Published 8 days ago

Startup Innovation Lead

Remote, Work must be performed anywhere in United States


Job Type:Full Time
Start Date:September 23, 2024
Application Deadline:August 6, 2024
Experience Level:Mid-level
Salary:USD $91,013 - $95,563 / year


Provide critical support to startups and growth stage companies transforming the food system

The Good Food Institute is a nonprofit think tank working to make the global food system better for the planet, people, and animals. Alongside scientists, businesses, and policymakers, GFI’s teams focus on making plant-based, fermentation-enabled, and cultivated meat delicious, affordable, and accessible. Powered by philanthropy, GFI is an international network of organizations advancing alternative proteins as an essential solution needed to meet the world’s climate, global health, food security, and biodiversity goals.

How You Will Make a Difference 

In this role, you will have a rare and exciting opportunity to lead GFI’s engagement with startups and growing companies in the alternative protein (AP) industry. You will help these companies reach their objectives as they use cutting edge technology and science-led innovation to shift the food system across the planet. In short, you will have a direct influence on companies poised to make alternative proteins no longer alternative. The Startup Innovation Lead will be responsible for:

  • Serving as the primary point of contact for alternative protein startups; collaborating with startups to provide industry education, including go-to-market strategy, fundraising, and scaling.
  • Working to understand the needs and challenges of alternative protein startups, including identifying and implementing opportunities for industry collaboration to solve challenges/seize opportunities.
  • In collaboration with the Senior Corporate Engagement Manager, Innovation, developing a strategic plan for startup engagement in support of GFI’s mission, taking into account the current alternative protein startup landscape.
  • Liaising with GFI staff and our network of experts to provide support to startups, including managing GFI’s Mentor Program.
  • Collaborating with the Corporate Engagement Manager, Manufacturing to provide educational convenings between startups and larger companies and educate retailers on innovations in the sector.
  • Collaborating with the Investor Engagement Manager to educate corporations on the value of investing in the alternative protein sector and support select financing projects.  
  • Creating resources designed to help startups navigate the intricacies of manufacturing and infrastructure buildout, fundraising, financing strategies, developing supply chains, building  product distribution, and regulatory requirements.
  • Maintaining a significant foundational understanding of AP technologies and staying abreast of technological innovations, trends, and the commercial landscape.
  • Representing GFI at industry conferences, including speaking to audiences that include entrepreneurs, startups, investors, corporates, and members of the media; and bringing critical insights back to the team.
  • Promoting the industry through blog posts and media interviews.
  • In partnership with the industry intelligence team, collecting input from startups on key industry needs and disseminating information and insights on AP whitespaces and opportunities to stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem.
  • Identifying community-building strategies to further develop the startup ecosystem, including supporting the implementation of GFI-hosted events, and providing content input for the Business of Alternative Protein seminar series.
  • Performing other duties as assigned.

Who We’re Looking For 

An ideal candidate for the Startup Innovation Lead position will have experience that reflects the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in business administration, marketing, finance, or a related field is preferred. An MBA or equivalent experience is a plus.
  • At least four years of relevant experience working at or engaging with startups to provide guidance related to launching and scaling (e.g., target market, go-to-market strategy, pitching/fundraising). Investment or financing experience is a plus.
  • Demonstrated passion and interest in both the startup and alternative protein industry. 
  • The ability to establish and maintain relationships with startup founders, entrepreneurs, investors, and industry stakeholders.
  • An understanding of and interest in emerging technologies, market trends, and industry innovations relevant to the alternative protein sector. 
  • A thorough understanding of fundraising for startups.
  • Strong analytical, writing, and presentation skills. 
  • A strong ability to work independently and meet deadlines, a high degree of self-motivation, and intellectual curiosity.  
  • Persuasive and engaging interpersonal skills; the ability to build effective working relationships with entrepreneurs, founders, investors, and company executives. 
  • Ability to use sound judgment in decision making, including setting and managing priorities and meeting competing deadlines.
  • Experience successfully managing large cross-functional projects.
  • Comfort working remotely and in a rapidly growing and evolving organization.
  • Strong support for GFI’s philosophy and mission; demonstrated interest in public health, environmentalism, animal protection, or hunger relief.
  • Familiarity with the alternative protein industry (plant-based meat, eggs, and dairy; cultivated meat; and fermentation-derived proteins). 
  • A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to building an inclusive workplace where everyone feels like they belong.
  • Strong support for GFI’s philosophy and mission; demonstrated interest in plant based and other alternative proteins, public health, environmentalism, climate change, animal protection, and/or food security.
  • A commitment to GFI’s values: believe change is possible, do the most good we can, share knowledge freely, act on evidence, and invite everyone to the table.

We want the best people and we don’t want biases holding us back. We are testing a third-party anonymizing tool to redact personal information from submitted applications — including name, location, contact details, and several other factors — to reduce bias and increase fairness in our process. We strongly encourage people of every race, color, orientation, age, gender, origin, and ability to apply. Since we value a diverse workplace, we prioritize an inclusive climate absent of discrimination and harassment during the application process and after you join the team. 

Research indicates that men tend to apply for jobs when they meet just 60% of the criteria, while women and people from other marginalized groups only apply if they are a 100% match. If you are passionate about GFI’s mission and think you have what it takes to be successful in this role even if you don’t check all the boxes, please apply. We’d appreciate the opportunity to consider your application. 

The Fine Print

  • Terms of employment: Full-time, exempt
  • Reports to: Laine Clark, Senior Corporate Engagement Manager, Innovation
  • Location: Remote; United States
  • Travel: Regular travel is required for this role; up to 2 trips of 2-3 days each per month and up to two weeks per year for organization retreats (reasonable accommodations for and exemptions from organization retreats considered on a case-by-case basis).
  • Benefits: Working from home, full medical coverage, optional dental and vision packages, a 401(k) plan with employer match, flexible holiday and vacation plans, opportunity for advancement, respectful managers, and supportive colleagues. More information here:
  • This is a U.S.-based position: In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire. 
  • COVID vaccination policy: GFI requires all US employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Proof of vaccination will be requested before the start of employment. GFI will consider requests for accommodations or exemptions from this policy on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with applicable laws. More information here:
  • Salary: $91,013 - $95,563.78 (depending on experience and qualifications)

Important Dates

Application deadline: August 6, 2024

Anticipated start date: On or around September 23, 2024

Provide critical support to startups and growth stage companies transforming the food system

The Good Food Institute is a nonprofit think tank working to make the global food system better for the planet, people, and animals. Alongside…


Work must be performed anywhere in United States
Associated Location
N Harrison St, Arlington, VA, USA

How to Apply

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