Factor[e] Ventures is a global investment and venture building firm with offices in Kenya, USA, and UK. Our mission is to invest in and build technology-enabled ventures in energy, agriculture, mobility and smart infrastructure that are addressing the greatest climate and income inequality challenges in Africa and India. If you are passionate about this mission and interested in joining our team, see below for open roles or reach out to tell us more about how you could contribute.
Venture Design Director | Nairobi, Kenya – Full Time
About the Factor[e] Venture Studio
Factor[e] Ventures is a global impact investment group with offices in Kenya, USA and UK, whose mission is to increase incomes and reduce the impact of climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa by building high-impact energy, agriculture, water, and mobility ventures. Over the next 10 years, we aim to build and invest in 100 new ventures with over $2B in follow-on investment to impact over 100M lives and to reduce carbon emissions by 1Gt.
The Factor[e] Venture Studio will build new companies from scratch and provide post-investment support to our growing portfolio. We ideate, launch, and scale new ventures from idea to exit, providing hands-on strategy and back office support to our venture teams as they scale.
About the Role
We are looking for a highly skilled Venture Designer to work closely with the leadership team to execute the venture studio strategy. The Venture Designer will report to assigned co-founder(s) of a venture build in the studio and will work closely with them through the venture building process, using rigorous, data driven insights to support co-founders to move towards pre-set targets and
timelines. The Venture Designer will be involved in different stages of our process:
- ● At the ‘ideation’ stage – (1) provide input into the problems we want to solve in your sector of expertise and help refine our theses based on your work and knowledge of the sector; (2) take co-founders through the Studio venture design process, supporting them along the way.
- ● At the ‘pilot’ stage – (1) take co-founders through the Studio venture design process, supporting them along the way; (2) run pilots of promising ventures alongside the studio and co-founders
- ● At the ‘build’ stage – provide ongoing support to co-founders in the studio, exploring their needs and matching them with studio resources as needed
To succeed in this role, the ideal candidate will have experience working in an entrepreneurial environment in Africa or other emerging markets, and be able to execute and manage multiple competing priorities. All Venture Studio team members must also be committed to a mission-driven, collaborative, open and high performing team culture.
This position will be based in the Factor[e] office in Nairobi, Kenya, and will work closely with our team and partners across Africa. Some domestic and pan-African travel may be required.
As the Factor[e] Venture Studio is new, this role may change as the needs of the organization change. To begin, the Venture Designer will have the following responsibilities:
- ● Venture Portfolio Management – Provide leadership to multiple agriculture or energy venture ideas as they go through the ideation and pilot phases in the studio:
- – Build and curate a portfolio of ventures in a sector (energy, agriculture or mobility).
- – Work with 2-4 ventures at a time supporting Co-Founders in their venture creation journey by being their primary point person in the venture studio to provide thought leadership, access to shared services, and brainstorming/troubleshooting support.
- – For each problem we aim to solve in the venture studio, support the Ideation team to document and evaluate a range of solutions we could build ventures around. Sit on the ‘ideation’ sub-investment committee and support in decision making on what internally generated venture ideas are taken into pilot phase. Work closely with Co-Founders to select the best venture ideas to pilot.
- – Manage studio-led pilots and support Co-Founders running pilots in the studio. Draft investment memos for consideration by the Venture Studio investment committee for studio-led venture concepts.
- – Design small cohort venture design sprints and pilots. Manage these sprints with a limited number of Co-Founders, providing guidance on the Venture Studio process and ensuring that Co-founders successfully navigate all stages.
- – Onboard Co-Founders on the venture building process and support them when preparing investment committee materials.
- – Advise the Venture Studio investment committee on matters relating to venture ideas under development.
- – Build a culture of collaboration, high performance and high velocity venture building work within the portfolio. Identify synergies between the ventures and also identify when ventures need to be killed.
- ● Venture Building Support – Support venture co-founders as they go through the venture build process, after the studio has decided to make an investment
- – Provide continued/ongoing support to Co-Founders and their ventures in multiple ways as they go through the venture build phase, enabling them to succeed by matching them with resources within the Factor[e] ecosystem (such as in prototyping and rapid iteration, commercial strategy, corporate finance, and talent)
- – Become an expert in Factor[e]’s Venture Studio Human Centered Design and venture building processes, applying our process and tools and training Co-Founders and their teams.
- – Support Co-Founders in maintaining high velocity throughout the venture building process, with an emphasis of rapid learning and iteration.
- – Support Co-Founders by providing review and input on project plans and IC materials.
- – Serve as a thought partner to Co-Founders in order to help drive strategic decision making.
- – Fill in for temporarily-missing roles on venture build teams, providing dynamic and nimble support as needed and based on your functional areas of expertise.
- ● Help Design & Continuously Improve the Studio Venture Building Process – Provide ongoing strategic support to founders and their teams:
- – Consolidate learnings from the ongoing venture design process and incorporate these learnings into core venture studio materials.
- – Continually analyze the venture building process in order to identify opportunities to improve.
- – Conduct webinars and training for Co-Founders and companies both within the studio and to the broader ecosystem.
Qualifications & Experience
- ● Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
- ● A passion for our mission and experience working in an entrepreneurial environment in Africa; experience with venture studios is a plus.
- ● 5+ years of experience in a fast-growing start-up with responsibility for product design or another key strategic area.
- ● 2+ years of direct employee management experience at the senior manager level or above, preferably in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- ● Strong professional verbal, written, visual communication and presentation skills.
- ● Experience analyzing qualitative and quantitative data to inform strategy and decision making.
- ● Demonstrated ability to contribute to a strong team culture and maintain strong working relationships with a variety of stakeholders.
- ● Comfortable self-managing multiple priorities and partners concurrently; ability to thrive in the face of change and uncertainty, and to be motivated to drive projects forward.
- ● Positive, encouraging, collaborative attitude.
- ● Experience in energy or agriculture is preferred
To Apply: Please submit your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Last Name – Venture Designer”. Please include a brief cover letter explaining your interest in the position and in joining the Factor[e] team.
We are building a diverse and inclusive leadership team. Candidates from African countries and women are particularly encouraged to apply for this role. But Factor(e) Ventures does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
Factor(e) Ventures is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community. To achieve that goal, we may conduct background investigations for all final candidates being considered for employment. Background checks may include, but are not limited to, criminal history, national sex offender search and motor vehicle history.
Factor(e) Ventures does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Factor(e) Ventures is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community and we encourage all candidates to apply, especially women and candidates based on the ground in Africa close to the customers and markets we serve. To achieve that goal, we may conduct background investigations for all final candidates being considered for employment. Background checks may include, but are not limited to, criminal history, national sex offender search and motor vehicle history.