Academy Manager

FTE Status: Full Time
Location: Calgary, AB


THRIVE is a global AgriFood venture and innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley & with offices in Calgary that accelerates, invests, and works with entrepreneurs, investors and Fortune 500 corporations to advance the future of food and agriculture.

The THRIVE Academy program aims to discover, elevate and accelerate the next generation of entrepreneurs and help fastrack their startups for success. The program helps startups to validate their market, test their product, prepare them to raise capital, connect them with corporate collaborators and guide them on building their go to market strategy.

Job Description

The Academy Manager is responsible for managing all aspects of the THRIVE Academy program. The primary focus of this position is to drive all programmatic, project management and execution initiatives within the Academy. The Academy Manager will be directly responsible for driving rapid progress for cohort companies through the program and offering them candid feedback on their progress. The Academy Manager will report to the Managing Director of Global Programs.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manage recruitment and selection of startups for the bi-annual Academy cohorts. This includes working with lead generating organizations both globally and locally in Alberta & Canada, managing deal flow, managing interviews, finalizing selection of the final cohort, please visit to read about the program
  • Develop program curriculum and content
  • Manage the implementation and execution of the Academy program and curriculum schedule, which will include: weekly webinars, in person workshops, site visits to smart farms, mentorship sessions, demo day & more.
  • Support and maintain strong relationships with mentors, advisors, PSI’s, government, corporates and other members of the THRIVE network and facilitate connections for cohort companies with key mentors and advisors from our extensive network.
  • Provide mentorship and guidance to startup cohort in areas such as customer discovery, market research, business model design, go-to-market strategy, fundraising, governance & operations
  • Work with the events manager on promotional events, collateral and other marketing initiatives for THRIVE (creating relevant resources and materials for workshops and events).
  • Provide honest and constructive feedback to founders at the culmination of the program, advising them on next steps
  • Maintain a strong alumni network of past participants that compounds over time
  • Collaborate closely with the rest of the global programs team to support our Accelerator programs including identifying Academy graduates who would be good candidates for our THRIVE Canada and THRIVE Global Accelerator programs
  • Manage relationships and opportunities with our multiple corporate partners, identifying opportunities for our startups to collaborate, and facilitating partnership discussions.
  • Track feedback from startups & stakeholders to consistently iterate & improve the program

Skills and Experiences

  • At least 2-4 years of professional work experience in entrepreneurship, venture capital, program/project management or consulting
  • Passion for innovation, entrepreneurship, AgTech and food tech
  • Ability to quickly grasp and understand various business models in the agri-food sector, and provide “value-add” advice to the accelerator cohort
  • Entrepreneurial drive and experience – bonus points if you’ve been a founder or have operational experience at a startup and can relate to the next generation of founders & guide them based on experience
  • Proactive self-starter who isn’t afraid to take initiative and bring the Academy to new heights, operating in a high-paced environment
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate, build, and maintain strong working relationships with startup founders, corporate executives, farmers/growers and other individuals – networking should be in your blood
  • Strong leadership and proven project management skills (goal-setting, organization, and implementation)
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills – you must be comfortable being on stage and addressing crowds of thousands of people
  • Excellent quantitative and analytical skills
  • Bachelors degree in agriculture, sustainability, finance, business, economics, entrepreneurship, project management or related field required
  • Advanced degree in business, sustainability or agriculture preferred
  • Previous experience running an accelerator or incubator preferred