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Synthetic Biologist at Fifty Years: San Francisco, CA

The climate is heading off a cliff. Thousands die every day of malnutrition. People can’t afford to see a doctor. And many Silicon Valley VCs are chasing the next e-sports unicorn. Talk about misallocation of resources.

Fifty Years is a different kind of venture capital firm. At Fifty Years we believe technology entrepreneurship can and should solve the world’s biggest problems. We believe massive wealth creation and positive impact can go hand in hand. We support early stage founders creating massively profitable businesses that can also solve the world’s biggest problems. We pride ourselves on always going the extra mile for our portfolio founders and have built the Fifty Years team around helping our founders create and scale the most important companies of the coming decades.

We’re looking for a highly capable individual to join our team as a Synthetic Biologist to work with Fifty Years team in many capacities: pre-screening startups, research into new technologies, supporting portfolio companies, special projects, and more.

Responsibilities: 

  • Track research with commercial potential
  • Network with top PhDs/postdocs
  • Diligence science (novelty, risks, defensibility)
  • Help portfolio companies with science strategy
  • Help portfolio companies with scientist recruiting
  • Thought leadership through writing, speaking
  • Science podcast co-host

The Synthetic Biologist will be working directly with the firm’s partners day-to-day, and running their own projects. Are you constantly reading Cell and Nature to see what other labs are working on? Do you feel stifled with having to go super deep on a single problem, and would prefer to help push the entire field of synthetic biology forward by helping across many technologies? Do you love talking to other top PhDs about their work? Do you want to help solve the world’s biggest problems by translating cutting edge research? If so, this may be for you.

In any given week you might do a deep dive into a new paper, visit a lab, help diligence a new potential investment, strategize with a portfolio founder about where to find a cell biologist, write a blog post on what’s needed in the field, join meetings with existing or potential portfolio founders, and vet a potential hire for a portfolio company. It’s a high-impact and high-intensity role that enables the right person to meaningfully contribute to supporting the technologies and companies that will shape the next 50 years.

Must-haves: 

  • Outlier IQ & EQ
  • Impeccable written English skills, including in technical English
  • Strategic thinker and a master of tactical detail
  • Research experience in a top lab
  • Highly organized, process driven, and detail-oriented
  • Entrepreneurial, action-oriented, and independent
  • Ability to operate in a fast-paced environment without losing focus on the big picture
  • Hungry to learn and willing to make mistakes 🙂
  • (preferred but not required) Experience in a startup environment — founder or early team at a high growth startup or experience working in VC

This is a full-time role in San Francisco.

If you’re interested or to recommend candidates we should consider, email seth@fifty.vc 

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