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Opportunities at UpStart

UpStart Lab Director: Chicago Region


UpStart exists to redesign the way Jewish life is experienced. If you want to inspire and advance innovative ideas that contribute to the continued growth and vitality of Jewish life, we should talk.

We are looking for you to lead the launch of our UpStart Lab: Chicago—building our Chicago Accelerator for local Jewish innovators, partnering with the Jewish Community Centers (JCC) to develop human-centered programs that build creative confidence in staff and better engage the greater community, and designing a community of practice with professionals seeking innovation and change support for work serving the Jewish community.

We would like you to have at least 5 years of relevant experience in some or all of the following: program design, fundraising, business strategy development and non-profit organization leadership/management. Great if you have user-based knowledge of entrepreneurial mindsets and practices such as design thinking and Lean Startup. It is a must that you are an amazing networker. We expect you will be a team player, who will love to imagine with others what to create, but also to then hunker down and make those things happen. You are part program director, part business consultant, part empath, and underneath it all you are excited to be bringing the Jewish community innovative experiences for today and leaders for tomorrow.

The UpStart Lab Director is a full-time exempt, at will position based in Chicago that reports to the Chief Operating Officer, based in San Francisco. Salary is commensurate with experience and benefits include medical, vacation, sick leave, Jewish and secular holidays. Ability to travel required.

Overview of Responsibilities

1. Accelerator

  • Design and implement strategy to effectively ramp up and launch an adapted model of UpStart’s Bay Area based Accelerator to serve the Greater Chicago Jewish community, including key activities such as the recruitment and selection process, program workshops, individualized coaching and consulting, and showcase activities
  • Deliver 1:1 monthly coaching and consultation to UpStarters and connect UpStarters to our network of experts when needed.
  • Develop a network of highly qualified pro bono and reduced fee professionals to support UpStarters as well as UpStart’s broader work in the community.

2. JCC Partnership:

  • Oversee the strategic working relationship with key JCC staff to design and implement human-centered experiences that build creative confidence in staff and engage the greater community in order to meet aligned programmatic goals.

3. Community of Practice:

  • Supervise the establishment of a quarterly Community of Practice using a human-centered approach to meet the needs of Chicago area innovators.


4. Work with UpStart CEO and Development Officer to identify and attract potential advocates to fill lay leadership roles at the local advisory and national board level as well as potential funders for cultivation and solicitation.

5. General: Represent UpStart within the Jewish and general community in Chicago as an ambassador and advocate, effectively manage the program budget, supervise Chicago-based staff and consultants, create and deliver internal and external communications, conduct evaluation according to UpStart evaluation plan and other general responsibilities as assigned. Be an awesome team member and uber communicative.

To Apply: Send a resume with a creative cover letter that communicates why you would be a “fit” for the position to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the subject: UpStart Lab Director: Chicago Region, then follow prompts upon reciept of message. 

Opportunities at UpStart Organizations

Kevah: Educator
G-dcast: Audience Development Manager