The Blue Pipeline Incubator (BPI), a program of the Alaska Ocean Cluster (AOC), is a business incubator serving ocean based businesses in Seward, Alaska. The BPI Manager is a blended position funded through a partnership with the Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the City of Seward, and the Seward Chamber of Commerce. The position serves in three main capacities. First, in conjunction with the Ocean Cluster’s main office in Anchorage, the BPI Manager oversees all aspects of the incubator program including recruitment, curriculum development, implementation, and community engagement. Second, the position serves as a liaison to existing ocean-based businesses to catalyze growth of the blue economy in Seward. Last but not least, the BPI Manager serves in a part-time capacity as a business advisor to all Seward based businesses looking for assistance through the Alaska Small Business Development Center. Blue Pipeline is focused on innovative, ocean-related startups in Alaska. Its first cohort of companies, which graduated in 2019, raised $1.6 million, filed a provisional patent that won faculty invention of the year at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and were semi-finalists in the first ever Alaska Angel Conference competition. Going forward, the program will build on those successes by expanding engagement with existing industries to identify synergies, bottlenecks, and opportunities for collaboration. Seward is uniquely positioned with a range of ocean-based industries, including: coastal tourism, commercial and sport fishing, seafood processing, mariculture, maritime industrial, and research. Further, the city is one of the closest ocean access points for Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, is connected to the road system and the Alaska Railroad, and is home to North America’s northernmost year-round ice-free port. In addition, Seward is home to the Seward Marine Center – a campus of the University of Alaska’s College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS), the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC), the Alaska Sealife Center aquarium, the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery, and is the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. The City-owned Seward Marine Industrial Center (SMIC) has undergone recent expansion and hosts the Coast Guard, as well as numerous private business servicing ocean-based businesses. All told, it’s an exciting time for the blue economy in Seward. Photo by Joel Krahn Responsibilities The BPI Manager role is unique and requires the attention and oversight of an individual who has entrepreneurship and/or program development experience. This position requires a team player with leadership qualities, excellent marketing skills, a professional and positive attitude, organization and dependability. This is a challenging role with many opportunities for professional growth. The BPI Manager will be the prime interface between the Ocean Cluster and Seward’s ocean industries and entrepreneurs. The BPI Manager will manage and operate all aspects of the business incubator, including:
- Recruit early-stage businesses for participation in the incubator program.
- Develop and refine the curriculum and syllabus for the incubator program.
- Recruit and develop the mentorship aspects of the incubator program.
- Develop a funding pipeline for the incubator itself and participating companies.
- Develop and maintain collaborations with program partners.
- Establish agreements with the incubated businesses, which provide a structured schedule and workflow that optimizes and ensures their success in the program. The above will build upon the work already completed in the program’s first year and the BPI Manager will have support from the Ocean Cluster and program partners.
In addition to the work with early-stage entrepreneurs, the BPI Manager will also function as the Ocean Cluster’s liaison to Seward’s existing ocean industries. In this capacity, responsibilities include:
- Develop relationships with the ocean-based business community.
- Identify common bottlenecks and areas for growth and investment.
- Convene an annual stakeholder meeting to facilitate communication and development within the community vis-àvis the Ocean Cluster to the state’s ocean-based economy.
In conjunction with the team at SBDC, the BPI Manager will provide small business advising and technical services to business owners in and around Seward and is required to meet the following SBDC goals:
- Advising Hours – 250
- Long-Term Clients – 9
- New Businesses Started - 5
- New Jobs – 13
- Capital Infusion – $550,000
- Client Profiles – 2
Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field. Knowledge of basic business planning. Ability to work collaboratively with a variety of constituents and organizations. Willingness and ability to travel and work weekends and evenings when necessary. Strong verbal and written communication skills.
Preferred Qualifications: Master’s degree in business administration or a related field. Five years or more of experience with entrepreneurship, business advising, and/or fundraising. Knowledge of business management principles, budget formulation and financial management. Experience with property management and leasing. Experience in economic development and advocacy at the local or state level.
Institution: Alaska Ocean Cluster and its parent organization, the Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association (BSFA), works to maximize Alaska’s blue economy by uniting industry, academia, non-profit and government toward a shared blue growth strategy. The BPI Manager is supported through a partnership agreement between BSFA, AK SBDC, the Seward Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Seward.
Please send an email to justin [at] pipeline.blue, with a cover letter indicating applicable experience and a resume attached.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.