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Business Development Manager

Business Development | Alameda, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About Saildrone

Saildrone designs and manufactures wind and solar powered autonomous surface vehicles called saildrones, which make cost-effective ocean data collection possible at scale. We are busy building the world's largest high resolution ocean datasets, working with governments and private companies around the globe. We believe that better inputs in planetary models in turn yield better outputs and that the new insights gained in weather forecasting, carbon cycling, global fishing and climate change will have tremendous impact on humanity. We are based in Alameda, CA and are backed by Social Capital, The Capricorn Investment Group, Lux Capital and The Schmidt Family Foundation.

About The Role

Saildrone is creating new markets, and as such there is no playbook to follow or competitor to emulate. Instead, we strive to forge innovative win-win partnerships across a variety of industries, including Ocean Science, Fisheries, Environmental Monitoring, Defense and more. This is not a normal business development job: you will never be bored and will travel extensively. As Business Development Manager you will be responsible for identifying, signing up, on boarding, and growing large public and private partners related to Saildrone's core services, and work very closely with Engineering and Operations to ensure smooth delivery. This role mixes strategic planning with solid execution and requires a thorough understanding of procurement processes both public and private customers for large multi-year deals.


  • Develop pipeline of potential partnerships across variety of industries
  • Measure partnership initiatives and qualify against KPIs to quantify partner success and future pipeline opportunities 
  • Draft and negotiate large complex contracts with both government and private sector
  • Prepare quotes and scope deals, involving internal teams as needed
  • Navigate deals through any bureaucracy and compliance requirements, foreign and domestic
  • Facilitate and support proposal preparation and contract negotiations
  • Work closely with procurement offices representatives at government agencies and private sector companies
  • Work closely with engineering to spearhead partnership integrations 
  • Develop and execute optimization efforts to maximize partnership revenue 
  • Manage P&L and create revenue forecasts around existing and future partnerships


  • Entrepreneurial, strategic, proven ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment
  • Creative, yet data-driven thinker excited to open new multi-million partnership channels for Saildrone
  • BA/BS from top university, technical background preferred (interest in technology mandatory, experience in Ocean Science tech a plus)
  • 5+ years of business development and government contracting experience (familiarity with data licensing a plus)
  • Experience with Government acquisition lifecycle (sole source and competitive), including developing Quotes and Proposals
  • Excellent quantitative skills with the ability to analyze complex data sets 
  • Outstanding written and presentation skills
  • Experience using using SalesForce CRM
  • Ability to confidently interface with all levels of executive management and customers
  • Strong organizational and project management skills with a track record of success 
  • Highly computer literate in MS Office applications (specifically Excel and PowerPoint)
  • Ability to handle confidential matters appropriately is a must
  • A passion for Saildrone's mission


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents
  • Healthy lunch program provided onsite
  • Active sailing classes: become a certified skipper on boats up to 35ft!
  • Fun team activities including our famous monthly social taxiway BBQ
  • Waterfront office, a former airplane hangar that was once used to film 'The Matrix'
  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents
  • Enhanced paternity / maternity programs
  • Competitive benefits including discounted gym, life insurance, 401k plan

This is an exciting new opportunity to drive your function at a fast growing post series-A startup at the cutting edge intersection of big data services and autonomous hardware. You will be an integral part of an A+ multi-disciplinary team scaling a high performance business while delivering high impact for humanity and future generations.

Our waterfront office offers beautiful views over San Francisco Bay in always sunny Alameda. Your commute could be a short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building. Even our walls have good karma, our offices mixing software development with a hardware production line in the former airplane hangar that was once used to film 'The Matrix'.

You can read what the press says about us:

Inc - The most exciting drones aren't in the air, they are in the oceans
The New York Times - No sailors needed: robot sailboats scour the oceans for data
NOAA - Sailing for scientific success in the Bering Sea
Wired - The drone that will sail itself around the world

Or watch the Saildrone mission being presented the TED stage

Saildrone is an equal opportunity workplace dedicated to pursuing and hiring a diverse workforce.


Any unsolicited resumes/candidate profiles submitted through our website or to personal email accounts of employees of Saildrone are considered property of Saildrone and are not subject to payment of agency fees.