Senior Business Advisor

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The Senior Business Advisor will be a seasoned entrepreneur and mentor who is responsible for implementing and participating in one-to-one business advisement, and for ensuring effective delivery of programming for the benefit of the community of entrepreneurs served through CenterState CEO’s Inclusive Growth programming. The Senior Business Advisor will serve as a go-to resource, advising CenterState CEO’s portfolio companies as they work through challenges, make critical decisions, secure investment and build strategic plans. Fostering community, the Senior Business Advisor will create opportunities to educate founders and their teams, host forums for dialogues around growth and improvement and make time to celebrate company wins and milestones. Reporting to the VP of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, this new role is a critical part of the Inclusive Growth team, focused on supporting existing programs like GENIUS NY, The Clean Tech Center, EPIC Buildings Program, Syracuse Surge, other Tech Garden programs and advising regional entrepreneurs broadly.

Status: Exempt/Full-Time

Division/Department: Inclusive Growth

Reports To: Vice President of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Salary: $62,500-90,000

To apply: Please forward cover letter and resume to

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities

Primary Duties:

  • Serve as the primary advisor for entrepreneurs and business owners participating in CenterState CEO Inclusive Growth programs, advising founders and supporting their entrepreneurial development.
  • Work with program staff and engagement managers to ensure entrepreneurs/business owners have access to a full suite of resources.
  • Direct and advise entrepreneurs and business owners on matters involving the startup or expansion of a small business.
  • Plans, directs and organizes training programs for Inclusive Growth clients.
  • Commit to finding answers to key inquiries posed by founders and their teams.
  • Map out and implement mentorship programming to engage portfolio with meaningful and valuable resources in collaborations with the Resource Manager.
  • Participate in selecting, training, engaging and assessing mentors and advisors.
  • Engage regularly with mentors and advisors to monitor the progress of clients, provide subject matter support and solicit mentor input and assistance.
  • Build and maintain rapport with founders and CenterState CEO members.
  • Immerse oneself in CenterState CEO’s target cluster industries to best understand the foundation and nuances associated with potential founders in these clusters.
  • Utilize their VC and founder network to leverage additional resources to support founders.
  • Guide founders/owners through the end-to-end process of fundraising.
  • Design and facilitate training and assessment.
  • Work with founders to identify their goals and plan of approach, assist to introduce new innovative frameworks, and assist founders to problem-solve through challenges.
  • Where possible, support current/aspiring entrepreneurs who are not involved in Inclusive Growth programs. Advise them on their entrepreneurial journeys and direct them to programs and resources.
  • Contribute to a cross functional organization that works successfully and efficiently across CenterState CEO’s programs, resources, marketing and events and member services.
  • Generate reports and manage dashboards in Salesforce CRM for continuous improvement and strategic planning purposes.
  • Guide planning and execution of monitoring key metrics and operational strategy.
  • Work with VP Innovation and Entrepreneurship and VP of Economic Development to identify, research, and implement new service offerings and evaluate existing engagements for growth opportunities.
  • Manage and continue to improve upon the application, interview and onboarding process for prospective entrepreneurial clients.
  • Work to identify education and training gaps, develop performance outcomes, and evaluate strategies and tools to successfully deliver solutions to service providers and program clients.
  • Maintain familiarity with existing institutional knowledge and best practices from incubators, accelerators, industry and academia.

Secondary Duties:

  • Support the Inclusive Growth leadership team with other duties as assigned.
  • Support CenterState CEO’s other teams when necessary.
  • Perform all duties with the highest ethical and professional standards.
  • Participate as an active and eager member of a larger team, cooperating and supporting colleagues.
  • Maintain project documentation and content folders.

Education and Experience:

The Senior Business Advisor position requires firsthand experience as an entrepreneur, a background in mentoring and advising entrepreneurs, expertise in leading hands-on programs for aspiring entrepreneurs, and a familiarity with entrepreneurship and innovation networks and frameworks.

Bachelor’s degree plus three to five or more years’ experience in operations or management at an economic development or entrepreneurial support organization, chamber of commerce, or related experience in program management.  Excellent leadership and organizational abilities. Demonstrated success innovating solutions to increase productivity and profitability. Additional years of experience at a ratio of 2:1 may be considered in lieu of a bachelor’s degree.

Supervisory Responsibility:

  • None currently, but the potential for a supervisory position over other Business Advisors.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Outstanding critical thinking skills.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the nuances of thriving as an entrepreneur and understanding of the opportunities and challenges of entrepreneurial environments.
  • Demonstrated ability to apply an innovative, growth mindset to situations.
  • Demonstrated ability to apply innovation frameworks to solve challenges or rethink existing dynamics to achieve more desirable outcomes.
  • Substantial experience with the Business Model Canvas and ability to translate this knowledge to entrepreneurs preferred.
  • Significant experience advising founders in pitch deck creation and customer discovery.
  • Familiarity with Central New York entrepreneurial ecosystem, economic development community and relevant New York State programming preferred.
  • Experience with Salesforce or comparable CRM system preferred.
  • Clearly demonstrate excellence in interpersonal relationships and emotional intelligence.
  • Computer proficiency including word processing, Excel, spreadsheets, and generating reports using standard software applications.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in writing, verbally, both on the telephone and in person.
  • Ability to work independently, determine priorities, make appropriate decisions and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to deliver exceptional customer service.
  • Work well in a diverse environment.
  • Be an enthusiastic self-starter with well-developed administrative, organizational and self-management skills.
  • Ability to listen to, understand and follow directions in English.

Travel: Occasional

Physical and Mental Requirements:

  • Close mental and visual attention required to perform work, verbal communication, using a computer terminal, and/or extensive reading.
  • General office equipment is used.
  • Must be able to lift and carry up to 20 pounds and push and/or pull up to 20-pound loads at a time relative to event-based equipment.
  • Must be able to sit for long periods of time.

Work Environment:

There is no exposure to known adverse environmental conditions.  Work is performed in a typical office work environment.


  • All requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities.
  • This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee(s) occupying this position.  Employees will be required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform any other job-related duties requested by their supervisor.
  • The company reserves the right to add to or revise an employee's job duties at any time at its sole discretion.
  • This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an “at will” employment relationship.

CenterState CEO is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer without regard to race, creed, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, sexual orientation, domestic violence victim status, military status or veteran's status.