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Placemaking Coordinator

Type: In-Office
Hours: Full Time

Who are We?

The Michigan State University Foundation (MSU Foundation) is a non-profit research foundation associated with Michigan State University, the premier land grant university in the nation. The Foundation was formed in 1973 and chartered to promote, encourage, and aid scientific investigation and research at the university; assist with patent matters and perform trust functions for the university's fundraising organization.

Today, the MSU Foundation is focused on helping Michigan State University (MSU) achieve its objectives related to economic development through the commercialization of intellectual property created by its faculty, staff, and students.

The MSU Foundation manages an endowment built from decades of licensing revenue. In addition to providing over $10 million in research funding to MSU annually, the MSU Foundation is a key partner in the MSU Innovation Network, operating programs and physical assets that catalyze technology commercialization, new venture creation, pre-seed and early-stage venture investing, ongoing entrepreneurial support and placemaking. These activities are managed through MSU Foundation subsidiary organizations including our venture creation entity Spartan Innovations, our early-stage venture investing entities Red Cedar Ventures and Michigan Rise Pre-Seed III Fund and through our real estate holdings at the University Health Park, the VanCamp Incubator and the MSU Innovation Center in downtown East Lansing.

General Summary of Duties

Community building is our priority and our placemaking activities require practical planning and superb execution to create and drive community engagement, promote entrepreneurship, and drive innovation on campus, in our region and statewide. The role is an important facilitator for our ecosystem, providing resources for the MSU Innovation Network and cultivating an innovative community. This includes developing and executing a strategy for events and programming, communications, branding, and marketing.


  • Create and manage programs and events of interest to existing and future tenants, startups, entrepreneurs, industry and the MSU community.  Examples include pitch events, commercialization workshops, user group meetings, technology summits, networking events, and meetups.
  • Work closely with marketing communications to develop a public calendar of events, outreach initiatives and promotional activities that drive engagement and attendance while helping to advance and expand benefits for the MSU Innovation Network partners.
  • Maintain a database to support the activities.
  • Work with Director and other colleagues to coordinate and drive a sponsorship programs that help support our activities. 
  • Contribute to the tracking and reporting the Foundation’s economic impact on the area.
  • Work with others supporting the MSU Innovation Network to develop long-term digital tools and training materials to support best practices and ongoing training.  
  • Identify opportunities to create live, learn, work, play environments in all projects and to the various markets

Candidate Profile

The candidate will have a strong track record as a proven, professional with leadership skills and technology acumen from either a corporate or university setting. Strong organizational and project management skills as well as multi-tasking abilities are required. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 5 years of related experience is required. To be successful in this role, applicants should demonstrate these critical skills and competencies, that include:

  • Understanding placemaking processes by working to transform the physical and social environments throughout an organization and its spaces
  • Integrating diverse opinions on spaces, events, and company culture into a cohesive vision and a practical plan-of-action
  • Demonstrating strong verbal and written communication skills; professional and courteous in dealing with staff and vendors
  • Must possess a strong work ethic and take deep pride in workmanship excellence
  • Must be a team player committed to working collaboratively with colleagues
  • Exhibiting a positive attitude and commitment to quality