Business Advisor

The Business Advisor will be an entrepreneurial minded 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 Business Advisor will serve as a go-to resource, advising our portfolio companies as they work through challenges, make critical decisions, secure investment and build strategic plans. The Business Advisor will be responsible for working collaboratively with entrepreneurs, mentors and technical assistance providers, and other local entrepreneurial programs and organizations, as well as a wide array of team members within CenterState CEO. Fostering community, the 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 Senior Business Advisor, 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, Up Start and the Syracuse Surge Accelerator.

Status: Exempt/Full-Time

Division/Department: Inclusive Growth

Reports To: Senior Business Advisor

Salary: $73,000-$79,000

To apply:

Please send resume to Susan Phillips, director of Human Resources.

Job Duties

  • Business Advising and Program Management (90%)
    • Own the client intake process and mapping of services/resources requested for CenterState CEO Inclusive Growth clients.
    • Manage and continue to improve upon the application, interview and onboarding process for prospective entrepreneurial clients.
    • Provide administrative support to the Senior Business Advisor for the development and execution of training programs for Inclusive Growth clients.
    • Directs and advises entrepreneurs and business owners on matters involving the startup or expansion of a small business.
    • Work hand in hand with the Senior Business Advisor to help founders identify their goals and plan of approach. Introduce innovative frameworks to help founders’ problem-solve through challenges.
    • Work closely with Entrepreneurial Manager, Small Business Manager, and Economic Development Manager to ensure entrepreneurial clients are meeting program goals and progressing along their individualized growth plans.
    • Collaborate with the Resource Manager and Entrepreneurial Managers to ensure entrepreneurs/business owners have access to a full suite of resources.
    • Commit to finding answers to key inquiries posed by founders and their teams.
    • 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.
    • Work to identify education and training gaps by conducting needs assessment across Inclusive Growth client base, to identify workshops and events that are timely and relevant to their needs.
    • Administer assessments for workshops and events, review data, and make recommendations to the Senior Advisor based on the feedback.
    • Participate in selecting, training, engaging, and assessing mentors and advisors.
    • Engage regularly with mentors and external advisors to monitor the progress of clients and solicit mentor input and assistance.
    • Build and maintain rapport with Inclusive Growth clients, CenterState CEO members and mentors.
    • Contribute to a cross functional organization that works successfully and efficiently across programs, resources, events and member services, and within the larger CenterState CEO organization.
    • Maintain familiarity with existing institutional knowledge and best practices from incubators, accelerators, industry and academia.
    • 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.
    • Utilization of the Salesforce CRM to track client progress.
    • Maintain project documentation and content folders.
  • Team & Organizational Support (10%)
    • As needed, support the Inclusive Growth team and CenterState CEO grants office and foundations in developing funding proposals, financial and donor reports.
    • As needed, collaborate with colleagues to prepare meetings and presentations and documents on strategic workforce topics.
    • As needed, contribute to internal and external communications on topics germane to the Business Advisor’s work.
  • Support the Inclusive Growth leadership team with other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • A commitment to the mission of CenterState CEO and the values of Inclusive Growth.
  • Outstanding critical thinking skills.
  • A “team-oriented” approach, in which they are motivated by the success of the organization and accomplishments of clients.
  • 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.
  • Experience with the Business Model Canvas and ability to translate this knowledge to entrepreneurs preferred.
  • 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 listening, interpersonal relationships and emotional intelligence.
  • Computer proficiency, including word processing, 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, make appropriate decisions and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to deliver exceptional customer service.
  • Experience working in/with socioeconomically diverse communities.
  • Be an enthusiastic self-starter with well-developed administrative, organizational and self-management skills.
  • Ability to listen to, understand and follow directions in English.


  • Position start date is ASAP.
  • The position is full-time with benefits.

Education and Experience:

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

Bachelor’s degree plus 3-5+ 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



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 are 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.