Co-Founder of New Venture

Many new ventures claim to improve life around the world, but few corporate venturing processes have been designed with this explicit intent from the bottom up. Enter Lighthouse. Orbia's Lighthouse is a partnership between IDEO and Orbia to build new ventures that align with Orbia’s purpose of advancing life around the world. We operate out of the IDEO SF office and are part of Obria’s newly formed innovation and new ventures group; a product of Orbia’s brand transformation under the leadership of new CEO Daniel Martínez-Valle.

As our core mandate, Orbia's Lighthouse is designed to launch and incubate new ventures where we believe we can have the strongest impact, aligning with six of the UN Sustainable Development goals: feeding the world sustainably; better managing our water systems; making cities more livable, lovable, and resilient; connecting and empowering communities with data; making health and well-being more accessible; and pushing behind sustainability to regeneration.

The lab works in collaboration with leaders from Orbia’s five global business groups to define new, innovative opportunity areas and develop concepts to articulate business opportunities. We’re looking for co-founders to each take on one of those concepts and make it a reality, making the most of sponsored entrepreneurial freedom and a host of available resources from Orbia and IDEO. To empower our founders, we provide funding along with experienced support and mentorship through engaged lab leadership, venture board, and business executives, bringing a breadth of startup, investor, and industry experience and guidance.

As part of our venture process, co-founders will be paired with an IDEO designer and have an initial 9-months of runway to explore and validate their concept. Co-founders will work towards a predetermined list of goals that unlock further time and funding for building and scaling the venture. If co-founders can build evidence before nine months, the funding will be available to them when they’re ready. If co-founders are unable to build sufficient evidence to move forward, then we will evaluate and look to match you as a co-founder for another emergent venture in our lab pipeline.

This is a salaried position for a minimum of nine months, with incentive structures that reward co-founders along the journey of building impactful ventures.

Ventures will be provided office space at the Lighthouse, located within IDEO San Francisco, and benefit from being part of a community of entrepreneurs, designers, and technologists.

Venture concepts cover a range of topics. Examples include:

  • underground mapping and building a digital database of underground infrastructure assets
  • building preventative maintenance and predictive analytics into water infrastructure
  • recycling and re-using Li-ion batteries from electric vehicles in consumer and commercial applications
  • increasing fiber infrastructure and internet accessibility

In this role you will:

  • Partner with an IDEO co-founder to provide evidence that your concept can be a scalable venture business that advances life around the world
  • Build prototypes of increasing fidelity to: test and evolve your business model, develop and refine your technology roadmap, and continue to deepen your understanding of user needs
  • Manage resources at you and your co-founder’s ultimate discretion, including available funds for contract and Lighthouse employees, use of entrepreneurial coaching resources, and connection to subject matter experts within IDEO and Orbia
  • Build and present evidence to the Lighthouse Advisory Board that your venture is worth pursuing beyond the validation phase

We’re looking for:

  • Hands-on builders — you have the ability to hold the product vision and also build the early iterations of the product itself
  • Experience as a founder or product leader in an early stage startup, and a track record of building technology businesses from scratch
  • Relevant domain expertise, understanding of customers and products, and a network within your target venturing space
  • A broad playbook of startup methodologies, and mastery in using their toolkit from early exploration to finding product/market fit
  • Bonus points for Bachelors or Master’s degree in relevant technical fields, including computer science, GIS, data science, human-computer interaction, mechanical or electrical engineering
  • Bonus points for experience building any of the following: database business, marketplace business, interactive electronics products, or Li-ion battery products

The successful candidate will:

  • Be driven by impact, and the belief that the world needs ventures that solve real problems at startup speed
  • Use a founder’s toolkit to be able to embrace ambiguity — we will provide clear goals in the venture process, but how you get there is up to you
  • Have the operating experience to make the most of provided IDEO and Orbia resources
  • Invest in others’ success, collaborating with a community of entrepreneurs building parallel ventures