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Program & Partnership Lead

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Andreas Stillman
by Andreas Stillman in News
October 31, 2016 comments

This position has been filled!


Venture Café Program & Partnership Lead

Venture Café Rotterdam is hiring a full time manager for its weekly Thursday Gathering. The Thursday Venture Café is Rotterdam’s largest networking event for the innovation community. As our new team member you will be our front person within this highly dynamic environment, while combining organizational, relationship and community skills.

More than 5000 (entrepreneurs, startups, corporates, investors and other experts) are part of Venture Cafe’s community, since its launch end 2015. Every week 250 people on average join us for programming and networking. We are also proud of our committed group of 60 volunteers  (“Ambassadors”) helping us to make every Thursday edition a success.

The Program & Partnership Manager will have a key role in taking these Thursday Gatherings (programming/content & stakeholder relationships) to the next level, by:

Managing the Venture Café’s weekly networking event. (Organizational skills)

  • You will be responsible for creating an event that regularly convenes members of the innovation community in an inclusive and open way.
  • Create a weekly program with 4-10 event sessions (seminars, info sessions, roundtables, etc.) that reflect the Venture Café brand and vision.
  • Manage all event logistics, together with our manager and ambassadors
  • Oversee and report on all finance and accounting processes for Venture Café Rotterdam Gathering operation (understand P&L, tracking costs, etc.) and other programs over which you have management responsibility.
  • Build (or find a way to build) an effective communications infrastructure for Venture Café Rotterdam, including website, social media channels (particularly Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) and mailing lists.

Building an Inclusive Innovation Community (Partnership, networking & Community skills)

  • Maintain relations with our existing partners and identify new key experts and organizations (startups or corporates) to partner with, on programming and sponsorships
  • Balance work in the team office with being visible and engaged within the local innovation community, including attending events, meeting people, and building meaningful relationships.
  • Be an advocate and spokesperson for Rotterdam’ innovation and entrepreneurship communities. Connect individuals and organizations that should know each other.
  • Manage the Volunteer community
  • Manage and/or facilitate other Venture Café Rotterdam programs and projects as needed

Venture Café Rotterdam will look, feel, and operate like a startup. There will be a lot of uncertainty and ambiguity much of the time and no work will be beneath you (on the same day you may sharpen pencils, move furniture and have dinner with the CEO of a global company). This environment also creates great opportunities to be creative and to envision new projects that will take Venture Café Rotterdam’s mission to the next level. We believe in experiments as a way of learning.

Your background and interests

  • You have been involved in innovation and/or entrepreneurship initiatives, preferably in a founding, leadership, or intrapreneur role.
  • You have a broad and interdisciplinary understanding of the innovation process; a global outlook with local roots and commitment.
  • You are familiar with the Rotterdam innovation community, its key players, and believe in its potential for growth. An extensive social network in this community is desirable, as well as the ability to build local partnerships.
  • You have an understanding of Rotterdam as a city, of its neighborhoods, its urban economy and most pressing challenges.

Desirable Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree in any field. Advanced degrees add significant value.
  • Excellent organizational, project and task management skills, with attention for detail. Experience with event envisioning, planning, and implementation.
  • Great hospitality skills – able to keep community members engaged and happy even while resolving problems. Be able to enforce the Venture Café Guidelines in friendly but firm fashion.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills. Real, natural comfort with public speaking and the ability to communicate and collaborate across business, academia, government, and civil society is key.
  • Clear views and positions without being dogmatic. Not a “yes-person”.

Benefits and compensation commensurate with experience. If you are interested in this position, please complete this application form then send your resume and cover letter to

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