Strategy and New Ventures Manager
Connecting innovation and education to dramatically transform the way students learn, LEAP Innovations® leads the nation in developing and scaling personalized learning practices, technology and innovations in classrooms throughout the U.S. Located at 1871, Chicago’s premier incubator for technology and entrepreneurship, LEAP is quickly positioning Chicago as the national hub for education innovation. LEAP has also launched the country's most comprehensive personalized learning framework, as well as the first survey tools to measure practice in the classroom.
Sponsored by major foundations and donors, LEAP currently works with over 90 schools across the Chicagoland area, improving the lives of thousands of students. Winner of the 2016 Chicago Innovation Award for social innovation, LEAP Innovations is poised to increase reach and impact by deploying thought leadership, services and tools across the country.
The mission of LEAP Innovations is to create access to equitable, high-quality personalized learning experiences for all learners, ultimately helping each one to reach their full potential. LEAP operates at the intersection of educators and edtech innovators—researching and implementing personalized practices and tools.
LEAP is defining and articulating the teacher practices that best meet individual student needs; determining the school- and classroom-level models that best personalize learning; and constructing the research methods and tools to best evaluate the impact of personalized learning and edtech programs on student achievement. Similarly, from the edtech side, LEAP aims to help edtech companies utilize LEAP’s research and educator feedback to create tools that are more aligned with teacher and student needs.
LEAP has built a scaffolded trajectory of programming to accomplish these goals, including the LEAP Pilot Network, in which school teams select, pilot and evaluate personalized learning technologies and practices within individual classrooms, as well as whole-school redesign programs, in which school teams design transformative, school-wide personalized learning models.
- Every person deserves the chance to reach his or her potential.
- Quality education should be available to everyone: anytime, anywhere.
- Innovation can transform teaching and learning.
- The private and public sectors must collaborate to advance education and keep our country competitive.
- The time is now.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
The team at LEAP envisions a future in which there are no boundaries to learning – a future in which each and every student’s learning experiences in and out of school create a seamless, accredited, unique pathway that is tailored to that student’s needs, strengths, interests and limitless ambitions.
Over the next five years, LEAP will work toward this vision in two key ways:
Regional Expansion: LEAP will strengthen its impact by expanding its local work, serving an additional 165,000 students at 325 schools and developing additional focus areas such as early childhood, after school and juvenile justice.
National Impact: Through its work in Chicago, home to the third largest school district in the country, LEAP will build the foundation of tools, resources and knowledge to scale its personalized learning work across the country. These tools and resources include the LEAP Learning Framework, which defines and provides strategies for the implementation of personalized learning, and the LEAP Personalized Learning Surveys, which measure the degree of personalization in a learning environment and are now being used across 11 states. Additionally, LEAP will conduct rigorous research to aggregate and analyze data on teacher practice, student outcomes and product efficacy.
LEAP Innovations seeks an Manager to work in its Strategy & New Ventures group. The Strategy & New Ventures group is a development team responsible for identifying the next national growth opportunities for LEAP. In this capacity, the team works hand-in-hand with LEAP’s product and program leadership to facilitate alignment of priorities throughout the organization and to identify new opportunities to scale impact. Thus the S&NV group is responsible for 1) leading the major business planning and strategic processes for the organization, and 2) stewarding new opportunities from concept through to an approved business and launch plan--via rigorous analysis and cross-functional collaboration.
- Manage key projects and/or workstreams to align priorities and elevate operations across LEAP Innovations, as well as to drive national growth and impact
- Proactively lead and evaluate analysis to draw conclusions and develop insightful recommendations and solutions, including scoping, planning and designing project content
Project areas will span:
- Partnering with the Chief Operating Officer to drive LEAP’s strategic planning processes and to maintain visibility into performance, including goal setting and KPI measurement
- Analyzing and interpreting trends and communicate their implications to LEAP’s leadership to inform prioritization and investment decisions
- Driving execution of strategic initiatives to improve cross-functional alignment and operational effectiveness
- Scanning the environment for opportunities including competitive threats and opportunities, potential partnerships, product/service extensions, and new markets
- Conducting rigorous analyses of opportunities from data gathering--by utilizing secondary research sources, interviewing customers and stakeholders, planning and facilitating workshops--through interpretation and insight generation to support the formulation of business strategy and plans
- Cultivate and maintain high-trust relationships with cross-functional teams to leverage expertise, balance competing interests, and facilitate successful execution of priority initiatives
The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a dynamic, results-oriented environment in which expectations are high for both the quality and speed of work. He/she will be a professional and confident self-starter with eagerness to undertake tasks both large and small
- Highly organized and detail-oriented
- Excellent analytical, problem-solving and project management skills
- 6-8 years of relevant work experience, previous exposure to the education sector a plus
- Master's degree preferred; Bachelor's degree candidates with strong academic achievement and relevant experience will be considered (background in Business, Product Management a plus).
- Excellent written/visual and oral communication skills
- Demonstrated leadership and team-building capabilities (volunteer/club leadership, etc.)
- Proficiency in MS Office (especially PowerPoint) and Google Apps