Blackbird is hiring a Platform Manager to own the building of Blackbird’s community and brand in Aotearoa.
About the Role
Blackbird is a community-led VC. This means we believe that community is what draws founders to us, it’s what we use to help our portfolio companies (founders, operators and co-investors), which increases their probability for success, producing great returns which draws the world’s best LPs to us, and the virtuous circle continues.
As the new kid on the block in Aotearoa, we have completed Act I of building a community around Blackbird, but we are now ready for Act II. The primary focus is always founders, and drawing the most ambitious ones close to our orbit. Our ultimate ambition is to magnetise the very best founders and build a brand that means founders choose us above all others when they raise capital.
Although Blackbird is a 10 year old company with $2B in funds under management, in Aotearoa, we have only just turned 2 years old. We are raising our second early-stage fund dedicated to Kiwi founders and are a small but mighty team of 4. This is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor and help build Blackbird Aotearoa into an iconic cultural institution in Aotearoa New Zealand.
We are looking for someone who is a strategic thinker and super-connector with strong stakeholder management abilities. You need to bring not just big, creative ideas but scrappy resourceful execution. You won’t work alone, as we have a team of 70 spread across ANZ to help you, but you’ll need to be comfortable getting stuck in and building yourself if that’s what’s required to deliver an excellent result.
- Creating and refining our strategy to get the most ROI from our community efforts in Aotearoa.
- Executing on that strategy. Some of the things you might choose to execute on are:
- producing some original, engaging and durable content that draws founders into the Blackbird’s Aotearoa orbit and kick starts their user journey through Blackbird’s founder products (such as Sunrise, our Giants Office Hours or the Startmate Accelerator); and
- taking the lead on executing larger strategic projects and events to magnetise great founders.
- Representing Blackbird at Aotearoa community events such as pitch competitions, workshops and panels.
- You’ll have taken the first meetings with a bunch of interesting people in the ecosystem (for example potential operators/board members for our companies, potential LPs, potential referrers of great dealflow) and be constantly looking for ways to grow your Aotearoa network.
- You’ll be the ‘glue’ between our platform activities run out of Blackbird Australia and Blackbird Aotearoa, upgrading Kiwi participation and experience including:
- increasing the percentage of Kiwis participating in Blackbird’s products and programs (for example founders participating in Giants cohorts and operators signing up to our Talent Lilypad);
- executing LP events in Aotearoa that rival our Australian ones in terms of attendee experience and engagement; and
- ensuring Sunrise Aotearoa has as much impact as Sunrise Australia.
- Over time, you’ll create new products altogether, own the strategy for our content and/or create assets that are valuable over the long term and reinforce our community-led VC approach. A great example of this at Blackbird is Mason pitching the idea for, and now running, the Wild Hearts Podcast.
Your background is less important than the key skills, which include:
- Extremely High EQ. You’ll be great at separating the signal from the noise in the ecosystem. You’ll navigate the Aotearoa community with ease and have a good sense for quality founders, operators and investors. You’ll be a champion of diversity & inclusion, particularly Māori & Pacifika inclusion, and this has to be at the forefront of their mind with everything you do. Hospitality mindset is a core value at Blackbird - making sure everyone you interact with feels valued will also be a core attribute we look for.
- Super Connector. Ideally you’d be well-networked with early stage founders and operators or you’ll have incredible hustle and sufficient charisma to become well-networked in a couple of months. You’ll be capable of getting meetings with anyone in the ecosystem, regardless of their level, and leave those people feeling energised.
- Great Communicator. You'll need to be a strong written communicator in a variety of different mediums from social media to blogs to presentations. You’ll be a comfortable and effective public speaker and a thoughtful ambassador for our brand.
- Tools Tools Tools. You have a good set of no-code tools you’ve already mastered, like Google suite products, Airtable, Notion, Canva, simple CRMs (we use Affinity) and are comfortable picking up new ones to build new MVP products and/or scale programs you are running.
- Ownership Mentality. You’ll see opportunities to do new things or level up what we currently have and you’ll act on it without being asked. You’ll take problems and create solutions and know how to go from idea to execution quickly with a hypothesis-driven mentality. You are comfortable with experimentation and rapidly iterate based on the feedback and results.
- Comfortable with Chaos. Blackbird is a startup itself and it’s all hands on deck when things need to get done. Everyone takes on tasks beyond their usual scope - nothing is too far above your role or below your role to get involved in.
This role is full-time, based in our beautiful new office on K Road in Central Auckland, with the flexibility to work from home.
About Blackbird Aotearoa
The genesis of Blackbird Aotearoa was an observation that the ecosystem here was at a tipping point:
- Great lighthouse companies like Trade Me, Xero, Rocket Lab, PushPay, LanzaTech, Vend and others were spinning out the next generation of talent;
- A lack of choice for founders to raise early stage capital;
- An opportunity to better connect founders and operators through community.
We’ve invested $93M total in 24 companies including Halter, Partly and First AML. We invest in everything from pre-seed to Series B, enterprise SaaS and IoT to Web3. We’ve completed a first close on our second $80M fund and are looking to grow our team here.
We’re looking for someone who is as obsessed as we are about building an iconic investment firm. You must have a high ownership mentality, deep comfort with autonomy and ambiguity, confidence in your thought process and gut instincts, willingness to adapt it to new information, a hunger for finding the truth, and a desire to help founders bring their better version of the future into the present.
Working at Blackbird
We believe that building a diverse and inclusive team is critical to Blackbird’s success. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, or marital, veteran, or disability status. We use Applied to ensure every applicant gets an equal chance of success.
- Flexible working: Whether it’s working from home or leaving early to pick up the kids from daycare or school.
- Generous parental leave: We know family comes first, and we are proud to offer 20 weeks of parental leave for all parents, with no minimum tenure. In addition, we offer IVF, adoption and surrogacy leave. We also continue to pay Kiwisaver and vest carried interest for up to 12 months of parental leave, and offer a supportive return-to-work policy to help with the ramp back.
- Learning & Development budget: Our team is hungry to continuously learn and you’ll receive a budget to spend on whatever you’d like to learn - from coding courses to meditation.
- Unplugged weekends: We work hard without letting work get in the way of life. We’ve implemented no Slack or emails on weekends, so you can switch off.
- A share of Blackbird’s success: We think it is important to share successes with the whole team. All Blackbird employees receive carry in our funds and are owners in the management company.
Blackbird is a Pledge 1% member — we pledge 1% of our time, equity and profits to help not-for-profit causes in our community. Through Pledge 1%, we established the Blackbird Foundation to supercharge the creative capabilities of young people.
In 2021, we were recognised in top 5 technology workplaces in the AFR Best Places to Work List, as well as winning Best Employee Experience.
Blackbird is an Australasian venture capital firm whose mission is to invest in wild hearts, with the wildest ideas, right at the beginning. We back generational ambition with generational ownership by raising funds and investing in the best startup companies all the way through their journey from idea to beyond IPO.
Blackbird was founded in 2012, with a small first fund of $30M from the community of Australian technology founders. That fund invested in the very first rounds of Canva, Zoox, CultureAmp and SafetyCulture and has a TVPI of more than 33x. Today, our portfolio is worth over $10B and includes more than 100 companies across Australia and New Zealand, including rising stars like Propeller, Baraja, Gilmour Space, Halter, Eucalyptus, Harrison AI and Dovetail.
We’ve written a lot about what we love at Blackbird, so check out our blog if you want some more information about us. In particular, you should watch our Auckland-based partner Sam Wong pitch Blackbird VC to founders, read about our mission and values and what we look for in founders.