Sussex Innovation is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

Job Description

A new post is being created for an experienced Programme Director to lead a new, recently awarded three year business support programme based at Sussex Innovation in Falmer, with some requirement for travel throughout the Coast to Capital region. This is a senior and pivotal role in the Business Support team leading one of our main business support programmes. It is an excellent opportunity to leverage your understanding and practical experience of entrepreneurship and innovation to provide new or growing companies with strategic insight, coaching and hands-on support. The Sussex Innovation Centre is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Sussex. It works with start-ups, scale-ups, innovators and academics to take their projects to market or grow their existing business sustainably and profitably. Our mission has recently been defined as follows :

Sussex Innovation is a business incubator and accelerator which energises the region’s academic and business leaders – harnessing their pioneering spirit and nurturing their radical ideas to help grow disruptive, innovative and sustainable enterprises that have purpose.

You will be part of the on-site support team who offer advice, mentoring, workshops and practical tools to foster that growth. In addition, you will have primary responsibility for designing the delivery strands of the programme, co-ordinating and deploying resources and reporting on progress against targets. Delivery will include;

1 to 1 coaching programmes
A programme of 1 to many seminars
A new capability of digital or distributed delivery
A bootcamp for start-up &/or scale up businesses

All activities will be based around two core themes; Productivity and Growth and Monetisation of Innovation.

The programme commences on 1st October 2019. Reporting to the CEO you will be required to develop a detailed plan to brand, market and deliver the business support programme. You will be responsible for organising, scheduling and deploying the team of business support advisors (who will also be undertaking other workstreams and activities) Particular attention must be paid to recruiting participants to the programme who fit with the organisation’s mission and with whom we would like to develop long term relationships.

The purpose of the role is to use your practical experience of entrepreneurship and innovation in conjunction with the know how and skills available in Sussex Innovation to help start-ups and innovators develop and implements effective strategies and plans for Productivity and Growth and Monetising of Innovation. On the ground, this activity will include one to one mentoring, facilitating Sussex Innovation authored workshops, and developing/delivering practical tools in response to our customers’ needs. In addition to the Programme management you will also be personally delivering some of the business support programmes to advise our members in a consultative role in addition to directing the skills and resources existing within the Sussex Innovation team.

The role will also require you to play a part in the development and implementation of Sussex Innovation’s own sales and marketing activities.

Person Specification:

The ideal candidate will have experience of entrepreneurship and innovation and possess a strong background in consulting in an advisory way, both personal delivery of business support and management of a multi-faceted delivery programme. Experience as a managing director or founder would be highly desirable but not essential. Confidence to promote your and our services, sell your skills and work directly with clients to achieve their goals is crucial. We are looking for:

Experience of developing and leading a complex multi-year programme of business support
Experience of working one to one or one to many as a consultant or mentor
Experience of facilitating entrepreneurship and innovation workshops
It is desirable but not essential that you have experience in designing (and delivering) workshops to meet the business objectives of your previous clients
In-depth sales experience and the ability to train others in sales and business development methods
In-depth marketing experience and the ability to develop marketing strategy and tactical plans for ourselves and clients
Ability to harness and utilise the skills of other colleagues to deliver strategic support to clients such as our PR advisor, Market Research advisor and team of graduate interns
It is desirable but not essential that the candidate has a working knowledge of lean start-up tools including the business model canvas
Ability to work independently or as part of a team with clients and manage multiple simultaneous deadlines
Analytical mind and curiosity about innovative products and services

Salary range of £45-55,000 per annum, depending on experience. We offer a competitive package of benefits and a supportive, collaborative working environment.


The role is based in Falmer on the University of Sussex campus (close to Brighton). Successful candidates can be expected to deliver support at all of our sites but to be primarily based at Falmer. We can offer staff discounts to any of the available on site services such as Sussex Sport. University Campus facilities also include an Ofsted rated Outstanding Nursery: Little Pioneers which is directly opposite our building.

How to apply

Please apply for the role as soon as possible, your application will be considered and we will be conducting interviews immediately. Please email us enclosing your C.V. and explaining in a detailed letter why you would suit this role and what personal qualities and experience you would bring to this programme and the Sussex Innovation Centre in general.