While I love the self-employed lifestyle, I always have to benchmark my earnings against a full time position. A jobs site recently asked me what title I’d be looking for in my “next” job. While the question had never occurred to me, “Director of Innovation” was the obvious answer. Two key skill sets make me perfect for this type of work.
First, I’ve spent almost 10 years in the startup space, understanding the complex demands placed on startups and worn almost every hat possible:
- Economic Development – I’ve written grants and helped design the support systems in place to foster startups through their challenges. I’ve analyzed regional economic data for a 15 county region of Ohio and, in another project, calculated the impact of an energy incentive program on demand and wages.
- Startups – I’ve written business plans, raised funds, launched products, and helped startups grow. I’ve seen the pains and problems and risks at each of these stages.
- Investors – I’ve worked with both private investors and investment funds. I’ve participated in due diligence teams, developed valuation models, and even directed investment to startups.
- Theory – On top of my direct experience, I am an avid reader and have consumed a significant number of innovation and business process books.
Second, I have a deep strategic background at both a business and technical level:
- My MBA (The Ohio State University) was focused in strategy, consulting, and marketing. In light of my exceptional performance, I was invited to the Beta Gamma Sigma business honors society. I enjoy the subject so much that I have audited additional strategy classes since my graduation. Students often attempt to submit me as a top contributor in these courses.
- My undergraduate business degree (Carnegie Mellon) was concentrated in Computing and Information Technology and supplemented with a minor in Computer Science. Highlights of my technical abilities include:
- I reduced the run-time of a SQL query by an order of magnitude while working with 3X Systems.
- I made substantial modifications to an open-source PHP shopping cart for Refer2Save and the only two bugs in the pilot were inherited from the original platform.
- In addition, I taught myself Python in the process of coding the eSongbook project.
I’m confident that I can bring a fresh perspective to your innovation challenges and am happy to provide a variety of references to support my argument. Even better, organize a pilot project and let me show you how much value I can add in situ.