14549 Minetta St.
Houston TX 77035
Product Development Scientist
Solugen, Inc. is a revolutionary technology company seeking to use biology to transform and reduce the carbon footprint of the chemicals industry. Solugen was founded in 2016 and is a post-Series B venture-backed startup company supported by renowned venture capital firms including Founders Fund, Fifty Years, Refractor, and Y Combinator. Located in Houston, Texas. Solugen is currently scaling up its manufacturing facility to use its enzymatic process on bio feedstocks to make core chemistry for water treatment, agriculture, and personal care. Solugen currently has 90+ full time employees.
The candidate will direct the literature research, proof of concept creation, and product iteration with customer to ensure the right value propositions are met in various market segments outside oil and gas (e.g. polymers additive, coatings, adhesives, sealants elastomers, industrial cleaning, concrete admixtures, food ingredients, industrial water treatments). The candidate will report to Senior Director of Product and will work very closely with the Executive Leadership Team in finding new applications for Carbon-negative molecules with the right go-to-market strategy.
The candidate is expected to produce the following outcomes
- Generate at least one idea per quarter that will be converted to disclosures and/or patent applications in areas outside oil and gas (e.g. polymers additives, cleaning chemicals, food and beverage)_
- Ability to generate invention disclosure form with external counsel within 4 hours.
- Ability to conduct patent landscape analysis and generate a summary within 8 hours.
- At least one proof of concepts per quarter generated from his/her own lab works.
- Ability to generate one minimum data package (MDP) for potential customers/partners per quarter from proof of concepts, prior arts, literatures for discussion with customers.
- Ability to discern relative importance of prior arts within 2 hours.
- Analytical, detail oriented, willing to work in the lab 60-80%, curious, strong executive presence, ability to handle ambiguity, ability to work in unstructured and fast paced environment, strong public speaking capability
- A solid understanding of a particular field (such as concrete chemicals, industrial water treatments, food and beverage, …) but is able to
- Work closely with the Senior Director of Product to develop and iterate new products based on customer feedback and market trends.
- Take complete ownership of product development from concept to commercialization and partner with marketing and commercial team in doing so.
- Follows development of competing products and subsequently develops short-term and long-term roadmaps for Solugen product lines in at least 2 market segments.
- Comfortable in doing literature research, get his/her hand “wet” in the lab to develop “prototype” for customers to test value proposition, design of experiment, conduct in-house testing by him/herself or with the help of our lab tech, coordinate 3rd party lab testing, and manage consultants.
- Map the competitions and design a study to compare Solugen products with incumbents.
- Distil critical information from literature and prior art. Must be able to distinguish real information vs distraction.
- Lead the third-party laboratory interaction to validate Solugen’s product’s performance.
- Have the capability to design and execute quick, preliminary in-house experiments to compare performance of Solugen’s chemistry to incumbents.
- Review internal and external testing data and make recommendations on next steps.
- Manage relationships with external consultant(s), third-party lab(s), Contract Research Organizations (CROs)
- Ability to be nimble with a willingness to embrace the speed and ambiguity of startup culture
- Passion for green chemistry and fighting climate change
- Comfort working in multiple roles
- Ability to self-manage and set priorities and schedule
- Creative problem-solving nature
- Appreciation and emphasis for safety above all else
- Respect for others
- Bachelor's degree or PhD in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.
- Demonstrated track record of developing bio-based chemicals from concept to commercialization outside oil and gas industry.
- Had written over 5 patents and patents applications in at least 2-3 different industries beyond oil and gas (e.g. in industrial cleaning, agriculture chemicals, polymers additive, flavors and fragrances, food ingredients, concrete chemicals, personal care).
- 3-5 years of experience in product development that are not in oil and gas chemicals.
- Strong communication and project management skillset. Knows how to use Microsoft Project, Excel, Powerpoint, and Visio in his/her sleep.
- JMP DOE skills are preferred.
- A curious, creative & self-starter individual who can thrive in a dynamic start-up environment.
- Must be nimble and able to multi-task. Able to manage project.
- Has executive presence and can represent Solugen in conferences or in customer meetings.
- Local candidate in Houston/Sugar Land is preferred. However, we will consider a Rockstar from other locations.
- Critical thinker who can utilize their experience and quickly draw conclusions based on incomplete data. He/she is not afraid to propose and try new ideas and methods.
- Comfortable working in multi-cultural and dynamic environment.
Solugen is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other legally protected status.