Field Development Director

Sound is an innovator of bio-inspired chemistry and plant genetics. We leverage natural plant diversity to grow crops more sustainably and create differentiated, nutritious food. Sound is a Series C startup funded by leading investors in food and agriculture such as S2G Ventures, Fall Line Capital, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, Cavallo Ventures and Syngenta Ventures.

We are hiring a Director of Field Development to test and develop our portfolio of nutrient use efficiency (NUE) chemistry products. Responsibilities will include expanding and overseeing our field trials (including the intersection with on-farm trials), analyzing agronomic data to track and improve product performance, and positioning of those data and commercial implications to the rest of the Product and Marketing org. The role reports to VP Product Management and Marketing (VP PMM) and is based in our Emeryville, CA headquarters, or may be remote. In typical times, up to 20% travel is expected.


  • Collaborate with VP PMM to identify key questions and relevant data to support product attributes and positioning, crop and geographic expansion, regulatory approval, and development of products with partners
  • Lead the development of data-driven tools (e.g., Performance Optimizer) to enhance placement and performance of our products
  • Create and manage the budget for all field trials, through CROs or otherwise
  • Provide guidance (as part of the product team) to the Research Team on technical issues that are better addressed in the lab (e.g., mode of action) vs. in the field
  • Define and manage trials directly and via partners 
  • Lead analysis of trial data and offer an authoritative point of view on what we know, what we think, and what we need to learn about our products
  • Serve as a key resource to our Sales Agronomy Team in order to ensure science is clearly documented and explained
  • Build a strong team and culture and lead and manage that team successfully

Skills & Experience

  • Master’s degree or further education in life sciences
  • 7+ years experience in technical product development
  • 2+ years in team leadership
  • Experience working across an organization, particularly with both technical and commercial colleagues 
  • Knowledge and experience sufficient to successfully lead a team of life and data scientists, as well as regulatory specialists.
  • Startup mindset is required, startup experience is a plus
  • Superb critical thinking skills, able to see the big picture, prioritize critical focus areas, and generate strategic options
  • Excellent presentation skills and executive presence
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including facilitation of group presentations
  • Drive to work hard, collaborate, and create winning solutions to challenging problems in fast-paced startup environment
  • Passion for finding new ways to create healthier, tastier, and more sustainable food

Our Offer 

  • Opportunity to work in an early-stage, disruptive startup with a talented, experienced, and growing team of dedicated individuals
  • Competitive compensation package
  • Performance bonus structure
  • Comprehensive health care plans that include Medical, Dental and Vision coverage
  • Flex Spending Account (Healthcare, Dependent Care & Commuter Benefit)
  • 401k Plan
  • Generous vacation policy
  • Regular team events and engagement activities (we actually like hanging out with each other!)

Sound is based in Emeryville, CA with a number of employees working remotely. We have a mission driven culture and a fast-paced, collaborative work environment. We are looking for someone to join the team who will bring a passion for sustainability along with a deep expertise in the business of food and agriculture.

Equal Employment Opportunity

We seek a diverse pool of applicants and consider all qualified candidates regardless of race, ancestry, color, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, citizenship, disability, Veteran status, marital status, or any other protected status.