Scientist-in-Residence (SIR)

Job Description


Employer: XLR8UH – the University of Hawaii’s award winning startup accelerator.

Job Title: Scientist-in-Residence (SIR)

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Hours: Part-Time and/or Full-Time

Start Date: Immediate

Term: Various terms depending on candidate situation

Compensation: This is a compensated position paid monthly. Specific compensation to be discussed with Managing Partners.

Benefits: Flexible hours and other great benefits.


Company Overview:

XLR8UH is the University of Hawaii’s nationally recognized, multiple award winning startup accelerator. The program, a public-private partnership between University of Hawaii (UH) and Sultan Ventures, educates, mentors, and invests in UH startups and entrepreneurs. XLR8UH’s goal is to create economic prosperity through the science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship that is formed at UH, converting our state’s regional strength of groundbreaking research into new businesses and jobs.


Position Overview:

The Scientist-in-Residence (SIR) role is a new concept that the XLR8UH team has created for scientists who have and/or want to cross over to the commercial sector. The role requires a dynamic and accomplished individual that can work with and manage multiple companies, often in various sectors. The ideal candidate will have expertise and experience in entrepreneurial management with an emphasis on R&D, developing and commercializing intellectual property (IP), licensing from universities and navigating tech transfer offices, product development, and access to a rolodex of experts nationally.


Major goals / positive for the SIR role:

  • Found a company the firm invests in;
  • Join a portfolio company (often in a C-Suite / Exec position);
  • Join the fund’s management team.


Working as an SIR at an accelerator you are expected to work more closely with innovation before companies are even formed, identifying R&D, IP, and other potential products or services that have high-growth commercial potential. The list of activities below summarizes the tasks and work efforts associated with the role.


General Responsibilities:

At XLR8UH, the SIR responsibilities is to work with the startups as they transition from Research and Development (R&D) towards Development and Commercialization of their innovation. The SIR efforts will primarily focus on working with scientists for the Presidential Fellows program as well as deal sourcing, transitioning their talent and/or innovations to the commercialization setting.


Specifically, the SIR will help:

  • Identify early stage, high-growth startups and innovation affiliated with the University of Hawaii;
  • Facilitate connection of innovations to support resources and experts;
  • Assist early stage companies in developing business strategies and connections; and
  • Meet with faculty, researchers, post-docs, department chairs, or the like, to identify and create a pipeline of commercial ready innovation occurring at the University.


Position Description / Duties:

Primary task is to provide identify and source innovation occurring at the University of Hawaii. Tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Work with distinguished researchers for the Presidential Fellows program, stimulating a culture of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking at the University.
  • Research and identify best practices for tech transfer.
  • Collaborate with other tech transfer entities including federal institutions such as the NSA, NIH, NSF, etc.
  • Introductions to potential research / commercialization collaborators
  • Work with teams in pursuing additional non-dilutive funding opportunities (e.g. SBIR/STTR funding).
  • Find, meet, and track a pipeline of prospective companies, and work with management team in evaluating and vetting possible new investment opportunities or advisory support.
  • Meet regularly with the Angel-in-Residence (AIR) and Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) as well with the XLR8UH management team in the evaluation of current companies as well as prospective applicants.
  • Miscellaneous work with the University of Hawaii’s entrepreneurship endeavors as deemed appropriate by XLR8UH Managing Partners.


Desired Qualifications / Experience (some combination of the following):

  • 3 to 5 years of experience in the sciences (physical, life sciences, clinical, research, medicine, etc.)
  • Previous work with a research facility
  • Previous work with a tech transfer office (university, federal program, etc.)
  • Previous work with an accelerator (as a portfolio startup or part of management team).
  • Started or run their own company (those with an exit a positive).
  • Proven domain or deep industry or technical knowledge expertise.
  • Cross discipline studies, e.g. biomedical engineering (a positive)
  • Successfully fundraised from state and/or federal scientific grants – e.g. NIH, NSF, SBIR, STTR, etc. – or for a startup (i.e. equity)
  • Have licensed technology from universities or federal government
  • Have patented technologies
  • Have worked with university technology transfer offices and understand the commercialization pathway from university R&D to business market success.
  • Create / curate content for outbound efforts, potentially including but not limited to, grant proposals, website / blog posts, social media and other marketing material.