Ecosystem Builder – Pittsburgh
(Full Time)

About Forward Cities

Forward Cities is a national nonprofit equipping communities and regions to grow and sustain more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Description of Role

The Ecosystem Builder serves as the local representative and leader of the Forward Cities Pittsburgh Community Entrepreneurship Accelerator and serves as a social entrepreneur guiding this important work in the Pittsburgh ecosystem.  The position reports directly to the Director of Community Innovation and will work closely with local partners and cross-sector stakeholders in Pittsburgh; including entrepreneur support organizations, entrepreneurs, philanthropy, community leaders, local government, economic and community development organizations .  The position has a twelve month term, with hopes of additional funding to continue the work beyond that.  The role will start as a full-time Forward Cities employee and then transition shortly thereafter to complete the balance of the 12 month term at a Pittsburgh backbone organization, becoming an employee of that organization.  Additionally, the role may require approximately 3-4 days of travel per quarter for training and organizational events.

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Serving as a connector in and between various groups of entrepreneur support organizations, entrepreneurial stakeholders, local entrepreneurs, and the Forward Cities team to maximize opportunities and shared learning and collaboration;
  • Supporting the local E3 (Equitable Entrepreneur Ecosystem) Network by identifying potential members, and providing support to action items emerging from meetings and developing progress reports for stakeholders;
  • Serving as lead project manager for all deliverables including: engaging and coordinating local partners to support the research and evaluation, strategic planning, and implementation work; and where needed, helping to deploy surveys and other research instruments in the local community.
  • Identifying and amplifying important stories emerging from the work in partnership with local media partners; 
  • Learning and providing direct delivery of original and third-party ecosystem and entrepreneurial support programming;
  • Building awareness and support for the work among local and regional partners and stakeholders and planning local events and gatherings; 
  • Emerging lessons learned from the local work for sharing with the broader Forward Cities Community;
  • Addressing additional needs through entrepreneurial thinking and opportunities as they arise consistent with the mission of advancing inclusive entrepreneurial supports locally and regionally.

The ideal candidate is/has/can:

  • Local to or deeply familiar with the community;
  • Able to maintain and build trust in the community;
  • An experienced ecosystem builder engaged with the local innovation economy and its important contributors;
  • A strong and trusted facilitator – especially across diverse constituencies;
  • A well-organized project manager with demonstrated management experiences;
  • A self-starter who is able to work independently while keeping the Forward Cities national team in a close loop; 
  • A strong verbal communicator and writer;
  • An entrepreneurial spirit;
  • A strong collaborator and strategic thinker; and
  • Organized, has attention to detail, and effectively manages time.
  • An ability to learn and model the Forward Cities values which promote vibrant, connected, and inclusive entrepreneurial communities.

Professional & Academic Qualifications:

  • 5+ years of work experience – with relevant experience in entrepreneurship, ecosystem building, project management and community facilitation
  • Bachelor’s Degree 
  • And/or combination of relevant education and experience

Reporting Authority:

  • The role will initially report to the Director of Community Innovation and be part of the Forward Cities Community Innovation team, and then transition shortly thereafter to complete the balance of the 12 month term at a Pittsburgh backbone organization.  
  • This position is temporarily remote. Workspace will be provided at an appropriate local partner organization and/or coworking space; however, the Ecosystem Builder is expected to be out in the community on a regular basis with as little time spent in an office as possible. 

Professional Development Support:

The Ecosystem Builder will be part of a cohort of other ecosystem builders that are doing similar work across the national Forward Cities network, and will receive:

  • Training and ongoing professional development support from the Forward Cities national team;
  • Access to key stakeholders and decision-makers within the city to help support the success of the work;
  • A robust network of peers, partners, and supporters locally, regionally, and nationally dedicated to the work of inclusive innovation and economic development in under-connected communities.

salary range:

 $65,000 – $70,000 depending on education and experience – includes full benefits (PTO, parental leave, group health plan/health insurance stipend, 403(b) plan participation after 90 days with the organization). 

Apply here

Forward Cities provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.