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Associate (Frontier Tech) Investments (Aus)

Blackbird Ventures

Blackbird Ventures

Posted on Friday, May 3, 2024

About the Role

As an Associate in our frontier tech practice, you will help us invest in the most ambitious frontier tech companies, right at the very beginning.

We are looking for someone with an advanced degree in chemical or biomedical engineering, math, computer science or physics, and a passion for uncovering the technologies and founders that will define our future.

Someone with unbounded curiosity and a mindset of enlightened hospitality for the founders that they serve, who is excited to become a custodian of the Blackbird Mission, Values and Operating Principles.

Click HERE to watch the recorded "Ask me Anything" AMA session with Michael Tolo and Clare Birch.

Some examples of what you’ll do:

Generating dealflow - You will become an active contributor within the local startup ecosystem, a face that founders expect to see in the audience at meet-ups, pitch competitions and conferences. You will launch and run community events, chasing down any opportunity to meet a new founder and leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of the next generational startup.

Earning the trust of founders - You will earn the trust of founders within our community through the diligence and empathy that you show toward them. You will become known as someone who treats founders with the highest level of integrity and care — a trusted partner that founders are comfortable to share their best and worst news with.

Supporting investment decisions - You will work closely with Partners to help Blackbird make better investment decisions, performing technical and market research, evaluating progress and the operational metrics for companies that we meet to capture evidence of true greatness at the earliest stages.

Wrestling with the unknown - You will embrace your curiosity and explore new areas of focus for investment at Blackbird, presenting your unique vision for the future. You will test the boundaries of our comfort and knowledge, leading the investment team toward new Rivers of Inquiry.

Education requirements: Phd preferred but not required.

Position Requirements:

Your background is less important than your key skills, which might include:
  • Humility: Blackbird is a startup — no task is too small for us and no ambition is too big. We all take out the garbage. You will be scrappy, move quickly and never hesitate to roll up your sleeves.
  • Expressed ambition: Nobody is too "new" or "junior" at Blackbird to live up to their ambition — we care about the quality of thought, not where it comes from. We value diversity of thought, and believe that we are stronger because we each think differently.
  • Clarity of thought: You can articulate what you think makes companies valuable. You have strong opinions on what are the greatest businesses, technologies and markets of tomorrow. You have an innate ability to communicate complex topics in a clear, simple, and concise way — either through sharp prose or powerful visuals. Your opinions are persuasive.
  • Hospitality mindset: We believe in the philosophy of "enlightened hospitality" and it lies at the heart of everything that we do at Blackbird. We serve our founders, not the other way around. We are about people, not companies. You will be generous with your time to create delightful experiences for founders, never losing sight of the people behind the numbers.
  • You do not need to have worked at a venture capital firm or startup — and you do not need to have any investing experience at all! We love it when people have bootstrapped themselves into a skill as much as gaining the skill from working at an established organisation.
  • You do need to have a passion for working with the founders of technology startups, and a deep commitment to building the skills and attributes required to be a generational investor at Blackbird.

We’re looking for someone who is as passionate as us about building an iconic investment business. You must have a high ownership mentality and the ability to take responsibility for goals and outcomes.

This role is full-time, based in Australia with the flexibility to work from home.

Working at Blackbird

We believe that building a diverse and inclusive team is critical to Blackbird’s success. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, or marital, veteran, or disability status. We use Applied to ensure every applicant gets an equal chance of success.

We offer:

  • Flexible working: Whether it’s working from home or leaving early to pick up the kids from daycare or school.
  • Generous parental leave: We know family comes first, and we are proud to offer 20 weeks of parental leave for all parents (an additional 4 weeks for the birth parent), with no minimum tenure. In addition, we offer IVF, adoption and surrogacy leave. We also continue to pay superannuation and vest carried interest for up to 12 months of parental leave, and offer a supportive return-to-work policy to help with the ramp back.
  • Learning & Development Budget: Our team is hungry to continuously learn and you’ll receive a budget to spend on books, conferences, training, coaching and courses relating to your profession.
  • Wellbeing: We think in decades not days. To support our Blackbirds over the long haul we offer a range of holistic wellbeing benefits including a monthly healthy living allowance, 24/7 access to wellbeing support, a home office allowance, personal kit-kat days, and more!
  • Unplugged weekends: We work hard without letting work get in the way of life. We’ve implemented no Slack or emails on weekends, so you can switch off and enjoy yourself.
  • Connection: While being big fans of a fully distributed workforce, we value our vibe and time to connect online and IRL through team and company offsites, monthly social activities, weekly lunches and our many social clubs (#fun-manis, #fun-fantasybookclub, #bb-craft just to name a few!).

Blackbird is a Pledge 1% member — we pledge 1% of our time, equity and profits to help not-for-profit causes in our community. Through Pledge 1%, we established the Blackbird Foundation to supercharge the creative capabilities of young people.

We are also very proud to have won the 2023 AFR Best Place to Work award in three categories including Overall winner. In 2022, we became certified as one of Australia’s Great Places to Work.