House programming) and management of strategic partnerships that share in our values to help people of North Carolina achieve its entrepreneurial potential
  • Coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs; and supporting ECOSYSTEM partners that do likewise
  • Supporting other programmatic efforts of the Foundation as needed



Based upon our experience to date, we believe the individual that would best complement our efforts, and culturally fit with our team of dedicated high-functioning professionals, would be someone with most or all of the following:

  • Minimum ten years of professional work experience
  • Experience working in, or supporting, startup companies
  • Experience in, or with, economic development organizations and/or academic practice areas focused on practical and applied entrepreneurship education
  • Hands-on experience with community engagement initiatives
  • Experience creating, leading and managing programs targeting diverse groups; including people of color, women, rural and low-income individuals
  • Intellectual curiosity about evolving entrepreneurial support best practices
  • Authentic belief in the value of building economically equitable communities
  • An authentic shared value in our audacious goals to economically empower people of North Carolina through entrepreneurship

This is a full-time salaried position with benefits. Our office is currently located in downtown Durham. For the time being, NC IDEA is operating like many other organizations in a work-from-home model. When prevailing public safety standards permit, the NC IDEA team utilizes a hybrid work schedule, hosting a mix of virtual and in-person events. This role will require attending occasional evening events and some travel throughout the state of North Carolina. Per company policy and CDC guidance, all employees are required to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as determined by the North Carolina Dept. of Health & Human Services, unless a reasonable accommodation is approved.

Applicants will be considered as received; however, all interested candidates must submit a cover letter and resume here no later than January 28, 2022.

NC IDEA FOUNDATION is an equal opportunity employer. NC IDEA does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, military or veteran status, marital status, citizenship, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), or any other characteristics protected by federal law or local ordinance.