Director of Business Development

  • Shiru
  • Emeryville, CA
  • Nov 25, 2020

Job Description

About us At Shiru we believe that food should be delicious and nourishing without negatively affecting our planet. Acknowledging our growing global population as well as the imminent effects of climate change, Shiru’s mission is to create better protein ingredients that will catapult us into a sustainable food future. 
With our mission in mind, Shiru makes high quality, functional food proteins through better leveraging our precious environmental resources. To do this, we employ technologies originally  created to solve problems in adjacent industries, including computational biology, machine learning, and industrial fermentation and bioprocessing.
We apply computational intelligence to find the most functional natural food proteins in the world, harnessing the inherent ability of microflora to produce them. We then partner with food and beverage companies to incorporate these unique protein ingredients into everyday products. Shiru is now expanding our team of dedicated professionals across multiple disciplines to make enhanced protein ingredients for a better world.
About the roleAs Shiru’s Director of Business Development you will analyze internal and external data, as well as market and competitive trends, to inform strategic decisions regarding our product offerings and go-to-market approach. This will be a systematic and iterative process, involving a framework for validating product/market fit, a process for identifying/optimizing commercial agreements, and a focus on creating/managing long-term strategic partnerships. Together with Shiru’s leadership you will identify new paths for commercialization of our ingredients and discovery platform, project associated revenue targets, and be held responsible for achieving those targets through executing strategic partnership deals. In addition to managing revenue-generating commercial partnerships you will also spearhead strategic partnerships to expand Shiru’s technical capabilities, identifying incentives and appropriate partnership structures to work with public, academic, and private institutions. You will help to set the broader vision and direction for the team and help make strategic decisions around research projects, process improvement, and product coverage. 
You will be joining the founding team of a startup that has long-term stability due to significant funding, and yet is very much in formation. A lot can change in this early and exciting phase, providing many opportunities for significant impact. You will work closely with a very talented team, learn a broad range of skills, and help shape Shiru’s culture, strategic direction, and outcomes.  Your role at Shiru will be varied, with clear communication critical to your success. Ensuring that your workflow is fully integrated and well-aligned with the work of other teams, as well as sharing your findings in an articulate manner, will guide you towards success in this position.
About youYou are a goal-oriented business development professional with years of experience working in R&D heavy organizations and have a track record of leading strategic initiatives from concept to execution. You are passionate about the prospect of solving sustainability challenges in the food system by aligning Shiru’s technology with commercial opportunities, driving revenue growth via strategic partnerships.  You have been the first (or close to first) business development leader within an early stage company, with experience in positioning transformational technologies for market entry to capitalize on their value early on while iterating towards a scalable business model. You are both creative and technical, leveraging both skills to perform market research, create and deploy data-driven go to market strategy, structure deals, and manage stakeholders on both sides of the partnership to close long-term, milestone based agreements. We are not looking for a traditional salesperson, but rather a seasoned business development professional able to craft custom agreements tailored to the needs of our customers that maximize the value of Shiru’s technology and products. You have excellent interpersonal and long term relationship management skills. Your leadership experience will position you to build out business development and sales at Shiru as we scale.  


  • Manage the business development pipeline from end to end: conduct market research to identify strategic growth opportunities, scope agreements with partners and delineating ownership of resulting intellectual property, and close deals to launch collaborations
  • Define what products and services deliver the highest value both to our prospective customers and to Shiru, closely aligning our technology and business opportunity
  • Launch new agreements and manage ongoing relationships with partners, including identifying the decision makers, developing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders, and serving as the main point of contact 
  • Drive deal lifecycle including developing marketing materials showing how our solutions address partner requirements, drafting proposals, and negotiating terms sheets and contracts
  • Collaborate with leadership to ensure forecasts and bookings accurately reflect business development opportunities and outlook
  • Coordinate Shiru’s interdisciplinary team to prepare deliverables meeting project milestones on time


  • You are generally flexible, self-motivated, resourceful, calm, and adaptive
  • You are comfortable with a rapid pace of work in a dynamic environment
  • You are equally comfortable challenging as you are with being challenged
  • Excellent communication and stakeholder management skills
  • You want work to be meaningful and to be part of a business dedicated to having a positive impact on the planet


  • Bachelor’s degree with a strong educational track record. MBA or other advanced degree is a plus
  • 5+ years professional experience; minimum of 3 years in business development and/or external innovation in food and/or biotechnology 
  • Proven ability to work with interdisciplinary technical teams, translating insights from data into commercial opportunity
  • Track record of structuring, negotiating, and managing deals while coordinating with various internal teams
  • Strong problem solving and analytical skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills, tailoring level of detail to your audience with ease
At Shiru, we're looking for people with passion, grit, and integrity. You're encouraged to apply even if your experience doesn't precisely match the job description. We’re expecting your skills and passion to stand out—and set you apart—especially if your career has taken some extraordinary twists and turns. Please join us in this singular opportunity to create the future of food!  
Shiru is an equal opportunity employer who values diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. Shiru offers competitive compensation and employee benefits along with an attractive equity package commensurate with candidate qualifications.

Organization Type



Food & Agriculture

Drawdown Solutions

Plant-Rich Diets

Want us to tweet your job? Please write your organization's twitter username below (just the username, please do not add the '@')