Program manager BUSINESS CREATION
European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Food is a young and fast growing organisation focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation in the food sector. EIT Food is a start-up but has characteristics of a multinational and is operating in a European and international environment. It has 5 regional offices (Co-Location Centres or CLC) in Europe, each covering several EIT Food partners and partner countries. The members of the EIT Food community are world-class players in the international food domain.
JOB DESCRIPTION: The Programme Manager Business Creation will be responsible to facilitate and drive EIT Food’s Business Creation activities, which are executed by the EIT Food partners, on regional level (CLC) with a geographic focus and on pan-European level for an assigned Business Creation Segment.
JOB AND CONTRACT TYPE: Full-time and unlimited duration. Employment contract under the Belgian labor law.
LOCATION: (S)he will be based at the Co-Location Centre West in the Leuven area, Belgium. Occasional travel (up to 4-6 per month) within Europe can be expected.
MANAGER/SUPERVISOR: For day-to-day operations you will report to the Director of the Co-Location Centre. Your functional reporting line according to the matrix organisation of EIT Food will be the Functional Director of Business Creation at EIT Food Headquarters.
EXPECTED START DATE: The expected starting date is 1st of March 2018.
- You will execute tasks related the regional CLC level and pan-European tasks related to EIT Food. On pan-European level, for the assigned Business Creation segment “Access to Finance”:
- Under the leadership of the Director of Business Creation, contribute to the development of the Business Creation strategy to deliver on EIT Food’s Strategic Objectives
- Drive the execution of the activities within the assigned segment “Access to Finance” (EIT Food Seed and Early-Stage Fund - FoodSparks™, VC funds network)
- Lead the monitoring and reporting on the activities within the assigned segment “Access to Finance”
- Identify and leverage new Business Creation opportunities in line with the strategy
- Facilitate and nurture the EIT Food network of partners as well as other collaboration opportunities
- On regional level:
- Act as primary regional contact for advice and support on Business Creation opportunities and priorities for EIT Food
- Be the single point of contact for those interested in engaging with or exploring business creation opportunities through EIT Food
- Create, expand and maintain a strong regional network to share good practices and to ensure maximum engagement
- Promote EIT Food business creation opportunities through CLC EIT Food partners and by direct engagement in regional industry, knowledge exchange and start-up ecosystems
- Support EIT Food’s Operations with:
- Timely reporting on progress and on financial and performance matters of activities under responsibility
- Contribute to the annual Business Plan and information and reporting and evaluation requests from EIT Food
- Support putting together the Annual Report of EIT Food
- Actively liaise with other EIT Food headquarters functions such as Operations,
Education, Innovation and Communication
- Actively connect with other Program Managers to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of the EIT Food Business Plan
- Ensure other team members receive orientation, information and feedback
KEY SKILLS AND EXPERIENCES: Qualifications
- Master degree related to entrepreneurship, finance, business management, OR other Master degree (preferably related to agri-food space) associated with a high-level professional training in entrepreneurship / business / commerce / seed and earlystage investment management
- University or professional education related to agri-food sector is a clear plus
- Knowledge of start-up business modelling methodologies, tools for new ventures creation and seed / early stage investment evaluation methodologies, confirmed by relevant experiences in technology or financial sector
- Fluency in English. French and/or Dutch is a strong plus. Other European languages will be considered
- Very good command of Microsoft Office
- 5+ years of relevant working experience in start-ups or technology markets
- Relevant experiences in working with start-up ecosystems
- Experience as investment manager in a seed/early-stage fund is a clear plus
- Expertise and experience in the food sector is a clear plus
- Established network of contacts with representatives of start-up community, seed and VC funds, financial institutions and entrepreneurship support organizations within the Belgium/France/Switzerland region is highly desirable
- International exposure and experiences
- Experience in preparing business plans and/or project management is an asset
Skills and behaviour
- Solid business judgment, orientation for progress, practical application of technical solutions, broad, flexible and interdisciplinary thinking
- Ability to work in a matrix-organisation
- Strong sense of ownership with proven record of delivering results
- Combining analytical thinking with creativity
- Excellent verbal and written communication, presentation and persuasion skills
- Proven ability to establish trust and good communication channels, including remote communication with international teams
- Ability to interact and communicate effectively with individuals at all levels of the organization with tact and diplomacy, and with a high level of cultural sensitivity
- Openness and proven ability to establish trust as well as the capacity for building alliances between industry, public sector, research, education and other stakeholders, including remote communication with international teams
- Proactive, independent and trustworthy
- Passion for continuous improvement
- Respectful of timelines and deadlines and attention for detail
- Active interest in the food sector
- Ability to work both independently and in small (multi-national) teams
- Organised, service-oriented and capable of multi-tasking
- Can do attitude and willing and eager to learn and realise impact
- Excellent emotional intelligence skills
DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND PERFORMANCE GOALS:
- Be considered a true expert in the concerned thematic domain
- Build excellent relationships with partners fostering collaboration and creativity
- Build and contribute to operational efficiency
- Develop experience in cross-functional projects and activities
- Assume responsibilities besides or beyond current job description
EIT FOOD OFFER: EIT Food offers a competitive salary package consisting of a monthly salary and additional inkind benefits. Besides, attractive holiday and insurance schemes are offered as well. Flexibility and the balance between work and private life are equally important.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES: EIT Food is an equal opportunity employer, offering each candidate matching the minimum obligatory qualifications and experiences an equal chance in employment and promotion procedures.
DESCRIPTION OF EIT FOOD: The website of EIT Food is https://www.eitfood.eu. EIT Food is a consortium of over 50 partners from leading businesses, research centres and universities across 13 countries. It is a people-centric and resource-smart transformer of the European food system, driving consumer confidence and improved global health. 2017 is the start-up year of EIT Food. Though a start-up, EIT Food is operating in an international environment and has characteristics of a multinational. EIT Food members have a strong belief that the food sector needs to be transformed and that this can only be achieved by reconnecting partners within the food sector and by giving the consumer a more central role. The main issues the food sector is facing are that it is complex, fragmented, slow to adopt new technologies, not attractive to new talent, and not resource efficient. An effective food sector is needed to address major societal issues and challenges: feeding 9-10 billion people in 2050; 3 billion overweight people; 2 billion undernourished people; more than 30% of food wasted. EIT Food’s vision is to put Europe at the centre of a global revolution in food innovation and production, and its value in society. EIT Food will engage consumers in the change process, improve nutrition and make the food system more resource-efficient, secure, transparent and trusted. EIT Food has six strategic objectives:
- Overcome low consumer trust: support Europeans in the transition towards a smart food system that is inclusive and trusted;
- Create consumer valued food for healthier nutrition: enable individuals to make informed and affordable personal nutrition choices;
- Build a consumer-centric connected food system: develop a digital food supply network with consumers and industry as equal partners;
- Enhance sustainability: develop solutions to transform the traditional ‘produceusedispose’ model into a circular bio-economy;
- Educate to engage, innovate and advance: Provide ‘food system’ skills for more than 10,000 students, entrepreneurs and professionals through advanced training programmes.
- Catalyse food entrepreneurship and innovation: foster innovation at all stages of business creation.
EIT Food boosts the skills and entrepreneurial spirit in the sector and unlocks the potential of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which in turn will accelerate innovation, create jobs, benefit businesses and increase Europe’s competitiveness. The pan-European EIT Food KIC is headquartered in Belgium and its partnership brings together change-makers in all relevant sectors and fields. EIT Food is well positioned to achieve the maximum impact on the challenges outlined above. The highly committed partnership will conceive, develop, evaluate and adopt new market-oriented approaches to innovation. It is structured around five Co-Location Centres (CLCs) established in Reading (with partners from the UK, Ireland and Iceland), Warsaw (with partners from Eastern Europe and Nordic countries), Madrid (with partners from Spain, Italy and Israel), Leuven (with partners from Belgium, France and Switzerland) and Munich (with partners from Germany and the Netherlands). EIT Food is structured as a Belgian “international non-profit association” (“internationale vereniging zonder winstoogmerk – ivzw”) based in Leuven. The KIC has a Supervisory Board and a Management Team.
APPLICATION: Interested candidates are asked to send their CV and motivation letter in English in electronic format to firstname.lastname@example.org before January 26th 2018. Please state in the description line of the email your name and “application to the position of project manager for business creation – CLC West”. Shortlisted candidates may be invited for an interview. Shortlisted candidates may be asked to prove their background, qualifications, skills and experiences by providing relevant documents.
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