Open Positions:

We currently have a Start-ups & Innovation Project Manager and a Leadership & Sustainability Fellow position open for our Rio de Janeiro’s office.


Job Description: Start-ups & Innovation Project Manager

Job Description:

swissnex Brazil is looking for a dynamic Start-ups & Innovation Project Manager with experience working with startups and innovation for its multi-faceted, transdisciplinary, creative and international activities.
As one of the members of the swissnex Brazil team, you are expected to take full ownership for accomplishing different requests and projects from Swiss and Brazilian stakeholders; to identify and explore opportunities to shape a sustainable portfolio of future activities, and to expand and deepen our relationships with Brazilian and Swiss partners.

Our office and event space infrastructure enables hosting of different kinds of events as well as welcoming residents to explore opportunities in one of the most vibrating emerging economies in Brazil. You will get the opportunity to be part of a creative, international and innovative venture with a special focus on projects in entrepreneurship and innovation; interact and collaborate with high-level representatives of both Switzerland and Brazil; expand your skills and update your professional knowledge.

Key Responsibilities
Reactively and proactively work the CEO of swissnex Brazil in Rio de Janeiro and the core team of swissnex Brazil to accomplish tasks and respond to requests; take full ownership of the professional implementation of projects and events; take a leading role in projects; and contribute new ideas and initiatives to further swissnex’s unique mission and objectives.

The Start-ups & Innovation Project Manager is a hands-on connector and startup coach with a passion for entrepreneurship and a high level of curiosity for new technologies. The position reports directly to the CEO and, in close coordination with the Start-ups & Innovation Project Manager of the São Paulo Office, has the following primary responsibilities:

● Startups & Innovation Projects: take a leading role in further expanding activities and services geared towards startups and innovation actors;
● ‘Connecting the dots’ & Networking: proactively reach out to relevant contacts and act as a connector between people and ideas;
● Partnership Development: identify locations and form lasting partnerships with leading local institutions for Rio de Janeiro-based events;
● Event Planning & Management: planning, implementation and evaluation of events, training and delegation visits with a focus on innovation/entrepreneurship;
● Research: on- and offline research on specific themes as requested by stakeholders.


Startups & Innovation Projects:
● Conduct the Innosuisse Market Entry Program in Rio de Janeiro: identify and manage Swiss technology- and science-based startup pipeline – in close coordination with the Start-ups & Innovation Project Manager of the São Paulo Office – build a strong network of local coaches and partners, implement the program including communications, reach out, logistics, reporting, etc. and support any other activities related to the implementation of the Innosuisse Market Entry Camp in Brazil;
● Support the planning and implementation of the Academia Industry Training (AIT) in Rio de Janeiro;
● Advise Swiss technology- and science-based startups regarding Brazilian market activities/opportunities (7 – 10 per year);
● Organize individual and group startup camps (3 – 6 per year);
● Identify and consult on opportunities for startups and innovative companies, including responding to requests from startups interested in entering the Swiss / Brazilian market
● Develop residency/training program for Swiss startups coming to Brazil, including the definition of target groups, partners, budget, funding sources, etc.

‘Connecting the dots’ & Networking:
● Build local know-how and trusted relationships with prime local representatives of science, technology, innovation and business;
● Maintain a strong network in the Rio de Janeiro’s startup ecosystem region and in Switzerland;
● Attend meetings, events, conferences as a swissnex representative, and share contacts, findings and learnings with the swissnex team, both in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo;
● Reactively and proactively promote collaboration between people and organizations in Switzerland and Brazil.

Partnership Development:
● Identify and onboard leading, value-adding local partners for events and projects in general;
● Identify and onboard key opinion leaders, experts, mentors, coaches, speakers and partners for the Academia-Industry Training (AIT) and Innosuisse Market Entry Program;
● Proactively identify and pursue opportunities with Swiss partners in close coordination with HQ.

Event Planning & Management:
● Conduct research and brainstorm for events in close collaboration with the swissnex team: identify and contact potential speakers; identify and secure high-visibility event locations; identify funding sources; draft funding requests and pitch projects to potential funding partners;
● Organize visits and delegations (multi-day group visits to Rio de Janeiro);
● Implement events including communications, reach out to guests, logistics, reporting, etc.

● Assist in conducting on- and offline research and write reports on science, technology and innovation topics as defined in collaboration with HQ and/or stakeholders;
● Conduct fact-finding missions and market survey/research for specific sectors in Brazil which are relevant for Swiss technology – and science-based startups;
● Continuously follow and developments trends in the entrepreneurship and innovation landscapes in Brazil and Switzerland;


General / Personality
● Outgoing, communicative; avid networker and connector;
● Responsive, service-oriented, reliable;
● Transdisciplinary mindset/systems thinking;
● Can-do attitude and self-starter with the capacity to handle uncertainty and launch new projects;
● Independent, self-motivated, hands-on, proactive, creative, resourceful;
● Ability to work outside of regular office hours when needed (for events and delegations);
● Passion for entrepreneurship and a high level of curiosity for new technologies;
● Dedication to further Swiss excellence in science, education, innovation and art.

Background / Experience
● Degree in Engineering, Exact Sciences, Business, Economics, International Relations or related areas;
● 1 – 2 years of startup related work experience;
● International experience (Swiss experience is a plus);
● Experience working with many different stakeholders/managing complex requests;
● Experience managing events, projects and/or programs;
● Familiarity with the Swiss and Rio de Janeiro startup ecosystems (proven network of relevant contacts, including startup related contacts, in the Rio de Janeiro region a plus).

● Excellent people, communication (verbal and written) and organizational skills;
● Excellent team-oriented working skills;
● Proven organizational skills and ability to multi-task;
● Solid time management and ability to prioritize;
● Professional mastery (reading and speaking) of Portuguese and English language;
● Proficiency with at least one (1) Swiss national language strongly preferred.

Additional Information
● This is a 100% position; ideal starting date: based on contract signature;
● Brazilian non-profit salary levels and local regulations apply;
● Only applications from Brazilian nationals and holders of a work permit in Brazil (Carteira de Trabalho) will be considered;
● Fluency in Portuguese and good familiarity with Brazil required;
● The position requires flexible work hours, including some evenings and weekends.

Interested Candidates
Please fill this form, attaching your CV, a Letter of Recommendation and a Cover Letter with 2 professional/academic references to be contacted via phone call.


Leadership & Sustainability Fellow position.
Starting date: January 2020.


swissnex Brazil is a platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas in science, education, research, and innovation. Through our public events and study tours, we highlight the best of Swiss and Brazilian ingenuity and create opportunities for networking among our diverse group of professional contacts in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and beyond. We offer the resources to help international guests, start-ups, university outposts, entrepreneurs-in-residence, and other visitors succeed.

oikos is an international, student-led non-profit organization for sustainability in economics and management. Founded in 1987 in Switzerland, it empowers student change agents worldwide to embed sustainability in academia and from there into day-to-day business, government and personal activities. Our programs integrate environmental and social perspectives in economics and management education and equip our members with the necessary tools to become today and tomorrow’s responsible leaders.

A collaboration between oikos and swissnex and sponsored by Movetia, the Leadership & Sustainability Fellowship, aims to gather international students and academics to foster innovation in sustainable management and leadership education, through the oikos-designed “Students Creating Curriculum for Sustainability” project.

Job Description: swissnex Brazil & oikos fellowship 

  • The fellow will work for both oikos and swissnex. They will be connected with the vivid oikos community with decades-long experience in developing projects for sustainable management and leadership, as well as with swissnex and its excellent knowledge of swiss education and innovation.
  • In the first two months of the project, January and February 2020, the fellow will work in the oikos headquarters in St. Gallen. From March to October 2020, the fellow will be relocated to swissnex Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. The fellow will return to Switzerland and finalize their work at the oikos office in St. Gallen until January 2021.
  • One of the tasks of the fellow is to create and develop a two to three weeks virtual conference with several speakers, live interactive workshops, panel discussions,  interviews with Q&As, reflections/learning sessions, open-space workshops, and peer-to-peer discussions. The fellow can rely on the oikos community, swissnex Brazil, and their partners to develop the conference. At the beginning of their work, they will be responsible for co-leading an online thematic group on the topic of sustainable management and leadership at oikos. This group will be mainly composed of oikos students, alumni and partners from more than 20 countries in Europe, North America, Asia & Africa.
  • The fellow will be involved in the development and implementation of swissnex activities. They will work directly with a person responsible for academic relations in swissnex Brazil. One of the tasks for the fellow is to organize visits for Swiss professor(s) to Brazil. During this visit, we would like to ignite cross-continental conversations, showcase Swiss excellence in this topic, and facilitate potential international academic/business collaborations between Switzerland and Brazil.
  • The fellow will be responsible for bringing the perspective of younger generations on sustainable management and leadership to those interactions with local universities and businesses. He/She is expected to observe and report on what swissnex and oikos could improve and build upon.  Based on the suggestions of the fellow and thematic group (led by the fellow), oikos and swissnex Brazil will approach universities and other relevant institutions (student organizations, companies, NGO’s) with an offer to use the project outcomes in their curriculum/ institutional training.
  • Take full ownership of the professional implementation of the “Students Creating Curriculum for Sustainability” project and related events; contribute with new ideas and initiatives to further swissnex & oikos’ mission and objectives.

Tasks and responsibilities

Event Planning & Management: active participation in and contribution to events and learning expeditions /delegation visits, including:

  • Conduct research & participate in brainstorming for event topics
  • Independent planning, preparation and execution of projects and events
  • Identify, contact and coach potential speakers / exhibitors/ participants
  • Manage local stakeholders, service companies and suppliers
  • Assist with public relations and communication between partners, sponsors, and other project partners
  • Draft funding applications and reports
  • Update and maintain event project database
  • Logistical organization, including setting up event room, cleaning, welcoming and registering guests
  • Take charge of AV management during events & generally support the ‘back-end’ of events

‘Connecting the dots’ & Networking: act as a connector between people and ideas:

  • Reactively and proactively promote collaboration between people and organizations in Switzerland and Brazil
  • Occasionally attend events, conferences, meetings as a swissnex/oikos representative, and share contacts, findings and learnings with the swissnex and oikos teams

What we look for in a Candidate

General / Personality

  • Outgoing, communicative; avid networker and connector
  • Independent, self-motivated
  • Hands-on, proactive
  • Visionary, creative, resourceful
  • Passionate about Brazil
  • Dedication to further Swiss excellence in science, education, innovation and art

Background / Experience

  • Recent Bachelor, Master or PhD degree (starting date maximum 1 year after graduation date)
  • Proven experience planning and managing events and/or projects
  • Passionate about sustainable management & leadership (ideally already engaged in this topic)
  • Professional mastery (reading and speaking) of the Portuguese language (B2 level or more)
  • Professional mastery of at least one Swiss national language
  • Professional mastery of the English language
  • International experience (Brazilian and Swiss experience a plus)


  • Proven organizational skills and ability to multitask
  • Ability to independently implement projects
  • Excellent people and communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Attention to detail
  • Solid time-management and ability to prioritize
  • Web and social media savvy a plus

Important Information

  • This is a 100% position; ideal start date in January 2020
  • This is a 13 or 14 months contract
  • The position requires flexible hours, including some evenings and weekends
  • Swiss citizenship or EU studying/recent graduate in Switzerland + valid work permit in Switzerland required (Permit C)
  • Proficiency of the Portuguese language is mandatory

Please submit your application via this form until the 20th of October.

About swissnex Brazil: connecting the Dots in Science, Education, Art and Innovation

swissnex Brazil office

swissnex Brazil’s mission is to nurture the Swiss innovation ecosystem with ideas, concepts and contacts to help Switzerland maintain and strengthen its competitive edge. We foster dialogue and enable collaboration among opinion leaders, researchers and practitioners in education, science and innovation between the Brazil and Switzerland.

The organization’s goals are to build in-depth knowledge of the Brazilian innovation ecosystem; to strengthen its local network of high-level representatives from academia and business; and to implement out-of-the-box signature projects and events to ignite cross-continental conversations and showcase Swiss excellence in science and innovation.

A public-private venture, we are the youngest addition to a growing network of outposts in Bangalore, Boston, San Francisco and Shanghai, initiated by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). swissnex works with public and private sector partners, sponsors and donors who are equally committed to furthering Switzerland’s leading position as an innovation nation.

Background photo created by freepik –