Japan Partnerships Manager (ジャパンパートナーシップマネージャー), Venture Cafe Global Institute - Cambridge, MA

Cambridge, MA
Venture Cafe


Venture Café Global Institute (VCGI) and Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) are seeking to hire a Japan Program Manager to support the growing Captains of Innovation program based in Cambridge, MA, where this position is also based. This person will also staff the Japan Desk as a type of “Madoguchi”, the welcoming point for Japanese companies coming to tap into CIC and Boston’s innovation ecosystem. This person must be fluent in Japanese language and culture.  

VCGIとCIC(ケンブリッジイノベーションセンター)はケンブリッジ(MA)において成長中のキャプテンズオブイノベーションプログラムを支援するための日本パートナーシップマネージャーを探しています。この担当者はジャパンデスクとしてCIC やボストンのイノベーションエコシステムに参入する日本企業の窓口業務も担い、日本語だけではなく文化にも精通している必要があります。


Captains of Innovation is a cross-sector program of VCGI, which helps corporations accelerate the rate of innovation and introduces them to emerging talent and ideas.  The program assists with the full spectrum of innovation to help conceive, develop and commercialize ideas, products and services as well as connect corporations to startups, entrepreneurs, and innovation thought leaders. 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.


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 5 locations globally.
Venture Cafe Global Institute (VCGI) is a Public Benefit Corporation, owned by CIC, created to support the global network of independent Venture Café organizations. VCGI offers training, resources, and guides expansion to new sites. It also deploys our flagship corporate-startup connections program, Captains of Innovation, around the world.


CIC is a community of startups. Our mission is to make the world better by helping create powerful innovation ecosystems. We do that by helping innovators and entrepreneurs launch new ventures quickly and efficiently, giving them a resource-rich environment in which to succeed. We serve approximately 1,400 companies across seven buildings in Cambridge, Boston, St. Louis, Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and Miami (and more on sites on the way!). Our mission is to change the world through innovation by developing innovation ecosystems that enable exceptional entrepreneurs to create new products and companies better and faster. We do this by creating world-class infrastructure and programming for innovators, including high quality, flexible office space; shared wet-lab facilities; public, civic innovation spaces; and targeted initiatives to help entrepreneurs grow their companies.


As a fast growing program, Captains of Innovation is seeking to attract top-notch talent for its team. The primary focus will be supporting the recruitment and implementation of Japanese corporations to engage as members of the program, while also contributing to our ongoing efforts to grow Venture Cafe to Japan over the next 1-2 years. This person will be tasked with building strong relationships with senior management at Japanese companies.

Additionally, as a primary leader of the local Greater Boston innovation ecosystem, CIC and VCGI play the role of convener, connector, and guide for the community, welcoming visitors and companies from around the world.  Therefore, we are looking for a dynamic professional to strategically represent us as the VCGI “Madoguchi”, the welcome point, for the growing number of Japanese delegations visiting and building a presence in CIC and Boston/Cambridge regularly.

The ideal candidate will possess the following characteristics:

-A native Japanese speaker and fluent in English. Must be able to produce professional, high quality business communications in both languages
-A natural passion for startups, innovation, and entrepreneurship and a great connector/networker. A broad and strong network within the Boston innovation community and great, natural connector/networker
-Strong relationship building skills and communication skills, with stakeholders ranging from solo entrepreneurs to government authorities
-Strong consultative skills and the ability to translate business goals into program delivery and services
-Desire to support expansion of Japanese companies to the Boston area
-Experience with sales and marketing activities
-Ability to self direct, anticipate problems and needs
-Team player who is personable, happy to help others, and naturally drawn to a very busy, continually-evolving environment
-Independent, trustworthy, and continually willing to learn



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:
-Provide key sales support for Captains Innovation Program to engage Japanese companies
-Manage and directly deliver the Captains of Innovation scope of services for Japanese companies, and when appropriate, coordinate with individual member Cafes within the VCGI Network
-Coordinate and lead tours of CIC’s main campuses and affiliate partners (e.g. District Hall Boston)
-Actively support the fundraising and expansion efforts for Venture Café Tokyo -- coordinated with CIC Expansion Team
-Bridge Japanese corporate needs to VCGI and its Network members
-Occasionally act as liaison for the Japanese Consulate
-Complete a wide variety of tasks independently to satisfy client needs
-Develop and maintain strong relationships with corporate partners
-Serve as a resource for building relationships within the Japanese business community within CIC, and as an overall ambassador for the CIC/VCGI brand and product


-Strong preference of a bachelor's degree or significant relevant experience; advanced degree welcome
-At least 5 years of professional experience
-Willingness to travel as needed (limited, but may include a few trips to Japan and attendance at the VC Global Gathering)
-Interest in a long-term role. We are a growing company, and we like to hire people who can grow with us over the years
-A native Japanese speaker and fluent in English. Must be able to produce professional, high quality business communications in both languages
-Strong network in the Boston innovation ecosystem
-Due to the time difference between Japan/USA and because this role is based in Cambridge, MA, this role will require working outside of working hours (e.g. early morning, late evening) to accommodate Japanese partners


In addition to helping our clients 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. You’ll have autonomy, and the excitement of working in a fast-paced, intense environment while also having the support and experience of a 200+ employee company behind you
-Personal and professional growth. This is a great opportunity to learn and develop skills within the epicenter of the innovation community at a growing company
-Regular massages, access to a nursing room, secure bicycle parking, a game room, a gym, and shower rooms with towels

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 plus holidays from the start (more with seniority). Annual reviews with raises significantly above the national average every year for those on track with strong performance.

VCGI and CIC are 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.