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Program Manager @ Future Founders
Reporting to the President & CEO, the Program Manager will be responsible for supporting our Fellowship and Alumni programming for diverse 18- to 30-year-old founders from across the country. A successful Program Manager will be an incredible connector, helping our founders leverage our network, coordinate the right kind of speakers, and organize impactful in-person and virtual events for our program participants to achieve their goals.
Future Founders is building the nation’s largest inclusive community of intentional young entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial-minded leaders. Our programs immerse youth in experiences that inspire and empower them to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and create their own opportunity. We believe this leads to a generation more determined, hopeful, and equipped as they engage the future. Since 2005, we have served over 44,000 youth, and our national 18- to 30-year-old founders have generated $325M in revenue, secured $250M in capital, and created 1,700 jobs.
Future Founders was created to foster inclusion in the entrepreneurial community and to seed more diverse founders into the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The organization was established in 2011 through the merger of two programs: one created by the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (which now runs 1871) in 2005 and another created by Uptake Technologies Founder & Executive Chairman Brad Keywell. For our middle and high school students, Future Founders provides the first meaningful experience with entrepreneurship. And for our 18- to 30-year-olds, Future Founders offers the validation, skill-building, and network young founders need to start and grow profitable businesses. Join us as we empower the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs. For more information visit www.futurefounders.com.
SUCCESS IN THIS ROLE
Reporting to the President & CEO, the Program Manager will be responsible for supporting our Fellowship and Alumni programming for diverse 18- to 30-year-old founders from across the country.
A successful Program Manager will be an incredible connector, helping our founders leverage our network, coordinate the right kind of speakers, and organize impactful in-person and virtual events for our program participants to achieve their goals.
This role represents a key member of our team who will be a very important presence in our programming and in the lives of our founders.
In the first year on the job, we hope to see the following in your work:
- You have taken the reins of our growth-stage Fellowship and Alumni programs, creating regular programming and peer connection opportunities for ambitious, high-potential founders between the ages of 18 to 30.
- A consultative approach in serving our founders. You’re a great listener and able to connect the dots that help our founders succeed. You’ve immersed yourself in our network of entrepreneurs, alumni, mentors, and other stakeholders, leveraging their collective expertise to make a difference in the trajectory of our program participants. You know you may not have all the answers and that’s okay - there’s a huge network behind you to help execute on our mission.
- You’ve planned three memorable in-person retreats (4 days each) that don’t just “check-the-box.” You were able to help our founders skill-up and create lasting peer and mentor relationships.
- You are a strong communicator, both virtually and in person. You’re able to connect with our network and clearly articulate ideas and expectations to people from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. Public speaking, email communications, social media posts - you love an audience and the audience loves you.
- You consistently work with the senior leadership team to secure new funding for the programs and organization as a whole. As part of this, you will assist with grant reporting, data collection, and program evaluation.
- You enjoy a good spreadsheet. We run a lot of programming and our founders have a ton of goals - you’ve developed a simple-to-use accountability dashboard (on Google Sheets, Notion, or some other tool that works for you/them) to keep everything organized.
- You are detail-oriented, take initiative, and have a bias toward action. Your follow-up is extraordinary and we’re amazed at how quickly the meeting recap or introduction is sent after your conversations take place.
- Most importantly, you care about our mission of creating opportunity for young people from underrepresented backgrounds within entrepreneurship.
Our team is made up of entrepreneurs, educators, and people with non-profit backgrounds. We recognize that a team from diverse employment and life experiences makes us stronger. If you think you have the right combination of experiences to make a difference in our community but don’t hit every mark on this job posting, we still encourage you to apply. Some things we’re hoping for in our ideal candidate:
- College graduate with 3-4 years of professional experience.
- You demonstrate emotional maturity, flexibility, integrity and professionalism.
- Experience working with 18- to 30-year-olds in a professional or volunteer capacity.
- A passion and knowledge of the startup ecosystem and experience working directly with small businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Capable of high levels of program management and innovation with a strong attention to detail.
- Strong networker, able to recruit new mentors, program participants, and partners through a variety of channels.
- Self-directed with the ability to anticipate the needs of others (specifically founders and fellow team members).
- Technology-oriented with familiarity with tools like Google Workspace, Notion, and/or Airtable.
- You have a “can do” attitude and are ready to pitch in when needed.
- Fluent in feedback (giving and receiving).
- A sense of humor.
WHY FUTURE FOUNDERS?
We are a small, collaborative, mission-driven nonprofit and we hope you’ll have fun being a part of our team. We believe employees should be paid fairly and equitably. Our expected salary range for this role is $60,000 - $70,000, though we could offer more should the candidate have extensive direct, relevant experience that exceeds what is listed in the job description.
Our leadership team takes your career advancement seriously. If you perform well in this position, we will strive to create advancement opportunities for you to build upon your initial responsibilities. Your network will expand significantly in this role and will include individuals from startups, venture capital, entrepreneurial serving organizations, and more.
- Reports to: President & CEO
- Type of Employment: Full-Time Position
- Start Date: January 2, 2024
- Application Deadline: October 30, 2023 (candidates will be reviewed on a rolling basis)
- Interviews will begin on November 14, 2023
- Location: Future Founders is headquartered in downtown Chicago in the Loop. The role includes the option to work from home, but our team does require meeting in-office 3-4 times a month and the candidate should be local to Chicago.
- Work Hours: 8:45a-5p Monday - Friday, but some morning, evening and Saturday work time will be required throughout the year. This role will include at least three in-person/large scale retreats a year that include evening and Saturday work. Each weekend day worked will be compensated with the following Monday off.
- The Program Manager will need to comply with current COVID vaccine requirements for Future Founders staff and program participants.
The interview process will include a first-round interview conducted virtually, the submission of a work product if advanced to the next round, with second and final round interviews taking place in person. This schedule is subject to change due to current health conditions.
We’d love to hear from you! Please submit your resume and cover letter in a PDF format and be sure to address why this role would be a meaningful next step in your career and professional happiness. Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis.