Impact Manager
Chicago, IL
Mid-level +1 · Full time
Posted a year ago
Nature’s Fynd is a groundbreaking food tech company born out of NASA-supported research on extremophiles in the geothermal pools of Yellowstone National Park. Our novel fermentation technology produces a sustainable source of complete protein using only a fraction of the resources required by traditional agriculture. As the challenge to feed the world’s expanding population grows, our mission is to create amazing foods and materials that provide sustainable choices and nurture the planet.
We’re looking for passionate, driven, and ambitious people to join our fast-growing team.
We are partnering with a marquee global non-profit on an ambitious 3-year R&D grant project. This project will involve evaluating how Nature’s Fynd’s fermentation technology can be deployed in low-resource settings in developing countries. Our current production process relies on the use of a blend of nutrients and feedstocks to grow Fy™, our new-to-the-world fungi protein. For this project, we aim to identify opportunities to partner with small-scale agri producers as feedstock suppliers in our protein production process. The vision of this project is to design a business model around protein production that creates income and employment opportunities for local stakeholders while developing affordable, nutritious food products for underserved communities. We believe that the use cases of this technology can be massive - think rapid deployment at disaster relief sites, protein- and food-deficient geographies and more.  
The Business Development Manager will play a critical role in identifying and transforming use cases of this new technology into sustainable business models and will be responsible for overseeing overall project management and business model development work for this grant.  
We are looking for someone who is passionate about tackling  global development challenges and is ready to lead a new chapter of our company’s growth focused on social impact. The candidate will be an effective cross-functional leader who partners closely across R&D, Product Development, Regulatory and BD teams to deliver on the grant vision and objectives. They will work closely with our VP Biotech R&D and Director of International Expansion.
Please note that this role will involve fieldwork to rural parts of the project location (20% of time). This position is open to applicants based in India, South Asia, and Africa.

Scope of Responsibilities:

  • Lead the design and development of a new business and operating model for low-income geographies, in close partnership with our BD and R&D team
  • Cross-functional leadership and management of the R&D grant project, including tracking project progress and reporting milestones to our non-profit partner
  • Analyze market and consumer data to develop recommendations on overall go-to-market strategy, incl. target consumer segments and geographies, product offerings, pricing, partnerships etc
  • Develop deep expertise of local feedstock, food processing, manufacturing and logistics infrastructure landscapes; translate findings into insights for our R&D teams and for project design
  • Build a coalition / partnerships with local governments and organizations, including but not limited to farmer co-operatives, NGOs, food manufacturers, impact organizations etc., in preparation for pilot rollout
  • Hire and manage in-market staff, agencies and external consultants to meet grant objectives; oversee business development budget

Candidate Qualifications:

  • At least 4 years of experience working in business development or business operations, or strategy roles. Prior experience in the agricultural/agri-food sector or social impact businesses is a plus
  • At least 2 years of experience leading teams and the ability to lead cross-functional teams in an entrepreneurial environment. Prior experience collaborating with R&D/technology teams is a plus
  • Track record of success in launching new products / owning product launch initiatives end-to-end. Experience with FMCG/food products is a plus
  • Experience working in rural markets in India and/or Africa, and an understanding of diverse consumer attitudes and behaviours across these geographies
  • Experience in designing and executing on business model development and go-to-market strategies
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain a network of relationships with external partners. Prior experience with closing partnership deals is a plus
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills. Excellent verbal, written, presentation and communication skills 
  • A passion for driving social impact and equity, evidenced by a strong interest in and/or prior exposure to global or local impact issues

Your Profile:

  • Ownership Mindset: you have a strong bias for action, are self-motivated and excel in taking leadership of initiatives independently, even in the face of setbacks and bottlenecks
  • Comfort with Ambiguity: you are comfortable with working with complex, nebulous problems and identifying the way forward with limited direction
  • Always Find a Way: you enjoy finding  scrappy ways to solve complex problems and are curious and creative in your problem-solving approach
  • Growth Mindset: you enjoy the process of getting better at what you do, and systematically seek out feedback to improve
  • Humility and Emotional Agility: you are ready to make a difference quickly, embrace our unique culture, and build credibility across the organization
  • Kind, Optimistic, and Fun: you enjoy collaborating on challenging problems and investing in the success of those around you
Nature's Fynd
Proteins to nourish people while nurturing the planet
Size:  101-250 employees
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