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Founding Analyst: Clean Hydrocarbons

The role is simple: Identify the best possible opportunities for starting new energy ventures, including your own.


Disclaimer: This role is not like anything you’ve ever seen before. At DSV we are redefining how science-driven ventures and built and scaled.


Particulars: Full-time Founding Analyst role at £22.5K for at least 6 months (open ended) with an opportunity to start your own company (a spinout) with pre-seed/seed investment of up to £150K from DSV. London-based, remote possible.


What do we mean by “Clean Hydrocarbons”? Could you convert oil reservoirs into batteries? Could we use extremophilic micro-organisms to pre-process fossil fuels? How might we extract pure hydrogen or electricity directly from reservoirs – rather than crude oil and gas? Is it possible to completely alter the paradigm of fossil fuels such that they become a clean source of hydrocarbons? Because, for as long as fossil fuels remain a part of our energy formula and our materials mix (demand for oil is not forecasted to peak until 2036), we will suffer the consequences of their contribution to global warming, air pollution and other environmental ramifications such as oil spills and ocean plastification. There are a number of ways of approaching this challenge, such as alternatives (e.g. renewable energy and bio-plastics) and remediation (such as recycling and carbon capture). But looking at the rate of decline of demand for fossil fuel derived hydrocarbons, it strikes us that a third approach could also make a significant impact: completely changing the way hydrocarbons are extracted and treated. You don’t need to have the answers yet, or any specific ideas in mind, but you must be willing to ask the questions. 


What you will do: Lead DSV’s venture creation activity in the field of “Clean Hydrocarbons”. Your primary output will be at least 3 venture-backable opportunities/projects though you will by no means work alone to achieve this! Your day-to-day will involve bringing together gifted scientists and engineers to inspire drive forward innovative, convergent, commercially opportunistic science. More detail below.


What you will gain: We take a first principles approach to reinvent tough, high value sectors. This represents an opportunity to develop knowledge, network and experience at the cutting edge of innovation in a sector that you are exceptionally passionate about. The role is intellectually challenging, highly creative, and exceptionally purposeful.



1. Opportunity identification and ideation (supported by Track Manager)

2. Recruitment and team formation (supported by Head of Talent)

3. Venture de-risking and venture acceleration (supported by Head of Funding and Venture Partners)

4. Company formation (if you choose to join one of the ventures as a Co-founder)


1. OPPORTUNITY IDENTIFICATION AND IDEATION: accomplish deep commercial scoping to understand the most exciting opportunities and assess feasibility

  • Characterising challenges and opportunities in the area of Clean Hydrocarbons
  • Develop and articulate deep understanding of status-quo and state of the art, what hasn’t worked and what might work. Identify potential areas of cross-over with other opportunities and sciences to take advantage of having a broader view than most.
  • Generate several novel starting points in line with possible solution space.


2. RECRUITMENT AND TEAM FORMATION: work with the most gifted, entrepreneurial scientists in the world to form unique, highly specialist founding teams

  • Work with Head of Talent to bring in both junior and senior talent in order to map out ideas and demonstrate traction with potential customers.
  • Generate three plausible venture opportunities for investment.


3. VENTURE DE-RISKING AND ACCELERATION: coordinating commercial and technical development to de-risk brand new companies

  • Move rapidly through the market testing process through weekly team catch ups with Head of Funding and Venture Partners.
  • Gather evidence of clear market need/demand (traction).
  • Engaging technical experts (academic advisors) to support/guide tech development.



We’re recruiting for entrepreneurial scientists and engineers who can bring a completely novel perspective to this problem ideally with a technical background in a relevant field up to MSc / Meng / PhD in Chemical Engineering, Synthetic Biology, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, Geophysics or a similar discipline. But if you’re from outside these fields and think you might offer an alternative view, please get in touch. Note: you do not yet need to have an idea of how to solve the challenge. 

Experience in:

  • market and technical research
  • project initiation and team management
  • development of complex/technically challenging products


  • entrepreneurial
  • highly creative
  • critical thinking and deep analysis
  • network-driven



Commercial experience in this sector or with closely aligned technologies:

  • energy related startup, venture capital, corporate innovation
  • power generation (biofuel, oil and gas, renewables)
  • energy utilities (Energy supply and services, infrastructure, CCS)
  • energy storage (batteries, battery materials)

Experience in:

  • startup founder, venture capital, corporate innovation
  • brainstorming
  • recruiting
  • event-management



Santa Astratova, Head of Talent, via with your CV attached.