Japan Desk Manager - Cambridge, MA

Cic, Cambridge, MA


Duration: Full-Time

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 work closely with the International Programs Manager, Japan Desk to 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.

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, Philadelphia, Providence, Rotterdam, St. Louis, Warsaw, and Tokyo and are growing into other cities within the US and abroad. We currently serve 2000+ 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 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 and language barriers that exist between them.

Accordingly, in 2016, CIC inaugurated the Japan Desk. The Japan Desk is CIC’s Boston-based touchpoint for Japanese and Japan-adjacent companies. In partnership with 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 explore the Japan market.

The Japan Desk Manager will primarily focus on helping Japanese startups and small enterprises explore opportunities for Boston expansion, and help Japanese corporations establish their local presence and connections in the Boston/Cambridge ecosystem. In addition, the Japan Desk will contribute to our ongoing efforts to grow CIC Tokyo and build bridges between CIC Cambridge and CIC Tokyo communities. 

The Japan Desk Manager will report to the International Programs Manager, Japan Desk at CIC Cambridge and leadership at CIC Tokyo. The role will include supporting the development of new programs to expand the scope of the Japan Desk initiative at CIC, as well as helping to run existing programs and events.

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.

Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:
• Manage the operational and administrative details of the JETRO Global Acceleration Hub Program, supporting the overseas expansion of startups from Japan by connecting them with mentors, arranging meetings with potential business partners and investors, and helping them connect with other important resources.
• Contribute to the organization and execution of intensive bootcamp programs in partnership with JETRO that aim to accelerate the overseas expansion of startups from Japan, designing and delivering effective workshop content, providing individual one-on-one mentoring, and organizing networking and Demo Day events to showcase participants’ technologies.
• 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.
• Build a network of local experts who are knowledgeable about the Boston innovation ecosystem and eager to support startups from Japan.
• Design and create content to spread the word about Japan Desk activities and the activities of the CIC Japan community, as well as deepen the connection between the CIC Cambridge and CIC Tokyo communities (including interviews with local players).
• Coordinate and lead tours of CIC’s main campuses to promote awareness of CIC's innovation campuses and brand to potential partners and clients.
• Convene and promote the Japanese community in Boston by hosting events ranging from casual meetups to conferences, in collaboration with the Japanese Consulate and with other external partners both in Cambridge/Boston and in Japan.

The ideal candidate will possess the following characteristics:
• 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 to large corporations.
• Strong ability to maintain partner relationships.
• Capacity to manage multiple projects at the same time as well as facilitate and maintain smooth communication with multiple outside stakeholders.
• 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.
• Detail-oriented and able to accurately and simultaneously track detailed reporting requirements from partners across multiple projects.
• Reliable, trustworthy, and continually willing to learn.

• At least two years of corporate experience working with Japanese companies.
• Strong preference of a bachelor's degree or significant relevant experience; advanced degrees welcome.
• 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.
• Native-level Japanese and English fluency. Must be able to produce professional, high-quality business communications in both languages.
• Because this role is based in Cambridge, MA, this role will require regularly (i.e., 3-4 days per week) working outside of normal working hours (e.g. early morning and late evening) to accommodate Japanese partners. 

If you don't meet all the requirements or qualifications but bring some other unique skills and experience that would be valuable in this role, please apply and highlight those attributes for us in your cover letter.

• Starting compensation is $82,197.
• 100% company paid premium healthcare and dental benefits.
• 100% company paid long and short-term disability, and life insurance.
• 401k (must be 21+).
• Three weeks of vacation (more with seniority) plus thirteen holidays from the start.

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!
• Personal growth. This is a great opportunity to learn and develop skills within the epicenter of the innovation community at a growing company.
• Access to a nursing room, secure bicycle parking, a maker space, a gym, shower rooms with towels, and discounted services and memberships on resources to make your life happier/healthier such as gym memberships, tech and design support, hotel stays, and other fantastic options.
• Central location. CIC Cambridge is a stone’s throw from the Kendall Square MBTA Red Line stop. CIC Boston is centrally located in downtown Boston and is within walking distance to the Blue, Green, Orange, and Red line.

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.