Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. (MBRDNA) continuously strives to remain at the forefront of successful automotive research and development. The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, with key areas of Autonomous Driving, Advanced Interaction Design, Digital User Experience, Machine Learning, Costumer Research, and Business Innovation.
Here at MBRDNA, we are looking for talented, energetic, and committed individuals to join our diverse team. Our employees are key to our success and we support each individual in fulfilling his or her potential.
This Partnership Project Manager role is embedded in the Digital Partnerships team, which is part of MBRDNA's Open Innovation department. The department actively identifies and productizes new innovations into Mercedes-Benz cars portfolio by partnering with early stage companies on joint product development. The successful candidate will join a vibrant environment at the heart of automotive innovation.
The role will place significant emphasis on the use of open innovation to advance commercialization of new technology in order to deliver breakthrough solutions to Daimler AG. The new candidate will lead the technology partnership scouting initiatives within the Open Innovation Team. Moreover, this role will serve as key account for internal as well as external MBRDNA stakeholders related to technology partnership sourcing. Thus, the successful candidate will collect and manage the status of the entire range of scouting efforts within MBRDNA.
The Partnership Project Manager will be on the forefront of innovation as connector between innovative companies, Venture Capitalist eco-system, incubators in Seattle and Silicon Valley area as well as our R&D units and digital hubs worldwide.
Key Tasks & Responsibilities
The Partnership Project Manager will lead exploration and validation of new business opportunities by leveraging the Silicon Valley and Seattle ecosystem. The role is dynamic and works across a wide range of business functions.
Trend & Early stage company scouting (20 %)
Driving innovation initiatives in the area of CASE, which means specifically in technologies like AI, Autonomous Driving, Cloud Computing,Entertainment, Shared Services, and Electric Vehicles.
Pro-active sourcing of start-ups and innovative technologies in North America, benchmarking technology against other solutions, in close collaboration & alignment with international R&D network.
Perform rapid market research on new technology trends and emerging US partner companies.
Explore and validate opportunities for new product / service development, balancing customer needs and business priorities.
Work alongside development teams to productize innovations in partnerships with early to late stage high-tech companies.
Ideate, Plan and Execute proof of concepts with internal and external engineering and design team.
Scouting key account & project management (60%)
Serve as key account for all aspects of project management regarding sourcing of early stage companies within MBRDNA in close collaboration with all other scouting activities (scope, milestones, schedule development, relationship management with all stakeholders).
Initial ownership of technical partnerships to define strategy, schedule budget and be accountable to internal and extneral stakeholders in initial project phase
Key interface to startups to guide and connect them with relevant partners at MBRDNA.
Foster relationship between external technology providers and appropriate product development teams within R&D.
Establish holistic and standardized scouting process to assess product and company fit for long-term strategic partnership in a standardized way.
Implement tools and data bases to holistically manage entire range of scouting efforts within MBRDNA.
Manage KPIs including setting targets, collecting and analyzing data, reporting to management.
Work closely with Daimler AG/RD functions to enhance existing product and service innovation roadmap.
Generate regular project reports and present status to MBRDNA and Daimler/RD management
VC & Accelerator Partnership management (20%)
Build and maintain strong relationships with key opinion leaders in targeted search fields.
Develop network of industry contacts, venture capital firms, accelerators, and advisory executives to bring knowledge of market trends and opportunities to bear on strategic discussions.
Establish and nurture relationships to start-ups, accelerators, VCs and other aggregation partners in Silicon Valley and Seattle.
Establish frequent communication and information exchange to leading organizations to identify leading innovation and / or talent opportunities for Daimler.
Support on cooperation cross-funcational tasks:
Development and establishment of cooperation / portfolio and tracking tools for RD/IM as well as template for cooperation in R&D in general.
Continuous documentation along Innovation Management Cycle in internal tool.
Drive change, build an innovation community, develop instruments to actively engage employees within early stage company sourcing process within MBRDNA.
Completed bachelors degree in engineering, business administration, economics or comparable qualification with track of record in technology companies
At least 3 years of work experience in innovative technology field, R&D or related technical development teams
At least 3 years of professional experience in Silicon Valley
Experience in Silicon Valley ecosystem due to prior positions at Venture Capital Funds, Startup Accelerator or in the Startup environment
Experience in delivering products to market and demonstrated ability to drive product planning, development and launch
Experience in scouting startups due to previous work experience at accelerators or VC funds
Strong project, people and process management skills
Strong Data Management skills
Enthusiatic about international start-up ecosystem and eager to become part of it
Strategic and entrepreneurial thinking and acting as well as customer orientation
Up-to-date with newest technology trends and startups as well as high awareness of industry trends like augmented reality, computer vision, autonomous driving, mobile technologies
Understanding of most recent trends in the mobility sector including experience with digital consumer experiences
Excellent communication skills with the ability to interact with and understand technical subjects and emerging technologies and their relevance to the marketplace
Ability to communicate findings clearly to both technical and non-technical audiences
Prior experience in working with online productivity tools and databases
Ability to lead across highly cross-functional teams
Willingness to travel
Declaration of commitment / compliance reminder
It must be ensured that all Group and location rules and regulations, guidelines and works agreements, etc. that apply for the area of responsibility transferred are complied with or applied. In particular, these include adherence to the relevant compliance regulations, safety, data protection, work safety, and environmental regulations, and working hours regulation.
MBRDNA is an equal opportunity employer that offers generous benefits and compensation, work/life balance tools and several methods of recognition and rewards. Our benefits include medical, dental and vision insurance, 401K savings plan, tuition and fitness reimbursement programs and much more.