Relationship Manager - Captains of Innovation

Job Type

Full Time




United States


Relationship Manager - Captains of Innovation (a Program of Venture Café Global Institute) - Cambridge, MA

The Relationship Manager will work with a subset of the Captains of Innovation client portfolio – primarily global corporations working to innovate their business models and find new technologies to disrupt their industries. The Relationship Manager will work primarily with the Captains Executive Director and Captains Director of Implementation to provide high-quality, personalized, and thoughtful service to our clients. We seek a dynamic, seasoned, creative, and energetic individual who has a deep commitment to innovation, startups, and organizational culture. A good candidate will have a proven record of professional success but will also have learned many of the hard lessons only challenging times or failures can teach.

The ideal candidate will possess the following characteristics:

  • A natural passion for startups, innovation, and entrepreneurship and a great connector/networker.
  • Team player who is personable, happy to help others, and naturally drawn to a very busy, continually-evolving environment. Ability to work well as part of a small (but mighty!) team.
  • Strong relationship management and consultative skills, with the ability to translate business goals into program delivery and services. Skilled listener who ensures clients are heard.
  • Experience and ease working with companies of various sizes, cultures, and native languages, and ability to shift approach based on the needs and workstyle of the client.
  • Effective speaker, writer, and presenter.
  • A self-starter with a strong work ethic who is comfortable multitasking large responsibilities while always getting the details right and not letting anything fall through the cracks. 
  • Commitment to view their work as mission-based and an opportunity to make a powerful contribution to a larger effort. 
  • Trustworthy and continually willing to both learn and teach; a love for problem-solving and comfortability working with ambiguity.
  • Strong relationship with technology; mac proficient; experience with Slack, Trello, and CRM platforms a plus.


This person will be a member of the Venture Café Global Institute staff and report to the Executive Director of Captains of Innovation. Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Stewarding a subset of the Captains client portfolio to make sure they are provided the highest level experience within their Captains engagement. Management includes assisting during the onboarding, process framing, and implementation strategy and execution in partnership with Captains senior staff, as well as assistance with day-to-day management. Additionally, the Relationship Manager will serve as the key liaison between clients and any collaborative partners that arise from their Captains engagement. 
  • Effectively liaise between clients and Captains senior management team about client needs, progress, and expectations. This will be a balance of communicating key, milestones, concerns, successes when necessary, balanced with independent work and ownership.
  • Partner with local Venture Cafes and additional implementation partners to exceed Captains members’ intended outcomes and results. While the primary focus will be on serving Captains clients, the implementation partners play a vital role in the health and success of the Captains program. Building, maintaining, and supporting these partnerships –– including guiding, supporting, and attending all events that stem from the engagement, both locally and globally –– is a key role of this position.
  • Periodically work in partnership with CIC’s Sales and Relationship Management team to (1) effectively support CIC’s corporate clients in their efforts to become more innovative and (2) to identify potential Captains leads and opportunities.


In addition to helping our communities achieve great things, we work to ensure that our employees are healthy and supported. Some of the benefits of being here include:

  • Fun people in a dynamic space. We pride ourselves on finding driven and bright collaborators who are eager to lend their own unique skills to the team, as well as to our inspiring clientele. The number one reason our team members say they like working here is because of their colleagues!
  • Personal growth. This is a great opportunity to learn and develop skills within the epicenter of the innovation community at a growing company
  • Great benefits for full-time employees (see below)
  • Regular massages, access to a nursing room, secure bicycle parking, a game room, a gym, and shower rooms with towels


  • A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
  • At least 4-5 years of relevant professional experience
  • A natural interest for helping/supporting others
  • Ability to travel ~10% of the time, as needed, at various times of the year
  • Dual-language fluency strongly preferred.

VCGI is committed to building teams that reflect the fabric of the cities we support. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and consider all qualified candidates regardless of race, color, ancestry, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, Veteran status, or any other legally protected status. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation please let us know.


Captains of Innovation, a program of the Venture Café Global Institute, is designed to help large organizations in today's hyper-competitive environment with the full spectrum of innovation –– to conceive, develop and commercialize ideas, products and services as well as connect corporations to startups, entrepreneurs, innovation thought leaders, host conferences, hackathons, events and more. Corporate partners join in order to find new technologies and business models as well as understand emerging technology and market trends that may disrupt their industries. Going even deeper, we assist corporate partners in building their own innovation foundry with the creation of innovation incubators, accelerators, innovation centers and virtual innovation centers.


Venture Café’s mission is to connect innovators to make things happen. Founded in 2009 at CIC, Venture Café is now a global movement of local nonprofits working to build stronger and more inclusive innovation ecosystems and accelerate and enhance the innovation process, in cities around the world. It does this through its use of programming, physical spaces, storytelling, and broad innovation engagement. There are currently Venture Cafes in six locations globally.

The Venture Café Global Institute is a public benefit corporation that operates as a nonprofit organization to support the Global Network of independent Venture Cafes. VCGI provides support in key areas including staff training, knowledge sharing, fundraising, shared systems and services, intellectual property, and guides expansion to new sites. It also deploys our flagship corporate-startup connections program, Captains of Innovation, around the world.


Compensation is commensurate with experience plus 100% of the cost of a premium healthcare and dental package and full payment of expenses covered by your deductible, long and short-term disability, life insurance, 401K matching after the first year of employment (must be 21+) and three weeks of vacation from the start (more with seniority). Annual reviews with raises significantly above the national average every year for those one track with strong performance.

Level of Language Proficiency

Additional language proficiency a major plus!

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply