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Head of Incubation

As a storyteller and a change agent, Filene's Head of Incubation (HI) is responsible for developing, planning and managing Filene’s Incubation initiatives and achieving revenue targets. The HI arms industry leaders with innovative ideas, early-stage concepts and promising technologies that solve real-world problems credit unions and consumers are facing.

Job Purpose

The Head of Incubation at Filene provides market research, case studies, industry feedback, technical advice, and other assistance to the Institute in the preparation and review of potential Incubation projects. The HI is not only an advisor to the credit union system, but also a storyteller and change agent.

The HI will oversee the incubation portfolio for Filene. Filene’s incubation portfolio currently consists of the Lab, the Racial Economic Equity Incubator, and the Innovation and Communities Practice.

The Lab partners with credit unions across the country, who collaborate to identify 4 – 6 quick hit tests selected from a list of FinTechs that the team curates throughout the year. The Racial Economic Equity incubator is currently in pilot with 8 credit unions and their community partners and will be responsible for launching a new pilot focused on entrepreneurial ecosystems. The HI also leads the team responsible for two credit union communities: The Cooperative Trust, a program aimed at supporting rising talent across credit unions and i3 an innovation program designed to serve senior leaders of credit unions. These efforts, in addition to the Innovation advisory services, generate approximately $2M per year with the organization focused on doubling Incubation revenues in 3 to 5 years.

The HI must continue to develop the infrastructure and processes and protocol to incubate multiple ventures on an annual basis and then matriculate them in order to develop an action plan and execute the different ventures through to completion. Additionally, the HI will prepare outputs highlighting the results of the Incubation projects on an ongoing basis partnering with research to publish.

This is the right role for someone who is attached to a higher calling, craves the opportunity to create change, and always sees the “glass half full.

Role Responsibilities

Leadership & Administrative

  • Lead, manage, retain and develop a strong, talented and diverse Incubation team.
  • Fundraise, manage and be held accountable for the Institute’s Incubation annual, multi-million dollar revenue goals
  • Supports the project management flow of the organization.
  • Prioritize and manage workload to aggressive deadlines.
  • Model Filene values and play a key role in maintaining the culture of the organization through personal and cross-functional accountabilities.
  • Actively support the achievement of Filene's strategic objectives, plan and metrics in a manner consistent with Filene’s mission, values and brand.
  • Provide extraordinary service to Filene’s staff, members and stakeholders.
  • Understand and engage in Filene’s complete body of work including research and impact programs in order to connect member needs with Filene solutions that can best meet those needs.

Incubator Management

  • Lead Filene’s Incubator, a testing laboratory for consumer-friendly products and services in conjunction with the Incubator Director.
  • Grow multi-year sponsorships from credit unions and non-credit unions for the incubators to help diversify and fortify Filene revenue streams.
  • Support the applied research center focused on Innovation and Incubation at brand name University or Research Institute
  • Provide leadership to i3, an innovation program that enables credit unions to accelerate innovation and sets the standard for innovation practices.
  • Test ideas from research, market partners, and incubation sponsors striving to create scalable solutions that drive change for cooperative finance and consumers.
  • Ensure continual implementation and iteration to improve upon new concepts and products being tested.
  • Provide clear incentives or requirements for credit unions to participate in incubators.
  • Recruit and select participants, resources, and stakeholders for Incubation projects relative to budget, scope, capacity, risks, timelines, and desired outputs.
  • Coordinate Incubator programs to test and garner feedback on projects.
  • Prepare selected projects for potential transfer of ownership. Work inside and outside the credit union system to identify potential collaborators.


  • Collaborate across the organization to hone incubation brand both internally and externally through member communications and commitments, publicizing and marketing incubation results beyond members and integrating incubation thinking and language throughout staff daily activities.
  • Work with Marketing, Communications and Research teams to publicize projects, report ongoing progress, and publish final results of projects.
  • Present key research and Incubation findings to credit unions, system participants, and other audiences.
  • Represent Filene to external audiences regularly and consistently conveying and engaging the market in the entire “story” of Filene.

Relationship Management

  • Responsible for senior level account management relationships with Filene incubation sponsors and potential donors.
  • Facilitate donor recognition in a variety of Filene outputs in coordination with the Development team and provide a “one-team” Filene experience.
  • Capture Voice of the Market to ensure incubation solutions address market gaps and demands.

The statements above are not intended to be all-inclusive and other duties may be assigned as needed.

Job Requirements

  • Advanced graduate degree (i.e., MBA, PhD, MS, etc.) in related field required.
  • 10+ years of experience in financial services, product development, startup or incubation required.
  • 5+ years of experience managing high-performing teams desired.
  • Strong knowledge of human centered design, agile/rapid research design and execution process, and the product development cycle.
  • Credit union system experience desired, with a deep understanding of challenges and opportunities within the sector. For those without direct credit union experience, interest and excitement to learn the ins-and-outs of a unique and growing industry is a must.
  • Process and Performance Management: High competency in managing resources to achieve goals with attention to detail, commitment to timing, and within scope. Strong process and analytical thinking skills.
  • Communication: Strong verbal and written communication skills. Ability to present ideas clearly and concisely to a variety of audiences. Ability to develop comprehensive written reports and documents.
  • Collaboration: Collaborative decision-making abilities to forge successful partnerships with stakeholders at all levels. Capable of leading initiatives while leveraging and respecting a broad range of constituencies.
  • Project Management: Extensive project management experience, from initiation to completion, including planning, implementation, ongoing management and budget oversight.
  • Leadership & Culture: Strong interpersonal skills that foster an engaging work environment. Ability to communicate a clear vision and translate that vision into a practical, results-focused action plan. Confidence to lead through influence and strength of character. Well-organized and self-directed individual with high ethical standards.
  • Change Management Serve as a change agent with an open and flexible approach. Appreciation for how to guide culture shifts and enable change to be successful in innovation and incubation.
  • Confidentiality: Ability to handle sensitive and confidential data and situations.
  • Creative Thinking: Ability to generate new ideas and implement them amidst other organizational goals and priorities. Ability to recognize and take advantage of emerging opportunities.
  • Curiosity: Intellectually curious about credit unions and their members. Enjoy working in a “think tank” environment where ideation, continually embracing change, being restless with the status quo and seeking reinvention is part of the culture. A passion for purpose and precision – including the details.
  • Up to 40% travel required, including:
    • Attending various conferences relevant to research, innovation or select projects.
    • Sales of innovation ideas or programs to cooperative finance North American sector.
    • Presenting key findings in presentations and perform advisory services on a wide latitude of research or innovation findings.

EEO Policy Statement

The Filene Research Institute (Filene) provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. Filene complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Filene expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of Filene employees to perform their expected job duties is absolutely not tolerated.