VP, Strategic Partnerships
Sales & Business Development
Berkeley, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2023
Based in Berkeley, CA, UPSIDE Foods grows meat, poultry, and seafood directly from animal cells. These products are not vegan or vegetarian—they are delicious meat, made without the need to raise and slaughter billions of animals. In a historic first, UPSIDE Foods received regulatory approval to sell its product in the US in June 2023.
Founded as the world’s first cultivated meat company in 2015, UPSIDE Foods (formerly Memphis Meats) has achieved numerous industry-defining milestones, including being the first company to produce multiple species of meat (beef, chicken, and duck). The company believes that people shouldn’t have to choose between the foods they love and a thriving planet, and is working to build a better food system with access to delicious, humane, and sustainable meat, poultry, and seafood. UPSIDE Foods has won various industry awards, including New York Times’ Good Tech Awards, FastCo’s Next Big Thing in Tech, and the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in the Nation by the National Association for Business Resources. UPSIDE Foods has raised a total of $608 million, including from the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund (ADG), Baillie Gifford, Bill Gates, Cargill, John Doerr, John Mackey, Kimbal and Christiana Musk, Norwest, Richard Branson, Softbank, Temasek, Threshold, Tyson Foods, and others.
About this job
We’re doing something the world has never seen before and we’re looking for an extraordinary individual to join us on our journey in our newly created role leading Strategic Partnerships! Reporting to the COO, this critical enterprise leader will be a key member of UPSIDE Foods’ leadership team and will work closely with our most senior leaders and stakeholders to define the role of strategic partnerships and corporate and business development in our next exciting chapter of growth.
Let us know if you fit the bill!
- A leader who can help “see” and define the future, apply creative strategic thinking to drive UPSIDE Foods’ growth trajectory and help identify and realize pathways for value creation in the emerging cultivated meat sector
- Proven track record with strategic partnerships and corporate/business development in relevant food / pharma / tech contexts that is also deeply curious, creative, and adaptable to new contexts
- Balance strategic thinking with flawless execution; exhibit superior analytical skills and financial acumen; have strong EQ, ability to build trust with internal and external stakeholders, and be a skilled negotiator; and be comfortable with ambiguity and the fast pace of a dynamic start-up environment
- Strong work ethic and sense of urgency coupled with a passion for understanding our customers and partners, finding win-win solutions, and building the future of food through cultivated meat
- Experienced people leader and developer of talent
In addition to the above, you’re an energetic leader with 15+ years of experience; exceptional communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills; a passion for excellence and a strong sense of urgency; and a team builder who wants to have fun at work while working hard to change the world.
- Be responsible for sourcing, developing, negotiating and maintaining key enterprise-wide business relationships to support the strategic growth of UPSIDE Foods. These could include strategic partners, key customers, corporate and business development priorities, and project financing. Depending on business needs, you may also engage directly with investors. (Note - this will not include ingredient sourcing, supply chain, or manufacturing specific partners).
- Partner with cross functional teams to understand and advocate for an enterprise-wide perspective and approach to partnerships including R&D, manufacturing, legal, finance and others.
- Manage internal stakeholders to drive alignment with urgency and agility.
- Conduct data-driven research and industry analysis to identify implications for UPSIDE - and corresponding opportunities that advance UPSIDE’s strategic objectives. Recommend and pursue companies/technologies that can meet those objectives.
- Lead deal execution including due diligence, articulation of key inputs and levers for financial model, and negotiations.
- Ground decisions and strategy in data, deep customer / partner empathy, and facts, while balancing with an appropriate appetite for unknowns and calibrated risk-taking.
- Challenge assumptions and conventional wisdom with fact-based specific, supported reasoned proposals.
- Lead and mentor a talented and driven team in the development and execution of strategic initiatives and be skilled in managing extended or virtual teams.
- Identify critical external stakeholders and engage them to shape a shared vision of the future; be quick to build trust, skilled at identifying the partner’s non-negotiables and creative in delivering solutions that satisfy both UPSIDE’s and the partner’s needs.
- Present verbal and written recommendations; lead discussions with all levels of management, including C-level executives, Board of Directors and partners at all levels.
- Take extreme ownership for outcomes and remain engaged with prior efforts to ensure strategies drive desired outcomes; identify pivots as needed.
- Engage as needed in adjacent enterprise activities, which could include strategy development, fundraising support, and investor management.
- Masters in Business Administration
- 15+ years of relevant experience with senior roles in strategy, partnerships and corporate / business development in growth organizations. Preference for experience in food, biotech, consumer or novel emerging production technologies.
- Track-record of exceptional creativity, sourcing, structuring, successfully executing and maintaining innovative partnerships to meet business needs. Experience with large capital projects, multiyear commitments, and a mix of private, public (government), and international partnership experience preferred.
- Background at a top-tier strategy consulting firm or investment banking (or similar) in addition to in-house experience preferred.
- Love working at multiple levels - from strategic, long-term to engaging in the details and execution. Have a startup mindset and a “0 to 1 deal-maker” who has brought a number of impactful strategic deals to life from conception to execution.
- High financial and commercial acumen, a hypothesis and data-driven decision maker that also has a strong intuition and pattern recognition.
- Experience / comfort with science and technology through educational background or prior experience.
- Proven strategic thinker and creative problem solver who can identify and assess strategic options, lead rigorous data analytics, and negotiate win-wins.
- Project leader with superlative organizational skills, attention to detail, strong work ethic, and high degree of urgency. Ability to manage multiple competing priorities and points of view and drive towards deadlines and outcomes.
- Experience in building trusted advisor relationships and influencing others (including C-level executives) internally and externally at all levels.
- Strong executive presence and ability to communicate strategy clearly and simply. Ease with executive-level interactions - ability to distill complex business issues and strategies to highlight insights and actionable recommendations in a concise and persuasive manner. Superior written (including strategy narratives/ decks/white papers) and verbal communication skills.
- Ability to think future forward and reason back and to balance short and long-term needs. Comfort with ambiguity, and an ability to “see around corners” and “connect the dots” that enable business to proactively drive business, not just respond to it.
- Passion to win: Driving high standards for individual, team, and organizational accomplishment. Possesses confidence and self-awareness with ego in balance.
- A great team leader and coach who is eager to roll up your sleeves and build a team that can have fun while working hard to change the world.
- Thrive in dynamic, ambiguous environments with evolving responsibilities; growth mindset and highly flexible and adaptable.
Who you’ll work with
- As UPSIDE’s strategic partnerships leader, you will work closely with key stakeholders across the enterprise to help define and execute UPSIDE’s partnerships strategy. You’ll report to the COO and interact closely with the remainder of the enterprise leadership team and their teams, with particular engagement with the CEO, Chief Scientific Officer, Chief Manufacturing and Supply Chain Officer, and Chief Legal Officer. Our existing Director of Partnerships will report to you.
Key Contributions in First Year
- Develop multi-year partnership strategy, identify potential partners, and execute key enterprise-level strategic partnership agreements
- Engage and build relationships with key existing partners, investors, and strategics
- Support development of enterprise growth strategy
- Coach, develop and build a strong team and bench support UPSIDE’s growth
Compensation Range: $250,000 - $300,000*
*Pay may vary depending on factors including job-related knowledge and skills.
*Pay may vary depending on factors including job-related knowledge and skills.
- Stock options for all full-time incoming team members!
- 90-100% employer-paid healthcare premiums for team members (medical [including HSA and FSA], dental, and vision)
- Pet insurance for your furry family members!
- Unlimited PTO
- DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) Council and People Engagement Programs
- Company-sponsored learning & development opportunities
UPSIDE Foods is an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. Our company-wide mission is to create a product for everyone, so we are deeply committed to having teams and leaders that reflect this mission.