Japan Desk Manager - Cambridge, MA

Cic, Cambridge, MA


Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) is seeking to hire a Japan Desk Manager to support the growing Japan Desk initiative based in Cambridge, MA. This person will serve as a touchpoint for Japanese companies seeking to tap into CIC and Boston’s innovation ecosystem, as well as Boston-based companies looking to connect with Japanese partners with the support of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO),  the Consulate-General of Japan to Boston, and the CIC Relationship Management team.

Founded in 1999, CIC’s mission is to improve the world by helping exceptional entrepreneurs innovate better and faster. We offer carefully curated working environments that combine private, secure offices alongside shared amenities in locations across Boston, Cambridge, Miami, Philadelphia, Providence (2019), Rotterdam, St. Louis, and Warsaw and are growing into other cities, within the US and abroad. We currently serve 1800+ startups, growth companies, and branches of larger organizations, representing for-profit, mission-driven, and non-profit sectors across a wide array of industries. The spaces are purposefully designed and built for innovation, featuring tailored workspaces such as biotech and robotics laboratories, and bring together frequent, large gatherings of the best and brightest innovators and entrepreneurs.

CIC currently has over a million square feet of space under lease and is actively pursuing campuses in additional cities globally, including Dublin, Tokyo, Bilbao, and Sydney, with plans to grow to 50 cities over the next 10 years. We pride ourselves on displaying a high degree of care and accuracy in everything that we do, and we work to ensure that our clients thrive every day that they are in our space. We believe that our ability to support world-changing entrepreneurs is only as good as the people who make up our teams, and as such we are looking for people who are interested in contributing to--and improving--the way we work.

We invite you to explore all our openings and learn more about our teams here.

CIC’s mission is to make the world better by helping create powerful innovation ecosystems, and we believe a way to do this is by building connections between innovation ecosystems of different nations. CIC has chosen to focus on the particularly high potential opportunity of deepening relations between Japanese and American innovators, given the size of both countries' economies as well as the significant cultural language barriers that exist between them.

Accordingly, in 2016, CIC inaugurated the Japan Desk. Japan Desk is CIC’s Boston-based touchpoint for Japanese and Japan-adjacent companies. With the support of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Consulate General of Japan to Boston, we support the work of Japanese CIC clients in the Greater Boston Area. This support includes making introductions to key players in the Boston Innovation Ecosystem, giving Japanese-language tours, providing briefing services for companies seeking to establish a presence in Massachusetts, and encouraging Boston-based startups to take their business to Japan.

The Japan Desk Manager will primarily focus on helping Japanese startups and small enterprises explore opportunities for Boston expansion, while also contributing to our ongoing efforts to grow CIC to Japan over the next 1-2 years.

Additionally, as a primary leader of the local Greater Boston innovation ecosystem, CIC plays the role of convener, connector, and guide for the community, welcoming visitors and companies from around the world. Therefore, we are looking for a dynamic professional to strategically represent us as the “Madoguchi”, the welcome point, for the growing number of Japanese delegations visiting and building a presence in CIC and Boston/Cambridge.

The ideal candidate will possess the following characteristics:

• Natural passion for startups, innovation, and entrepreneurship and excellent instincts as a connector/networker
• Strong relationship building and communication skills, with stakeholders ranging from solo entrepreneurs to government authorities
• Strong consultative skills and the ability to translate business goals into program delivery and services
• Desire to support expansion of Japanese companies to the Boston area
• Ability to self-direct and anticipate problems and needs
• Team-player attitude; we are looking for someone who is personable, happy to help others, and naturally drawn to a very busy, continually-evolving environment
• Independent, trustworthy, and continually willing to learn

The Japan Desk Manager will report to Minako Hirata, Japan Project Manager (based in Tokyo) with stateside support and guidance from the Assistant Director of Sales, Lauren Veverka, in Cambridge.
Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:

• Manage the operational and administrative details of the JETRO Global Acceleration Hub Program, which entails arranging meetings with mentors, potential business partners and investors for Japanese startups/small enterprises
• Write short articles and long reports that relay key events related to innovation in Boston for a Japanese audience
• Bridge Japanese companies’ needs to CIC and affiliate organizations (i.e. Venture Café, Captains of Innovation) and serve as an overall ambassador for the CIC brand and productCoordinate and lead tours of CIC’s main campuses
• Coordinate and lead the Boston Innovation Tour in partnership with a Japanese travel agency
• Regularly host and attend events ranging from casual meetups to conferences in collaboration with the Japanese Consulate
• Develop and maintain strong relationships with corporate and governmental partners
• Actively support the fundraising and expansion efforts for Venture Café and CIC Tokyo

• At least two years of corporate experience working with Japanese companies
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
Willingness to travel as needed
• Interest in a long-term role. We are a growing company, and we like to hire people who can grow with us over the years
• A native-level Japanese speaker and fluent in English. Must be able to produce professional, high-quality business communications in both languages
• Due to the time difference between Japan/USA and because this role is based in Cambridge, MA, this role will require working outside of working hours (e.g. early morning, late evening) to accommodate Japanese partners

In addition to helping our clients achieve great things, we work to ensure that our employees are healthy and supported. Some of the benefits of being here include:

Fun people in a dynamic space. We pride ourselves on finding driven and bright collaborators who are eager to lend their own unique skills to the team, as well as to our inspiring clientele. The number one reason CICers say they like working here is because of their colleagues!
In this role, you will have the autonomy and excitement of working in a fast-paced, intense environment while also having the support and experience of a 250+ employee company behind you
Personal growth. This is a great opportunity to learn and develop skills within the epicenter of the innovation community in Cambridge/Boston, and develop relationships and expertise in markets around the world
Access to Venture Cafe Kendall, the largest networking gathering in the entrepreneurial community in the Boston area, as well as incredible opportunities and networks; you will be meeting and working with the foremost leaders in innovation along with a proven team
Discounted services and memberships on tools to make your life happier/healthier such as gym memberships, tech and design support, hotel stays, and other fantastic options.
Regular massages, access to a nursing room, secure bicycle parking, a game room, a gym, shower rooms with towels, and stocked kitchens
Central location. CIC Cambridge is a stone’s throw from the Kendall Square MBTA Red Line stop
Great benefits! See more below.

Compensation is commensurate with experience, plus 100% the cost of a premium healthcare and dental package, long and short-term disability, life insurance, and three weeks vacation from the start (more with seniority), and a 401(k) retirement savings plan. Annual reviews with raises for strong performance are provided every year.

CIC is committed to building teams that reflect the fabric of the cities we support. We welcome all candidates regardless of race, color, ancestry, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, Veteran status, or any other legally protected status. Any other human expressions and experiences not mentioned here are equally welcome. If you require an accommodation please let us know. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

About Cic

CIC was founded in 1999 in Kendall Square (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and houses more than 1,000 companies across 8 locations, offering premium office and coworking space. CIC companies come from a wide variety of industries, and while our community is composed primarily of startups, it also includes larger companies, investors, and service providers. We measure our success through our economic impact. Startups housed at CIC have raised over $2 billion in venture capital investment and created over $2 billion of publicly disclosed exit value, CIC companies have added an estimated 40,000 jobs to the economy. In Cambridge, this hive of innovation has drawn the four largest venture capital funds in Massachusetts, with a combined $7.1 billion of assets under management, to relocate their headquarters into CIC’s buildings, alongside a number of smaller funds. Capital, mixed with exceptional talent and strong ideas, accelerates job growth and value creation.


Want to learn more about Cic? Visit Cic's website.