Venture Designer

Johannesburg /
Founders Factory Africa – Venture Build /
We're building the most powerful growth engine for African startups and their founders.

Founders Factory Africa (FFA) is unlike any place else you’ve ever worked. We are venture builders dedicated to solving some of Africa’s biggest challenges and capitalizing on it’s incredible potential by leveraging market and tech opportunities. Over the next five years, we’ll build 40 businesses from scratch and scale 100 existing growth-stage ventures through our venture development programs. Backed by leading corporates, such as Standard Bank – the continent’s largest bank – we have access to their vast resources, infrastructure, and expertise and will bring those to bear for all our ventures and entrepreneurs. Starting with FinTech and HealthTech, FFA will expand our focus as we grow, adding other sectors that include retail, transportation, energy, and education.

Our Culture
Our goals are audacious, and we want to work with people who share our passion for pursuing transformation at scale. We believe that good ideas can come from anywhere - not just the top - and we love to build our way out of uncertainty. At FFA, you will work with and meet outstanding and diverse talent from across the continent and help us build a collaborative, inclusive, and supportive network. You will work faster (and learn faster) than you ever have before.

With offices in Johannesburg and London, we are building an ambitious, talented, and passionate team, ensuring that Founders Factory Africa is the continent’s best partner for founders.

We're looking for someone to join our Venture Design team, the team responsible for designing the new ventures that we build from scratch. 

Venture Design is the process of identifying new business opportunities and developing solutions to address them. Rather than relying on serendipity, venture design looks at user needs and market opportunities and applies an iterative and creative process to create the foundations for new businesses.

Our venture design process is not about creating an exact business blueprint, as finding product market fit is an exercise in itself. Instead our aim is to give the founding team a foundation to build upon, usually consisting of:

1. An opportunity: Identify market gap and unmet user need or desire.
2. A solution: A credible solution hypothesis on how to address that need.
3. A go to market approach: Clear differentiating factors, a commercial strategy and unfair advantage.

As a Venture Designer, you will be constantly researching trends and markets, teasing out problems, hypothesising solutions, testing and validating their appeal, and thinking about the commercial foundations for new businesses. This involves constant ideation and rapid experimentation, so we’re looking for individuals who are both creative and analytical with strong commercial acumen. You’ll be working with individuals across our organization as well as with stakeholders from our partners, so you must be a natural collaborator and be adept at synthesizing many different inputs into a set of actionable insights.

To succeed in this role you must have a curious and creative mind, a deep empathy for the people you’re designing for, and the ability to apply a commercial lens to everything you do. You should enjoy the messiness that is the design process and thrive in a fast-paced, constantly evolving startup environment, but be comfortable building processes and applying an analytical lens and lean methodologies to your work.

You will be:

    • Identifying market trends and creating theses about what opportunities we should pursue
    • Brainstorming, designing, and testing new business concepts
    • Conducting qualitative research using methods such as qualitative interviews, experience mapping, service blueprints, and user journeys. 
    • Conducting quantitative validation studies such as smoke tests. 
    • Running workshops with the wider Factory team and entrepreneurs
    • Collaborating with our corporate partners to leverage their expertise and assets as part of the Venture Design process
    • Constantly experimenting with new technologies and tools to drive innovation and creativity
    • Presenting new concepts to partners and other stakeholders
    • Working with rest of the design and product teams to act as thought leaders and to establish a POV for Venture Design at Founders Factory Africa

You must:

    • Have a deep understanding of what makes a great business
    • Have extensive experience developing new products, services, and businesses models
    • Be able to identify opportunities by looking at user needs and broader market trends
    • Have a proven track record of taking ideas and bringing them to life across a range of industries
    • 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
    • Thrive in uncertainty
    • Be a self-starter and comfortable working with little direction or oversight

Founders Factory Africa provides a rare opportunity to join a team of world-class thinkers, entrepreneurs, and creators. We provide the freedom and excitement of early-stage startups but the stability and resources of a large organisation. Founders Factory Africa has global ambitions, and you’ll play a key role in our future success. 

This role is a once in a lifetime opportunity to join a high-growth organization as part of the founding team and to help shape the future of Africa’s startup ecosystem.