Director for Zahn Innovation Center (ZIC)

City College of New York
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
May 25, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
JOB DESCRIPTION General Description 

The City College of New York seeks a Director for its Zahn Innovation Center (ZIC).


The ZIC is part of an emerging ecosystem of entrepreneurial activity at CCNY. The program team works in close connection with a curricular initiative (The Campus Engagement Network) dedicated to promoting and teaching a change-making curriculum on campus. Elsewhere, parallel efforts to develop entrepreneurship and innovation are taking place at our proposed Center for Innovation in Medical Technology and with the hiring of our new Senior Director of Intellectual Property and Business Development. The ZIC represents a major node in this ecosystem, a place where students and others come via a series of workshops, bootcamps and competitions to develop their ideas into viable products. Within the ZIC, the Director will support and supervise 3 program spheres that foster student creativity, build community and develop initiatives designed to be commercially viable and socially impactful. The ZIC is a start-up incubator for the CCNY community providing training, support, prototyping facilities, consulting services, and seed capital to members of the CCNY community-primarily students-interested in developing entrepreneurial capacity and innovative talent in pursuit of commercial and social business ventures.


Since its founding in 1847, The City College of New York (CCNY) has been true to its legacy of access, opportunity, and transformation. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic, and boldly visionary as the city itself. CCNY advances knowledge and critical thinking, and fosters research, creativity, and innovation across academic, artistic, and professional disciplines. As a public institution with public purpose and a more than 170 year history, CCNY produces citizens who make an impact on the cultural, social, and economic vitality of New York, the nation, and the world. City College stands at the intersection of its historical past and promise for a vibrant future. Building on its strong foundation of unleashing potential, a City College education integrates knowledge with experience to nurture scholars, professionals, and leaders who are ready to meet the challenges of our contemporary society. ​



The ZIC Director will perform the following essential duties:

  • Identify, recruit and manage collaborative relationships between stakeholders within the CCNY innovation and Entrepreneurship ecosystem - faculty, students, alumni, investors, entrepreneurs, incubator, accelerators, service providers, etc;
  • Prepare and create materials and content providing students with the very best understanding possible of the opportunities they have to launch innovative entrepreneurial activities and ventures;
  • Supervise a prototyping and short run manufacturing facility supporting hardware and software startups;
  • Produce co-curricular events including speaker series', workshops, and incubators;
  • Advise students on campus who are engaged in entrepreneurial student activities, such as campus clubs and organizations;
  • Develop a corps of business entrepreneurs to participate ZIC activities, primarily by supporting and advising student work;
  • Provide regular ZIC progress reports to college authorities and the ZIC Board;
  • Provide additional managerial and program support as required and necessary to meet program objectives.



EDUCATION: Master's degree in a field related somehow to entrepreneurship or equivalent combination of academic experience and field experience.


  • A minimum of 10 years of experience launching, managing, incubating and growing entrepreneur ventures with increasing responsibility in leading innovation and impact programs is required, or some combination of experience in entrepreneurial ventures and relevant (i.e. entrepreneurship-related) experience running academic programs amounting to 10 years.
  • 5 years of direct management experience, including leading, building, coaching, and motivating a diverse team.


Be able to build and maintain strong collaborative relationships with relevant business partners.

Manage, develop and direct educational training programs, hackathons, intensive training "camps," competitions, recruitment activities and maker space operations.

Effectively and fairly manage a diverse staff with responsibilities that range from fabrication engineering to teaching to administrative work.

Demonstrate effective, accurate and clear communication with excellent verbal, written, interpersonal, reading, and leadership skills.

Operate computers with basic Microsoft Office software and associated professional software. Demonstrate understanding of the use of technology/devices/equipment in assessing and improving department systems and processes to achieve annual goals and maintain confidentiality.

Handle all activities and highly confidential information with patience, discretion, good judgment, courtesy and tact while working with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Prioritize and manage multiple projects, work to deadlines and respond to others in a timely manner.

Be able to both work independently and as a collaborative member of the College with integrity and strong ethical boundaries.

Please submit a resume and cover letter. If you have any questions please email

The position will be open until filled.


CUNY is known for its commitment to providing first-rate academic opportunities for students of all backgrounds to achieve personal and professional success. An exceptional faculty of prominent experts, dedicated teachers, and researchers provides opportunities for post-secondary learning at every level and field of interest.

We invite you to explore this entire web site to learn about the many programs, educational innovations, and resources of this great University that make it a unique, diverse, and exciting academic community.

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