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Startups & Innovation Project Manager – Rio de Janeiro-based.

swissnex Brazil is looking for a dynamic Project Manager with experience working with startups and innovation for its multi-faceted, interdisciplinary, creative and international activities!

As one of the members of the swissnex Brazil team, you are expected to take 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 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; continuously help shape the first Latin American, with a special focus on projects in entrepreneurship and innovation; interact and collaborate with high-level representatives of both Switzerland and Brazil; and expand your skills and update your professional knowledge.

Key Responsibilities
Reactively and proactively work with the core team 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 Startups and Innovation Project Manager is a hands-on 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 Startups Project Manager of the São Paulo Office, has the following primary responsibilities:

Startups & Innovation Projects: take 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, trainings and delegation visits with a focus on innovation / entrepreneurship
– Research: on- and offline research on specific themes as requested by stakeholders


Startups & Innovation Projects:

  • Assume full responsibility for planning and implementing Academia Industry Training (AIT) in Rio de JaneiroManage the Innosuisse Market Entry Program in Rio de Janeiro (identify and manage Swiss technology- and science-based startup pipeline, build a strong network of local coaches and
    partners, implement the program incl. communications, reach out, logistics, reporting, etc.) and support any other activities related to the implementation of the Innosuisse Market Entry Camp in Brazil.
  • 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, incl. responding to requests from startups interested in entering the Swiss /
  • Brazilian market
  • Develop residency / training program for Swiss startups coming to Brazil, incl. definition of target groups, partners, budget, funding sources, etc.
  • Continuously follow trends and developments in entrepreneurship and innovation

‘Connecting the dots’ & Networking:

  • Build local knowhow and trusted relationships with prime local representatives of science, technology and business
  • Build a strong startup related network in the Rio de Janeiro 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 on-board leading, value-adding local partners for events and projects in general
  • Identify and on-board 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)
  • Support other startup initiatives at swissnex Brazil (e.g. Swiss Startup Gaming Tour in Brazil, etc.)
  • Assist with the organization of delegations (multi-day group visits to Rio de Janeiro)
  • Implementation of events (incl. communications, reach out to guests, logistics, reporting, etc.)


  • Assist in conducting on- and offline research and write reports on science, technology, education and innovation topics as defined in collaboration with HQ and/or stakeholders
  • Conduct fact finding missions and market survey/research for specific sectors Brazil which are relevant for Swiss technology- and science-based startups
  • Follow trends both in the Innovation landscapes in Brazil and Switzerland
  • Technology scouting for innovation partners

What we look for in a Candidate:

General / Personality

  • Outgoing, communicative; avid networker and connector
  • Responsive, service-oriented, reliable
  • Trans disciplinary 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

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, incl. startup related contacts, in the Rio de Janeiro region is 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; start date May 2018
  • Brazilian non-profit salary levels and local regulations applied
  • Brazilian work permit or citizenship required
  • Fluency in Portuguese and good familiarity with Brazil required
  • The position requires flexible work hours, including some evenings and weekends
  • Send CV, Cover Letter and salary expectation to until the 30th of April


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

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.

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.

swissnex Brazil officeCareers at swissnex Brazil

swissnex Brazil was officially inaugurated in April 2014. Still in its infancy, the organization’s medium-term 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.

As part of the swissnex Brazil team, you are expected to take ownership for accomplishing new and

different requests from Swiss and Brazilian stakeholders; to explore opportunities to shape a sustainable portfolio of future activities; to expand and deepen our relationships with Brazilian and Swiss partners; and to work relentlessly to contribute to a successful take-off of this new organization.

You will get the opportunity to be part of a creative and innovative new venture; proactively help shape the first Latin American swissnex office; expand your skills and update your professional knowledge by participating in educational opportunities and events; work in one of the most vibrating emerging economies; and interact and collaborate with high-level representatives of both Switzerland and Brazil.