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INNOVATION DIRECTOR ˅

About the job

About Union Labs

At UNION, we work alongside entrepreneurs to apply deep technologies to real-world problems, leading to intelligent homes, smarter cities, and healthier lives. We both back and build companies, either through venture capital investment or a structured EIR program with corporate connections

Founded by serial entrepreneurs, angel investors and August Home alums Nate Williams and Chris Kim, Union brings both technical depth and go-to-market expertise to help de-risk the critical path to product/market fit. We invest in core technologies and understand product development from the ground up, but also bring unique experience in go-to-market sales and marketing to help our founders scale fast, build strong cultures, and straighten the path to product/market fit.

Position Summary

We are looking for an Innovation Director at an early-stage venture fund and incubator located in San Mateo. As a member of the core team, the Innovation Director will be responsible for and lead all phases of our portfolio product development including ideation, prototyping, design, execution to launch. This role has an interesting mix of deep market and industry evaluation, competitive analysis, team management, and strategic planning.

As our Innovation Director, you will have a considerable impact on the team, culture, and portfolio methodology, and management. This role is about really understanding the growth needs of our portfolio companies and the development of new client and partner relationships. Helping steer the right investment decisions, tech standards and supporting the growth of our clients internal teams, the Innovation Director will be an integral part of the venture fund for many years to come.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone who wants real skin in the game. An entrepreneurial spirit is a must! We are looking for someone who has a true passion for “DeepTech tech” and IoT and is looking to play an integral part in the development of the venture fund, its portfolio of early-stage companies and community.

Responsibilities

  • Create new and scalable business models, generate and test hypotheses, and confirm market fit.
  • Own the roadmap: Develop the roadmap that takes our portfolio companies successfully to go-to-market and help establish later stage investments.
  • Recruit founders: Develop an active network of entrepreneurs and relationships with potential leaders and founders to join incubated companies.
  • Markets and customers: Define the market and rapidly develop methods to understand and quantify user interest.
  • Product definition, pricing, positioning, and launch: Translate user and market insights into a concrete product definition and go-to-market plan.
  • Lead rapid prototyping; Leverage engineering and development networks to quickly build inexpensive proofs-of-concept to validate the customers and markets.
  • Competitive Analysis: Research and generate market mappings.
  • Distill large complex problems into a format that’s understandable.

“Are you someone who is driven and intellectually curious? Have you considered doing something out of the box like a van rebuild and traveling around the country thinking about how you can change the world? Maybe you have done something similar that has allowed you to critically think about how we can improve a product, or critical process? If this sounds like you,  we want to talk to you!”

Who you are

  • You are an entrepreneur at heart. You have more ideas than you have time to build, and you love talking about them with similar people.
  • You are active on social media with your business ideas and philosophies and are building a network of followers who are excited about your contributions to the start-up and VC community.
  • You have a strong appreciation for the early-stage startup culture. You are always willing to jump in and lend a hand, and want to see the community succeed.
  • You have a true passion for emerging hardware and IoT technologies, as well as an eye for identifying commercial opportunities for nascent software (e.g., novel ML approaches)  and hardware technologies.
  • You thrive in a collaborative environment, working side by side with people of all backgrounds and disciplines.
  • You possess strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • You enjoy and are great at solving problems, as well as designing and implementing solutions to complex product and technical issues.
  • You view yourself as a primary product leader in your field of expertise.

Required Technical and Professional Experience

    • 5+ years work experience, preferably in venture capital, investment banking, consulting, or at an early stage start-up.
    • BA/BS in Computer Science, Physics, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics, or a related technical field. (preferred)
    • MBA preferred, but not required.
    • Experience working directly with leading partners and stakeholders.
    • Experience with managing products for software developers and development experience using various desktop and mobile app frameworks. (preferred).
    • Knowledge of other functional areas such as Engineering, Sales, Customer Support, Finance or Marketing.
    • Understanding of go-to-market commerce enablers.
    • Demonstrated ability to achieve strategic goals in an innovative and fast-paced environment, and to evolve product strategy based on research, data and industry trends
    • Excellent problem-solving, organizational and analytical skills.

    Additional Information

    All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

     

    Employment Type

    Full-time

     

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