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New Business Associate, FOOD STUDIO At IDEO

Location: San Francisco, California

Job Description

New Business Associate, FOOD Studio - San Francisco
IDEO is a human-centered design and innovation consultancy that helps organizations grow. We design products, services, environments, and experiences for companies seeking new ways to provide value for their customers. 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.
IDEO is seeking a New Business Associate with 2-4 years of relevant experience (e.g., business development, strategic/management consulting, public relations, marketing/communications, journalism) to be an integral part of IDEO’s FOOD Studio, in our San Francisco office. The FOOD Studio uses design and design thinking as a tool to help solve for some of the problems the food landscape is currently faced with.

This role requires three essential things:
1. A strategic mindset to identify, evaluate and frame client opportunities that are aligned with IDEO’s capabilities and focus.
2. Exceptional writing and communication skills to effectively and efficiently bridge between IDEO and its clients.
3. A curiosity of about how organizations work and what might make them more innovative places overall.

Key Activities:
The New Business Associate will be responsible for fielding incoming leads, qualifying new potential clients and collaborating with the broader Studio community to ensure qualified opportunities are developed and supported. The Associate will play a key role in the following functions:
  • Ambassador: You will be the first touch for new potential clients, ensuring a positive initial experience with IDEO. The New Business Associate needs to display a positive and optimistic attitude in person, on the phone and through electronic communications.
  • Prequalifying: 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 will need to involve design specialists from the IDEO community to help frame opportunities and articulate next steps for a given client.
  • Communication: You will be responsible for improving and maintaining visibility and transparency in our pipeline and new business process. This involves ensuring regular updates on in-process and emerging leads and accountability for moving the process forward. You will be the key owner of the tools for tracking and reporting on new leads.
  • Storytelling & Knowledge Sharing: 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. You will also be responsible for designing and expressing 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 mandate.
  • Collaboration: You will need to quickly build cross-discipline relationships in the Studio in order to effectively help generate and capture written, verbal and visual input from IDEO leadership and design teams in a collaborative way. New Business at IDEO requires a nimble connector that gets people around you excited about and engaged in the new business process.
  • Design Discipline Empathy: You will be deeply immersed within a design culture made up of multiple disciplines, where the scoping of design projects and creating learning 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.
Our work environment appeals to self-directed, flexible team players that have great interpersonal skills, learn quickly, embrace ambiguity, prototype new thinking and relish the opportunity to guide potential clients and project teams in translating challenges and questions into opportunities for innovation. This role requires design sensibilities, business acumen, and client empathy.
The position will be based in IDEO’s San Francisco Studio, and moderate domestic travel will be required.

Additional Skills Required:
  • In-depth experience in conducting research (via data gathering and conversation) and synthesizing this data into meaningful and relevant internal and client communications
  • The ability to multi-task, work efficiently and effectively in a dynamic, fast-paced environment
  • Facility and comfort with developing connections with people inside and outside an organization
  • Strong presentation skills are a plus
  • An inquisitive, open-minded nature with insatiable curiosity about IDEO.
Qualified candidates should be familiar with Microsoft Word, Excel, and a presentation application like PowerPoint or Keynote. InDesign experience is a plus.

How to Apply:
As part of the application process, please submit the following:
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Answer in 300 words or less: “what 2 companies inspire you in terms of their internal organizational approaches and why?” (please upload your answer in the same file as your cover letter)
Finalists may be asked to participate in case studies and complete a writing assignment as part of the application and interview process.
Equal Opportunity Employer:
IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.