Innovation & Startup Manager

Starting             November 1, 2021 or upon agreement

Workload           100%

Location             Consulate of Switzerland in Osaka – Swissnex in Japan

The new Consulate of Switzerland in Osaka is part of the global Swissnex network, which was founded on one simple idea: we connect the dots between Switzerland and the world in education, research, and innovation. Our mission is to provide a multi-faceted, transdisciplinary platform to facilitate international exchange in ideas, knowledge and talents. We operate on a non-profit, public-private partnership model, working closely with our extensive network of partners comprising of universities, research labs, innovators, startups, corporations and international organizations on fostering collaboration and ground-breaking innovation. We seek fearlessly innovative leaders and champions to generate collectively the very best outcomes in an international, highly dynamic, and most supportive team, working in a fast-paced, creative and collaborative ecosystem. The Innovation & Startup manager has a key role and scans for trends and “signals from the future” … with a wow factor.

Innovation & Startup Services: Our relevance depends on its capacity to observe and analyze innovation and trends across disciplines like higher education, research and innovation. The scouted information feeds on one hand all our activities, and on the other is translated into meaningful and actionable research and output for our partners and stakeholders (“Innovation Services”). Formats include reporting, seminars, public events, discovery expeditions, strategic partnerships and more, all the way to supporting partner innovation outposts and working synergistically with them. Startup Services include several initiatives targeting Switzerland’s startup ecosystem, fostering its competitivity and internationalization. A wide range of actors create this ecosystem: from entrepreneurially minded students to university spin-offs to seasoned serial entrepreneurs to investors, from publicly supported initiatives to private ventures including all types of incubation and acceleration platforms, as well as service providers.


  • Project Management: Organization and coordination of startup, innovation and technology related activities and events, including project management, fundraising and logistics. Design and implement in-house and external startup and entrepreneurship projects, events, conferences, workshops, fairs, delegation visits and support startups during their involvement in projects such as the Innosuisse Internalization Camps, Swisstech or Venture Leaders.
  • Research & Trend Scouting: Conduct research on specific topics which are of relevance to startups and/or innovation mandates. Identify new trends and developments in the fields of innovation and technology. Research and report on innovation-related topics of interest to our partners and stakeholders. Facilitate knowledge transfer between Switzerland and Japan. Translate acquired knowledge into expertise to strengthen our services, relevance and visibility.
  • Innovation & Startup Portfolio: Devise and implement strategies to strengthen and diversify startup portfolio and innovation services. Foster networks and relationships in Swiss and Japanese innovation ecosystems with a focus on entrepreneurship, science & technology and innovation. Assist Swiss entrepreneurs and accelerate Swiss startups interested in Japan with targeted programs and services. Build and grow relationships with top Swiss tech corporations to engage in services like scouting, (open) innovation, transformation processes, partnership development, outposts, and more.
  • Communications: Manage communication between partners, sponsors, and other project stakeholders. Update and manage activities and contacts in internal CRM system. Edit and prepare on- and offline content such as blogs or brochures and collaborate with communications for the promotion of startup/innovation events.
  • General Administration: Provide support to Consul/CEO. Help with general office tasks.

Requirements & Competences

  • Swiss or Japanese passport holder
  • MA/MS degree in Science/Engineering or Business/Economics (or equivalents) and strong competencies in the other
  • 2-6 years of professional experience in fields related to entrepreneurship and innovation. Superior knowledge of and networks in the Swiss and Japanese startup and innovation ecosystems.
  • Team-player with a high sense of responsibility, curiosity, and interest for a wide range of topics. Forward-thinking, flexible and self-starter. Strong organizational skills with a proactive, hands-on and pragmatic attitude.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment with serious attention to detail and a commitment to excellence.
  • Networker with the ability to thrive in an international, multicultural and interdisciplinary environment. Professional appearance and demeanor for the many contacts with high level individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, positions, ranks and responsibilities.
  • Professional communication and writing skills in English and Japanese (sonkeigo proficiency required).
  • Strong enthusiasm and ability to work outside regular office hours when needed, mainly for events and visiting groups.
  • Strong computer skills (MS Office, GoogleApps, Zoho, Zoom, etc.). Proven experience with teams and project management


  • A full-time position; start date adaptable.
  • Compensation commensurate with experience and responsibilities in a diplomatic setting (non-profit)
  • 20-day vacation, 16-day holidays and sick leave
  • Competitive benefit package including Social Insurance: a) Employee’s Pension Insurance, b) Health Insurance, c) Children’s Welfare Insurance (when applicable) and Labor Insurance: d) Workman’s Accident Compensation Insurance, e) Unemployment Insurance.
  • Continuing education possibilities. A platform to grow your leadership skills, professional experience, and network.
  • A multicultural, creative, inspiring, and team-oriented work environment with unlimited coffee and lots of Swiss chocolate

General Conditions

  • The conditions of employment are local (no expatriate contract).
  • Costs for accommodation and traveling are to be borne by the candidate and will not be covered or reimbursed by the employer.

Did we raise your interest? Then we look forward to hearing more about you!

Send your full application to this LINK until September 15, 2021!

Your application must include the following documents:

  • Cover letter (letter of motivation) and CV
  • Copies of letters of reference, work certificates and university diplomas, including transcript of records

We will reply to incoming applications in due time. No phone call inquiries please.

More details will be shared in the process of the recruitment.