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Business Development Associate - Education Studio At IDEO

Location: San Francisco, California

Job Description

Business Development Associate – Education Studio, San Francisco

IDEO is a human-centered design and innovation consultancy that helps organizations grow. IDEO collaborates with clients to develop bespoke innovation strategies that we make tangible and attainable through design - from envisioning market opportunities to concept development and prototyping to full production and execution support.

Our Design for Learning studio in San Francisco is a team of passionate individuals who partner with agents of change to help education systems progress. We design tools and technologies that help individualize learning, redesign systems to be more human-centered, and create experiences that support students, teachers and school leaders to be more confident in their creative abilities.

We are seeking a BD Associate with 2-4 years of relevant experience to be an integral part of our Design for Learning Studio. Relevant experience could include: strategic/management consulting, business development, journalism, grant writing, fundraising.

This role requires three essential attributes

  • A strategic mindset to identify, evaluate and frame client opportunities that are aligned with IDEO’s capabilities and focus.
  • Exceptional writing and communication skills to effectively and efficiently bridge between IDEO and its clients.
  • A passion for improving learning experiences and education systems.


The details

You will be responsible for shaping the collaborations that allow us to have impact in the world. This includes fielding incoming inquiries, qualifying new potential clients and partners and collaborating with the broader Studio community to ensure qualified opportunities are developed and supported as they turn into projects or programs. That means you will:

  • Frame up inspiring opportunities with clients: You will work with our leadership team to develop the scope of our collaboration with clients, and express that through compelling project proposals. Building, shaping and crafting these stories in a thoughtful and proactive way to continually push our external conversations will be a large part of your role. You will be engaged in curating a portfolio of stories and assets that showcase how IDEO adds value in relation to different markets, industries and design challenges.

  • Connect with our designers: This role requires a nimble connector that gets people around you excited about and engaged in the process of turning an initial inquiry into a project. You will be deeply immersed within a design culture made up of multiple disciplines, where the scoping of design projects and creating opportunities for project teams is paramount. Because of this, an openness and desire to understand all the various aspects of design – and specifically IDEO’s design thinking approach – are critical.

  • Get stuff done: You will follow-up on all leads to identify the client’s needs and evaluate if the opportunity is a good fit with IDEO’s capabilities and focus. You efficiently and effectively manage this process and all of the dimensions of getting programs set up - from conducting research to involving designers from our community to frame opportunities with you, to writing proposals or grants, to managing the legal agreements. We expect that you have an off-the-charts bias toward action and follow through.

  • Integrate into our systems: You will be responsible for maintaining visibility and transparency in our pipeline and new business process, along with creating ways to continually improve our internal systems. This involves ensuring regular updates on in-process and emerging leads and accountability for moving the process forward.

Experience with consulting, design, fundraising or grant writing is a bonus.

Our work environment appeals to self-directed, flexible team players that have great interpersonal skills, learn quickly, embrace ambiguity, and prototype new thinking. This role requires design sensibilities, business acumen, client empathy, and an insatiable curiosity about IDEO and design.

The position is based in San Francisco.
Moderate domestic and occasional international travel will be required.

Familiarity with Microsoft Word, Excel, Keynote is a must... InDesign experience is a plus.

How to Apply
As part of the application process, please submit the following:
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter, highlighting your experience in shaping partnerships
  • A brief writing sample
  • Please be sure to call out if you have experience with fundraising/grant writing, design, consulting and/or client management.

Finalists may be asked to participate in case studies and complete a writing assignment as part of the application and interview process.