Position Title: Appalachian AgriFood Innovation Cluster Regional Lead

AgLaunch is seeking a highly motivated candidate with experience in, or familiarity with, the agriculture community and entrepreneurship to lead an exciting pan-Appalachian organization committed to improving the livelihood of farmers, building successful companies, and improving the economy and well-being of the region, through a commitment to farmer-led agricultural innovation.


About the Organization: 

AgLaunch Engine is a subsidiary of the non-profit AgLaunch, which leverages its distributed network of farm incubators, entrepreneurial farmers, aligned capital partners, research consortia, technical consulting, and best-in-class accelerator programming to effectively challenge the status quo and thoughtfully create value for farmers and the communities they serve. The AgLaunch vision is a transformed regional agriculture and food economy centered around farmers, innovation, and prosperity, with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. AgLaunch operates through 5 regional clusters located across the United States.


The Appalachian AgriFood Innovation Cluster is part of a national network of Regional Innovation Clusters (RICs), funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA), that are providing a support mechanism for new innovation in a variety of sectors. The Appalachian AgriFood Innovation Cluster is headquartered at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center in Knoxville, Tennessee and managed by AgLaunch Engine, LLC., a for-profit small business supporting regionally tailored economic development approaches that leverage farmer-led agricultural innovation. The Cluster comprises 240 counties across Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, led by a steering team of representatives from across the region. 


About the Position:

The Regional Lead will be the primary point of contact for partners, cluster members, and steering committee representatives throughout the region and will be responsible for building out regionally-tailored entrepreneurial and farmer support programs as well as utilizing AgLaunch’s current programming and tools, such as the AgLaunch Farmer Network, the AgLaunch365 Accelerator, the Data Commons, and the Open Market Consortium, to serve the Appalachian region. The Cluster Lead will be a conduit for AgLaunch activities in the region and will build relationships and partnerships throughout the region and coordinate to support and empower current regional efforts and best practices. The Cluster Lead will also be responsible for developing necessary reports and materials required for providing services to the region and reporting to funders. 




Cluster Management & Ecosystem Engagement:

  • Work closely with the AgLaunch President to provide cluster management and oversight
  • Build ecosystem connections and cluster networks across the region
  • Lead the effort to identify and scale best practices and place-based solutions across the Appalachian region 
  • Work with the AgLaunch team and Cluster Steering Committee to plan cluster strategy and support 
  • Develop necessary reports and metric tracking to deliver to funders


Entrepreneur & Small Business Support:

  • Lead outreach, marketing, and recruitment of small business participants
  • Collaborate with AgLaunch team to bring cohort-based programming to the Appalachian region, and integrate Appalachian teams, technologies, and mentors into existing programming. 
  • Engage land grant universities and key researchers to build a commercialization pipeline for new agricultural innovations
  • Expand the AgLaunch Mentor Network and programming to better serve the region
  • Collaborate with the AgLaunch team, mentors, and service providers to provide direct assistance to small businesses


Farmer Engagement:

  • Collaborate with AgLaunch Team to recruit farmers to the AgLaunch Farmer Network and lead farmer engagement and support in the Appalachian region
  • Work with AgLaunch Farm Team to scope and implement on-farm trials with Farmer Network members
  • Coordinate with the AgLaunch Innovation Team to implement pilots of new tools being developed in-house such as the Open Market Consortium and Data Commons 




  • Bachelor’s degree or higher education 
  • Commitment to and interest in agriculture; experience in the agricultural sector strongly preferred
  • Background in, and understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Familiarity with university tech transfer is preferred
  • Excellent computer skills and proficient in MS Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher), Google Platform 


  • Excellent interpersonal, collaboration and relationship-building skills
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal) for professional communication and media releases/posts
  • Ability to understand strategic initiatives and implement tactically while juggling multiple ongoing projects and responsibilities
  • Demonstrated ability to lead implementation of projects for a successful outcome
  • Self-motivated and able to initiate new tasks and programs
  • Commitment to the mission and getting the job done by being flexible
  • High professional ethical standards and comfort with diversity 
  • Work both on-site and in a virtual environment with little or no supervision
  • Operate effectively in a dynamic, fast-paced and highly independent environment
  • Evaluate situations with details and facts from several points of view, while being open to direction and feedback


Additional Information:

  • Driver license and current vehicle insurance is required.
  • In-office position with some remote, at-home work options.
  • Flexibility required for travel up to 20%, including occasional nights and weekends for special events and seminars. 
  • May be required to occasionally lift up to 50 LBS.


AgLaunch Offers:

  • This is an outstanding opportunity for a role in the evolution of a fast-growing, highly respected organization. AgLaunch is prepared to offer a compensation package that includes a minimum starting salary of $75K or higher commensurate with experience and skills, as well as health, vision, and dental insurance, 401k with employer match, EAP, employer paid life insurance, flexible work hours and schedule, and an unlimited paid-time off policy. 


AgLaunch does not tolerate discrimination of any type and offers equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, sex, natural origin, age, disability or medical condition, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, or any other considerations made unlawful by Federal, State, or local laws. We believe in providing eligible and qualified employees with opportunities to advance. AgLaunch is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Women and minorities, and persons with disabilities, are encouraged to apply.

To apply, email a resume and cover letter to admin@aglaunch.com



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