Arlington, Virginia, United States

January 3, 2022

What a year to make a difference. What a year to make a change. 

Are you a builder? Are you passionate in your belief that entrepreneurs have the power to reinvent the world? Do you seek to be the change you want to see in the world today? If so, read on…

Smart City Works is looking for a seasoned Managing Director (MD) who can take the helm and lead our next generation business accelerator (“The Actuator”) and the investment strategy for Smart City Works Venture Labs in the Greater Washington, DC Metro Region. Your focus is to invest in the best founders and companies and support them from ideation to exit. You will actively recruit, select, mentor and guide founders through challenges, critical decisions, strategy, tactics, securing investment, making hard decisions and celebrating their wins. You will be supported by our senior leadership team, mentors, and network, who focus on program growth and investment and, with you, on executing a proven playbook and delivering the best possible experience for Founders.

The MD sets the strategic direction, investment thesis, and training curriculum of the program, including developing and maintaining a curated team of mentors, investors, and business advisors. The MD has ownership of the program success and partners with our management team to ensure the exceptional delivery of our programs.

You will report directly to the CEO of Smart City Works Venture Labs, joining a team of partners and associated mentors, advisers, and affiliates who are seasoned professionals and include senior executives and accomplished professionals in their fields from the start-up world, the public sector, universities, the built world, high-tech firms, and the investment community, joining together with a dedicated purpose of achieving excellence, improving quality of life, and making a difference on some of the most important and challenging issues facing cities and communities today. Work is based in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC.

You will be responsible for turning good companies into great ones; and taking DC-NOVA’s crown jewel of infrastructure and urban technology business acceleration to the next level.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Define the strategic direction and investment thesis for the program
  • Partner with program teams to create a holistic strategy and delivery plan and then own overall responsibility for the successful execution of the program
  • Source, recruit, and make initial sourcing and investment decisions
  • Build and nurture a strong team and network of mentors, sponsors, investors, advisors, interns, and corporate partners
  • Maintain, evolve, and deliver a structured classroom training program, and curriculum tailored to the specific gaps and needs of each cohort and participating company
  • Represent Smart City Works in the local community
  • Play a leadership role in Smart City Works’ overall business growth and maturation: recruit and mentor new employees and interns; forge meaningful and beneficial relationships across the Smart City Works ecosystem; and proactively seek out and develop opportunities for program funding, growth, and strategic initiatives.

What you bring to the role:

  • Entrepreneurial empathy – must have founder experience, preferably been through failure and successful startups as a CEO
  • 10+ years of experience in fast-paced environments within technology, startups, entrepreneurship and venture capital
  • Demonstrative leader of leaders and core understanding of servant leadership
  • Strong investor mental model and demonstrative results of your investment decisions, good and bad
  • Comfortable with a minimal amount of direction and high expectations
  • Ability to command a room, public speaking and community development is key
  • A kindred spirit to Smart City Works’ “Be-the-Change” culture of purpose-driven innovation, entrepreneurial passion, daring-to-be-different mindset, commitment to excellence ethics, and a lifting-up-others lifestyle
  • Ability and willingness to roll-up-sleeves and work alongside the companies
  • Expertise in term sheets, negotiations and fundraising
  • Understand the value of scalable systems and processes
  • Degrees are welcome but not required. Show us what you have done, and can do beyond what you learned in school.

Compensation range: Competitive salary + Program carry


About Smart City Works

Smart City Works Venture Labs, a.k.a. “THE ACTUATOR”, is the world’s first business actuator — a new class of business accelerator that can more rapidly commercialize new technologies and innovations. Established in 2016, Smart City Works was founded on three simple premises: our world and the way we live is at an inflection point. Rapid urbanization, failing infrastructure, and climate change are putting tremendous stress on cities and communities. At the same time, digitization, advances in material science, AI, and cloud, and an extraordinary entrepreneurial spirt across North America and the globe offer a must-seize opportunity to disrupt the way we design, build and operate cities.


Today, we now can—and for all that is going on, we must—improve the livability, sustainability, and resilience of cities. That is our goal, our purpose, our mission: to build smarter and live better. And to help founders and start-ups seeking to do the same by helping them get to market faster, grow and scale better, and achieve their vision sooner.

The Smart City Works ACTUATOR is uniquely focused on urban tech, infrastructure, on improving cities and planet earth. Our business acceleration programs take some of the world’s most promising high-tech ventures and helps them to grow from good to great, from ideation to commercialization, and from early-stage to high-growth ventures.


Our goal is to help founders make a difference, and for them to do good and do well, at scale.