Agriculture Practice Lead

Job Description

The way we invest in ideas is broken. Entrepreneurs that are solving the world’s hardest problems cannot access the capital they need to scale their companies. Village Capital is the most active early-stage impact investor in the world and we are building a different system that creates a more inclusive, effective, and supportive investment model.

Over the last seven years, our “peer selection” approach has changed the conversation and brought new transparency to investing in entrepreneurs. We’ve supported over 600 companies and have made more than 70 early stage investments around the world by finding, training and investing in companies solving some of the world’s most significant challenges. 90% of our portfolio is based outside Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston; nearly 40% of our companies are led by women, 20% by African American and Latino entrepreneurs and 100% of our companies are pursuing solutions to expand economic opportunity or drive environmental sustainability. To date, 90% of these ventures are still operating, and 13 have already exited profitably.

We are looking for a new leader to drive and shape our US Agriculture practice. Reporting into Village Capital’s Vice President of US Ventures, the Agriculture Practice lead will be charged with building on our efforts to identify, train and prepare ventures focused on creating a more sustainable food and agriculture system for scale through our signature, peer-review based investment readiness programs. Village Capital hosts the longest-running program for early stage food and agriculture ventures in the country and was recently named one of the top three most valuable food and ag accelerators in the world by AgFunder. We have made 16 investments into agriculture and food related companies and have supported nearly 100 through our investment readiness programs. See our work in action in this video of our Agriculture Practice and three exciting companies that we’ve worked in below:

Stony Creek Colors (Goodlettsville, TN) helps farmers grow a cash crop with strong revenue potential. They help farmers in Kentucky and Tennessee grow a sustainable natural indigo dye for denim dyeing for denim mills to replace imported indigo synthesized from coal tar.

Spensa Technologies (West Lafayette, IN) is a precision agriculture company that has developed an automated pest trap that captures pest data and sends real-time information to Spensa's software and mobile platforms. Spensa's software and hardware products promote eco-friendly farming, enhance crop production efficiency and increase the farmer's bottom line.

Kuli Kuli (Oakland, CA) is a superfood company that sources and processes Moringa leaves from smallholder farmers in into healthy consumer packaged goods for sale in the US. Moringa is the most nutrient-dense vegetable in the world, with high amounts of protein, calcium, iron and vitamins.

Role Responsibilities

  • Lead Relationship Development and Strategy for the Agriculture Practice: You will serve as Village Capital’s primary lead in developing future work in Agriculture. You’ll design our Agriculture portfolio, based on your assessment of industry trends; lead the development of current and new strategic partners; and with support from our core team, you will be responsible for closing business development deals within Agriculture Practice.
  • Find Great Entrepreneurs, Developing a Network to Support Them: You will be a leading expert in agriculture innovation worldwide. You’ll build a network to discover the industry’s most promising entrepreneurs, and support them in growing their companies. In addition, you will develop strategies for maximizing the success of our current portfolio of agriculture entrepreneurs.
  • Manage Village Capital’s Agriculture Practice: In this role, you will be responsible for overseeing all activities within Village Capital’s Agriculture practice, leading a team to recruit the highest potential entrepreneurs and delivering programming to improve these entrepreneurs’ success. Your team will commit to the behind-the-scenes infrastructure building and detail-oriented work that goes into recruiting entrepreneurs, project management, and prospective partner identification and research.
  • Establish Village Capital as a leading brand in Agriculture: You’ll become one of the leading innovators in agriculture worldwide (if you aren’t already!). You will be responsible for crafting thought pieces on the market, speak at conferences, and promote your work on social media.

Qualifications

  • Minimum of a B.A., or related degree
  • At least 7 years of overall professional experience; ideally 7-10  years of relevant business and  management experience
  • Experience growing a startup and working in investments/venture capital
  • Deep sector knowledge and expertise
  • A successful track record in setting priorities; keen analytic, organization and problem solving skills which support and enable sound decision making  
  • Excellent communication and relationship building skills with an ability to prioritize, negotiate, and work with a variety of internal and external stakeholders  
  • A multi-tasker with the ability to wear many hats in a fast-paced environment

Compensation: Commensurate based on experience.Only short-listed candidates will be contacted by the Village Capital team. Unfortunately, we may not have the capacity to answer individual candidate questions until qualified candidates reach the interview stage.

Meet Some of Village Capital's Employees

Ebony P.

Manager of U.S. Operations

It is Ebony’s responsibility to ensure the quality of Village Capital’s programs, as well as the ethnic, gender, and regional diversity of the ventures selected to participate.

Ben W.

Senior Associate

Ben’s goal is to tell Village Capital’s story and make sure that all the great work that its entrepreneurs are doing is known to the world at large.


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