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Head of Strategic Partnerships in Agriculture

Building “optimised ventures” in restorative cultivation, with a focus on Business Development and Opportunity Analysis

Full time, starting asap, remotely (at least initially)

About the role

As we are rapidly expanding venture building across sectors, we’re looking for an experienced business development professional with background in science to join us and support the growth of the Agriculture sector at DSV.

You will be working together in close partnership with the Associate Director for Agriculture and the rest of the exec team to build strategic alliances, fundraise and grow our portfolio of  opportunity areas for venture creation in the sector. Our focus is on agriculture companies that meaningfully incorporate biodiversity conservation into their commercial fabric.

The role is very dynamic, juggling multiple portfolios of work and owning the outcomes. We’re after someone who’d want to build and grow the company alongside the current team, making valuable contributions not only to the agri side of the business, but the organisation as a whole.


Key responsibilities:

●  Sourcing and building strategic partnerships with mission aligned sponsors, domain expert institutes, leading R&D laboratories and forward thinking investors across areas such as sustainable aquaculture, pollinator reinforcement and controlled environment agriculture;

●  Scoping and analysing opportunity landscape for new venture creation in agriculture, adding new areas to our portfolio of target challenges that we go after (e.g. soil health, geoengineering, microbial expression, etc.), designing and delivering innovation programs in those areas with a consortium of partners;

●  Building brand new founding teams with deep technical expertise in their area and helping them to drive innovative concepts from idea to company formation.

Our Current Agri Founders & Portfolio co’s

Toby: background in Plant Biology, working on breeding and optimising new crop varieties for indoor growing. The indoor growing platform will allow us to change the architectures of crops in a way only previously achieved by Norman Borlaug to generate the green revolution.

Daniel: background in Agriculture and Biotechnology, working on unexploited opportunities to domesticate new insect species, restore degrading pollinator habitat, and investigate sensible ways to improve the resilience of our current managed pollinator species.

Thomas: co-founded Beta Bugs at DSV – a biotech startup focused on building a world leader in insect genetics. They’ve successfully secured multiple grants and private investment, and are working with The Roslin Institute, world leader in animal genetics, to develop a cutting edge breeding programme.

Jim: co-founded PES Technologies tackling the ongoing soil health crisis that is impacting crop yield and food security. Their technology analyses microbial activities in soil to allow farmers to understand their soil like never before.

Our Current Programmes and Partners

The FAST programme brings together DSV’s market-led approach to creating science companies, and the Roslin Institute’s world-leading expertise and facilities across genomics, veterinary biosciences, biotechnology and agriculture. Each year the partnership will launch several high growth technology start-ups comprising teams from the University of Edinburgh, the wider UK, and the rest of the world.

About you

The role requires sufficient breadth and depth of insight across agri-related fields both in terms of the science and industry dynamics. Background in a science related field is a must, having demonstrated practical, hands on research or product development work. Most recent focus, however, should be on commercial roles, demonstrating aptitude for value creation and getting deals done.


Key required attributes:

●  Excellent interpersonal and verbal communication skills with the ability to lead conversations across both technical and commercial domains;

●  Demonstrated interest in innovation, advancing new concepts and ideas – enjoys highly creative work environment;

●  Technical depth acquired through a PhD/Research/Fellow or product development type of roles or responsibilities;

●  Broad interests and views across different areas in agriculture and environmental sustainability with intimate knowledge of industry-specific macro and micro dynamics;

●  Intimate understanding of the early-stage commercialisation process acquired through previous exposure to the startup/VC/CVC/TTO etc. environment;

●  Network-driven, enjoys supporting and guiding others through collaborative teamwork.


Likely to have held one of more of the following roles/titles in the past: Head of Strategic Partnerships, Head of Business Development, Business Development Director, Director of business development, Partnerships Manager, etc.

About us

We work across sectors from oncology to energy storage across the stack from cutting edge technology to fortune 100 partnerships (some have not been announced yet) and have built nearly 30 companies over the last three years. 

You’ll be part of a small adventurous exec team though with huge growth ambitions, driven by the desire to make a massive positive impact on the world.

We offer an equity stake in the company along with a base salary.




For further info and to discuss the role, please submit an expression of interest.