New York, NY
Incandescent is a strategy consulting and venture development firm; we conduct research, advise leaders and develop our own ventures. As advisors, we serve CEOs of Fortune 500 companies across a range of industries (similar to a traditional management consulting firm), founders of early- and growth-stage ventures (often compensated in whole or in part with equity in our client’s venture), and visionary leaders in social sector organizations (with clients such as The Rockefeller Foundation and Acumen).
Founded in 2013, we’ve been building a small team, slowly and carefully. Each team member plays an integral part in developing Incandescent as a firm that discovers better ways to create, build and run organizations.
The venture function at Incandescent has a unique thesis relating to entrepreneurship and early-/growth-stage ventures. We engage in a wide range of roles: advising an early- stage company, supporting an entrepreneur-in-residence, investing in our portfolio companies, or playing a co-founder role in launching a venture based on an innovator’s idea. We believe that entrepreneurship touches all parts of an economic system, and so we engage across a range of companies as a way of being a catalyst in the broader ecosystem. The unifying thread of how we work with ventures is the expertise that we bring in management systems, organizational design, operations infrastructure and team effectiveness. We have a small but growing portfolio of ten companies that range from biotech to TV hardware. We are not a fund; instead, we relate to our portfolio companies as true partners in their journey of entrepreneurship, and re-invest profits from our advisory arm into our venture function.
Essence of the Role
As our Venture Associate, you will play a key role in supporting and growing the venture function across all initiatives, portfolio companies and projects. You will help to incubate new ventures, define strategy, find talent, engage in deal sourcing and conduct due diligence. You will have the opportunity to work directly with companies in our portfolio, as well as their founders, and you will help create Incandescent’s long-term venture strategy. You will report directly to the Head of Venture Development and will be based in NYC.
For the right individual, this role will serve as an unparalleled opportunity to learn, firsthand, the underlying systems and foundations of working with entrepreneurs. This environment is more expansive than just technology companies; you will engage with each venture through a multi-faceted lens, not exclusively an investment lens. An added benefit of this role is the chance to learn from and be exposed to a range of contexts through our work with the social impact sector, our corporate clients and the research arm of our firm.
- Talent Acquisition: Develop and cultivate long-lasting relationships with entrepreneurs and companies that fit our advisory and investment criteria; Build a recruiting engine for talent across a wide range of industries, company stages and seniority levels
- Portfolio Engagement & Advising: Engage with our venture entrepreneurs, helping them design and implement core processes and systems to support growth; Develop meaningful working relationships with these leaders, advising on a broad range of questions pertaining to strategy, business planning and culture
- Venture Function Management & Growth: Keep track of important developments across our portfolio (e.g., financing rounds, leadership team hires, strategic shifts); Lead industry, company and entrepreneur research for the opportunities we are exploring; Support brand-building activities (e.g., networking events, through pieces); Help craft the overall strategy and direction of the venture function
- You are relentlessly resourceful, embracing ambiguity and new challenges. You skillfully navigate in data poor environments, being scrappy about how and where to glean the information needed to inform decisions and arrive at the desired outcomes. You seek opportunities to make a difference, and feel comfortable taking the first steps independently.
- You are empathetic with a keen ability to read people. You have a sense of both individual motivations and the needs of others. You have the capacity to imagine how the world looks to different people and to build bonds of trust even in difficult circumstances.
- You have a low ego and a roll-up-your-sleeves approach to work. You possess humility and grit, willing to take on both “lower level” and “higher level” projects based on what needs to be done. The phrase “that’s not my job” is not something you would say.
- You have excellent judgment. You have the rare combination of being able to make quick decisions with your gut and measured decisions with your head. You can rely on both strong analytical abilities and good instincts to make the right call across a range of decisions, small and large.
- You have a bias towards action and can get an incredible amount of work done in a short period of time. You are a generalist at heart, but can also go deep and become an expert in any topic in a day.
- You can see what lies on the critical path to success, even in the face of the many requests coming at you. You distinguish the “nice to haves” from what can truly move the needle on a venture’s prospects for success, prioritizing work accordingly.
Experience / Background
This role is best suited for someone early to mid stage in their career and who has a distinctively strong commitment to learning and development. Most likely, the right candidate will have at least 2 - 5 years of professional experience. Experience with a fast- paced startup team or in recruiting or finance would be relevant, but no particular background is requisite, as the right candidate will be someone who can quickly learn to do things they have never done before.
Why the Role is Compelling
This role offers the chance to take part in growing an entrepreneurial venture. Incandescent team members are exposed to an unusually wide range of people and issues across both the business and social sectors. They are also involved in the internal infrastructure and operations of a new company, and with the firm’s thinking and research. Our team members develop a broad set of professional skills, honing them to excellence in a demanding environment. We are building a diverse team in which each individual is exceptionally strong and everyone is committed to the rapid development of themselves and others. Essentially, you get the best of both worlds: world-class professionals and clients in a startup environment.
In lieu of a cover letter, we request that you answer any 3 of the 5 questions on the next page. Please share your answers in 250 words max for each response. Bonus points if you can get a warm introduction to someone on our team.