Business Development Associate

Sound Agriculture is an innovator in 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 Leaps by Bayer, Northpond Ventures, S2G Ventures, Fall Line Capital, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, Cavallo Ventures and Syngenta Group Ventures.

We are seeking a Business Development Associate who will be instrumental in the continued expansion of Sound’s go-to-market initiatives, providing comprehensive operational and strategic support for successful execution of company objectives. The Business Development team is responsible for driving strategic initiatives and enterprise-level partnerships across the food and agriculture supply chain in support of Sound’s unique on-demand breeding and nutrient use efficiency platforms. 

This position is highly collaborative and will work closely with Business Development peers and other Sound teams such as Research and Development, Legal / Regulatory, and Product Management & Marketing to ensure projects are executed on-time and to the highest degree of quality.  A successful candidate will have experience working on complex projects that balance detail and urgency, probing diverse resources to gain customer insights, supporting the launch of successful new products, and developing productive relationships with internal and external partners. The role will report to the Director of Business Development and can either be based in the main office in Emeryville, CA or be remote. The role may include occasional travel (+/- 10%), safety permitting.


  • Create market and business opportunity analyses to help determine the strategic direction of Sound’s on-demand breeding platform
  • Actively engage across the food and agriculture industry keeping up-to-date on industry trends, market conditions, competitors, customer needs, and related information to identify key challenges and opportunities. 
  • Identify and source outreach opportunities in alignment with the BD team prioritization roadmap including analysis for strategic fit alongside the evolution of technical and commercial goals.
  • Collaborate to develop engagement strategies for Sound’s sustainability initiatives providing insights and input on external programs, sustainable production schemes, tools and technology, as well as metrics, certifications, and reporting frameworks leveraged by the key stakeholders.
  • Lead competitive intelligence and deep dive analysis into market and competitive developments, consumer behaviors, and review of significant current industry events as they happen in real-time.
  • Partner with deal leads, product team, and technical teams to operationalize internal and external projects translating learnings and best practices from prior engagements to establish a continuous improvement cycle that drives better outreach, improved agreement structure, more seamless project execution, and expanded business. 
  • Develop comprehensive financial models and valuation analyses, including returns analysis and sensitivities based on guidance from more senior members of the team.
  • Support preparation of Board and Leadership Team presentations including management and tracking of performance metrics.

Skills & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree; background related to biology, chemistry, or food science a plus.
  • 3+ years experience in business or corporate development, product management, corporate strategy, strategic sales, investment banking/​investing, and/​or consulting. Experience in biotech, agriculture and/​or food industries preferred. 
  • Strategic thinker with high intellectual curiosity excited by the prospect of building expertise across a wide array of topics.
  • Highly analytical with strong literacy in research, financial modeling, and effective synthesis of recommendations.
  • Driven team-player who enjoys collaborating cross-functionally on challenging problems
  • Strong communication and stakeholder management skills with demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships across all levels of a business both within and outside the company.
  • Self-motivated and organized with ability to balance thorough analysis with efficient prioritization to deliver key milestones on time and to a high standard.
  • Comfort with working in a fast-paced, dynamic environment with a willingness to learn new things and tackle a range of challenges and opportunities as they arise 
  • Experience creating and using presentations, models, and other methods to drive successful projects with proficiency in Google Suites or equivalent platform. Competency in Salesforce a plus.
  • Passionate about driving innovation and partnerships to revolutionize the future of food and agriculture. 

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.

Sound participates in E‑Verify and will provide the federal government with your Form I‑9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the United States. If E‑Verify cannot confirm that you are authorized to work, Sound is required to give you written instructions and an opportunity to contact the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Social Security Administration (SSA) so you can begin to resolve the issue before Sound takes any action, including terminating your employment.