Senior Venture Design Associate
Future Lab Studio, Innovation Village’s Venture Building, Founder Support and Corporate Innovation Unit is seeking an outstanding Senior Venture Design Associate to support our growing portfolio of world-class startups. This critical role offers the platform to nurture category-leading startups and the founders behind them that are working to solve the most challenging problems in society.
About the Innovation Village
The Innovation Village is Uganda’s launchpad for leading innovators and entrepreneurs. We are building an entire ecosystem of entrepreneurs and innovators in what is growing to become a business solutions provider for our biggest challenges or opportunities. From helping entrepreneurs launch and grow high-impact ventures to attracting regional and global opportunities, our ecosystem approach converges multiple partners including public, private, academia, research, and civil society as one force for good.
Through regional spaces in the capital Kampala, Jinja to the eastern, Gulu to the northern and Mbarara to the western parts of the Uganda, Innovation Village fuels the growth of game-changing founders, startups and enterprises that can positively transform our communities and economies.
About Future Lab Studio
Future Lab Studio (“the Studio”) partners with and supports exceptional Founders and Executives solving Africa’s most pressing challenges by using technology to overcome systemic constraints. Leveraging multisectoral innovation themes cutting across various technologies, the Studio empowers innovators through a range of innovation, incubation, and acceleration journeys to build, refine or scale scalable solutions, and to access market opportunities from across our partner network, connecting the best progressing teams to stage-relevant capital from across the Studio’s capital ecosystem.
At our core, the Studio convenes outstanding opportunities, tools, capital, and advice that empower Founders and Executives building and scaling category-leading tech and tech-enabled solutions to Africa’s pressing challenges.
We do this through multisectoral Innovation Clusters in areas like Automating Trust, Digital Inclusion and Climate Action where we converge Founders, Executives, Domain Experts and Investors with the passion, dedication, networks, experience and expertise in solving for the most complex challenges in these thematic areas using technology. We are especially keen on the intersection of the thematic topics with our focus on Agriculture, Education and MSME sectors.
We are looking for an outstanding Senior Venture Design Associate to join our core team, managing one or more of our venture building programs. You will be driving investment into and maximizing outcomes for exceptional founders and the startups they are building.
You will test problems, develop solutions, and test, validate and develop commercial models. Your work will include rapid prototyping and experimentation, product design, product strategy, and commercialization.
You have an outstanding grasp of key Venture Building, Innovation and modern Management and Product Development concepts, with the ability to extract and communicate opportunities. You have strong visual design and prototyping skills, and an outstanding ability to communicate complex concepts easily to specialist and generalist audiences. You are an excellent collaborator, a self-starter and comfortable working with little direction or oversight and thrive in uncertainty. You have exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, both written and verbal. You are passionate about building great companies, have excellent EQ and are a great coach.
You will work closely with the Venture Design Lead and related functions and teams, and our Portfolio Startups to identify market trends and opportunities, design new products and services, shape product and business strategy, design and build landing pages and prototypes, workshop solutions with the broader Studio and Innovation Village teams, constantly experiment with new technologies and tools to drive innovation and creativity, and present new concepts to management and other stakeholders. You will support portfolio startups through the rigor of our various venture building programs, supporting them to get the most out of the experience. You will oversee a portfolio of Venture Building Platforms and Innovation Programs, providing leadership to ensure they are delivered efficiently, effectively and to the delight of all stakeholders. Specifically, you will:
- Oversee a portfolio of Venture Building Platforms and Innovation Programs Manage and deliver one or more of the Venture Building and/ or Innovation Programs
- Identify, conduct due diligence on, and recommend for selection, outstanding Founders and Startups to the Venture Building and Innovation Programs
- Coach, evaluate and coordinate additional support to portfolio and alumni Founders and Startups that complete our Venture Building and Innovation Programs
- Prepare portfolio Startups to raise funding from our network of partner early-stage capital providers.
- Leverage our partner ecosystem to identify and support portfolio startups to exploit opportunities to grow and scale.
- Support our ambitious Startup Studio initiatives, turning ambitious ideas into suitable MVPs within 6 months guided by commercial validation, graduating the most progressed concepts into viable fully-fledged ventures within 18 months.
- Have at least 8 years of work experience, at least 3 of which are in a management role with significant responsibilities.
- Have demonstrable advanced experience in one or more of Digital Product and/or Service Design, Growth Strategy, Innovation Strategy, Corporate Venture Building, Customer Research and Insights, Organization Design, Experience Strategy, Omnichannel Experience Strategy, Digital Marketing Strategy, Digital Engagement Strategy, and/ or Digital Execution.
- Have considerable Project or Program Management experience.
- Experience designing and managing Innovation Programs or leading Innovation Departments an added advantage.
- Experience with Enterprise Technology like HubSpot, Salesforce, Adobe, Google, SharePoint, Microsoft 365, Impartner, etc. an added advantage
- Have extensive experience developing new products, services, and businesses models, more so in those in technology or that are technology-enabled.
- Experience founding or being an early operator of a high-growth startup that successfully closed funding is an added advantage.
- Outstanding research skills and the ability to integrate multiple data sources to inform complex problems.
- Proven track record of taking ideas and bringing them to life across a range of industries.
- Have a deep understanding of what makes an outstanding product, startup and founder.
- Have a deep understanding of how to commercialize opportunities.
- Have basic proficiency in low code/ no-code tools, and in building prototypes.
- Experience significantly contributing to generating P/L an added advantage.
- Be able to identify opportunities by looking at user needs and broader market trends.
- Have a sense of how to identify key risks and validate hypotheses.
- Have exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, both written and verbal
- Have worked with a variety of products and industries in your career.
- Be organized, attentive to detail and an ability to balance detail with the big picture.
- Exceptional ability to communicate complex ideas effectively.
Why You Might Be Excited About Us
- Shape the early success of outstanding Founders and Startups building of ground-breaking innovations with the ability to create better outcomes for millions of Ugandans and beyond.
- Gain deep expertise in what it takes to build and scale tech and tech-enabled startups across various sectors.
- Learn and practice early-stage investment principles.
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