Memphis Bioworks Foundation and EPIcenter (MBF/EPI) seek an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) with deep experience in commercialization to support innovation teams at a medical technology Proof of Concept Center.

Role & Responsibilities:

You will work closely with innovators in the medical field to assess the commercial viability of scientific discoveries, coach, and advise on marketing, fundraising, and team composition.

In your role, you may expect to rotate among multiple commercialization projects in two primary arenas:

@ MBF/EPI (75%):   The purpose of the Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR), is to source and vet potential investment targets, coach and mentor entrepreneurs, and work with key community partners to help develop entrepreneurial culture in the region. More specifically, you will:

  • Identify and vet entrepreneurial companies across several industries, but primarily in Biotechnology, Health Sciences, Medical Devices, and Advanced Manufacturing
  • Provide entrepreneurial coaching, support and business counsel to entrepreneurs
  • Work with key community organizations in the local ecosystem, connecting to state, regional and local business development including universities, local economic development organizations, regional bodies, trade associations etc. for the purposes of engaging, coordinating and leading in commercialization

@ EPIcenter Partners/UTHSC (25%) – This position will support the advancement of the culture of innovation and commercialization in Memphis, Tennessee by expanding the proof-of-concept programs at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and by connecting innovative medical researchers and their technologies to business and entrepreneurial expertise via a partnership with the Memphis Bioworks Foundation. The UTHSC Proof-of-Concept Center, recently awarded an i6 Challenge Grant under the Regional Innovation Strategies program of the US Department of Commerce, is dedicated to boosting the flow of medical inventions into the commercialization pipeline to create economic growth and bring needed medical solutions to market. In support of this goal the EIR will:

  • Work with UTHSC and UTRF to review applications for Proof-of-Concept funding
  • Mentor and coach researchers interested in the translation of their research programs and the commercialization of their inventions
  • Identify projects with exceptional commercial potential for follow-on Proof-of-Concept funding


Required Skills/Experience:

The ideal EIR will be a retired or exited entrepreneur or CTO with experience in review and mapping to market of early-stage life science inventions and intellectual property. A seasoned professional, you will have a defined, high-level skill set that reflects in-depth experience, foresight and intuition in the health care and biotech sectors, as well as familiarity with legal and regulatory requirements for developing new products in these fields.

This is a full-time, year-round position located in Memphis, Tenn. While we invite candidates outside of the Memphis region to apply, we are unable to compensate relocation expenses.



  • Collaborate with a team of Subject Matter Experts and angel/accredited Investors to understand the regional deal flow and outline the best ways to achieve positive outcomes as a collective team.
  • Conduct initial evaluation of deals, thoroughly vetting companies, to determine their appropriateness for investment by  angels/accredited investors and/or regional entrepreneurial resources.
  • Outreach by representing EPIcenter at various events promoting entrepreneurship.
  • Coach and mentor entrepreneurs, including inexperienced entrepreneurs, from relevant personal experience in key startup activities related to team formation, strategic marketing, business development, strategic partnering, manufacturing strategy and fund raising.
  • Evaluate business plans, companies, technologies and entrepreneurs with regard to their likelihood of business success, management capacity and market opportunities.
  • Maintain customer focus by developing a strong understanding of customer expectations and strategic direction and applying this information to strategic and tactical decisions.
  • Manage a portfolio of customer-driven new product development projects from prototype design to launch; maintain ownership and leadership of post-commercialization process through all stages from Research and Development to Quality Assurance.
  • Serve as a liaison to key internal functions to ensure customer expectations are exceeded and schedules and budgets are met.
  • Anticipate, communicate and manage issues and risks that affect project success.
  • Assist with the socialization and deployment of process improvements.
  • Manage and communicate project status, schedule, and deliverables.
  • Facilitate and lead reviews of “lessons learned,” capture findings, and integrate the learning into on-going commercialization processes.
  • Work with prospective companies to identify intersections between the companies’ R&D needs/plans and potential collaborators from among faculty and potential capabilities in labs that could be helpful in commercializing the companies’ technologies.
  • Provide feedback to teams (consisting of startup companies and university researchers) that are developing funding proposals to assist in preparing the most competitive presentations.
  • Lead vetting of funding proposals including assessment of business strategies, value proposition, customer traction, technology viability, market size and competitive positioning.
  • Assist EPIcenter, Memphis Bioworks Foundation, and UTHSC in documenting the positive local, regional, and national economic impacts of EIR activities and the EDA i6 Challenge Grant.


We are looking to fill this position immediately. Candidates should e-mail a cover letter and resume to:

Leslie Smith
President, EPIcenter
Send via e-mail

Or send a cover letter and resume by mail to:

Leslie Smith
20 S. Dudley St., Suite 900
Memphis, TN 38103