Program Director Artificial Intelligence Accelerator

  • Full-time
  • 's Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

Program Director Artificial Intelligence Accelerator

Job description

A bit about Rockstart

Founded in 2011, Rockstart has become the leading accelerator in the Netherlands and positioned itself as one of the major global startup programs. We provide support to & invest in startups in their first 1.000 days, to help them improve and grow faster.

Based on our proven track record, we are currently setting up our 4th acceleration program with a dedicated focus on Artificial Intelligence (“AI”). Goal of the program is to select and accelerate the best startups in the world that use AI as a core technology to solve real-world problems. Therefore, we are currently looking for an experienced Program Director to develop and subsequently run all relevant aspects of a globally competitive AI acceleration program based in the Netherlands.


The role

You will develop the program outline for the AI market based on Rockstart’s proven accelerator blueprints and knowledge, so that it offers the best possible proposition, in order for the greatest startups in the field to apply to the program.Thanks to your own entrepreneurial experience, you will coach and guide the startups during the program to optimal growth. You’ll work independently selecting the most valuable content to ensure the best possible quality program. Also, you will work closely with our other Program Directors and incorporate their knowledge of designing and running other programs into your plan. Together with your 40+ Rockstart colleagues you are dedicated to support and empower startups to become scalable and change their world for the better.

You provide thorough advice for startups, because of your deep knowledge of the developments within the applied AI sector and especially where it evolves into creating validated, scalable and disruptive new businesses. This knowledge necessarily extends to the latest trends in subsectors such as machine & deep learning, natural language processing and others to value the content of the programme. Startups consider you as their fifth cofounder.


Main responsibilities :

  • Developing and creating the Accelerator program outline;
  • Developing and managing a vibrant community of mentors, experts and partners;
  • Continuous coaching of the startups to help them achieve their next milestones;
  • Organizing and facilitating sessions and daily operations of the program together with the team;
  • Managing and maintaining relationships with different stakeholders (investors, mentors, corporate partners);
  • Inspiring and guiding a team of (international) professionals and interns.


  • 5 years of entrepreneurial experience either as a founder or part of the management team of a startup;
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of the dynamics within AI/Big Data and a good understanding of the underlying technologies, markets and challenges;
  • Knowledge of a startup’s lifecycle and investment strategies;
  • You have raised funding in several rounds and have ended the most recent startup journey by having their business acquired; 
  • Experience in mentoring and coaching;
  • Excellent communication skills in English.

Bonus points:

  • Experience as an early stage investor;
  • We would love our employees to bring something extra to the table, so we encourage you to mention in your motivation any special knowledge or experience that in your opinion is very valuable for Rockstart.
  • You have lived and/or done business in different cultures

What makes you the perfect candidate?

You are a visionary, you help the startups to develop products that truly disrupt their industries while also constantly improving the program guidelines, to maximize the benefit for all stakeholders. People would describe you as a great coach, you use your deep insights into the tech world and your experience to help startups shape their business. You’re a people’s person. Sometimes the going can get tough and with your enthusiasm you have the ability to turn things around. As the go getter that you are, you leave no stone unturned to achieve the ambitious goals of the program and the startups. With several deliverables, you always know how to master your to-do list and priorities. Lastly, you are sharp and know what is fluff and call it straight out. You give advice that matters and helps.


Start: ASAP

Availability: 40 hours per week.

Duration: Initial 6 month contract with intention of extension.

Remuneration: Competitive market salary based on experience, plus some of the carry (upside) from the fund.

Location: s’ Hertogenbosch (1 hour south of Amsterdam - occasional travel needed)

If you have any further questions about the role, please don’t hesitate to contact Rune Theill (

Please check the Working @ Rockstart section of this page for more information on our working culture.