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Cantos Ventures
Cantos Ventures

Head of Science (Fermentation)



Berkeley, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, May 25, 2024

About Pow.bio

Founded by a UC Berkeley Ph.D. graduate and a SynBio veteran, Pow.bio is revolutionizing the $500B biomanufacturing market by building a self-driving fermenter platform that enables cost-effective scale-up solutions across a wide array of strains, organisms, and products.

We are seeking an experienced and dynamic Head of Science to lead our multidisciplinary scientific team at Pow.bio. In this role you will be at the forefront of innovation as you and your team adapt traditional fermentation processes to our cutting-edge next generation fermenter technology. You will play a key role in strategic planning, organizational readiness, and business expansion while motivating and enabling the team to reach major milestones. Join a team where your expertise will help shape the future of bioprocessing.


  • Leadership and Team Management:
    • Lead and manage a multidisciplinary team of scientists and researchers, fostering a collaborative and inclusive work culture.
    • Inspire, motivate, and mentor team members, helping them achieve their full potential and overcome technical and personal challenges.
    • Implement effective resource planning to ensure projects are well-supported and aligned with company goals.
  • Customer and Project Support:
    • Interface with customers to understand their needs and help adapt their processes to our platform.
    • Provide regular updates to customers on project progress and outcomes.
    • Train and mentor other scientists to support customer projects effectively.
  • Technical Expertise and Innovation:
    • Utilize deep knowledge in bioprocessing, fermentation, and SCADA to drive scientific research and development.
    • Translate scientific research into practical applications and commercial products.
    • Evaluate and prioritize research projects based on scientific merit, feasibility, and potential impact.
  • Project Management and Execution:
    • Manage complex projects from inception to completion, ensuring alignment with organizational goals and timelines.
    • Establish and maintain effective processes and systems to streamline project workflows and optimize efficiency.
  • Strategic Vision and Decision-Making:
    • Participate in executive-level strategy meetings, providing input on company direction and initiatives.
    • Identify industry trends and opportunities, developing actionable plans to capitalize on them.
  • Grant and Funding Management:
    • Identify grant application opportunities and author or co-author grant applications.
    • Manage awarded grants, ensuring compliance and effective utilization of resources.


  • PhD in a relevant scientific discipline, and a minimum of 10 years of postdoctoral experience in the biotechnology industry (specifically in fermentation research and process development).
  • At least 5 years in a leadership role, with a proven track record of leading and managing teams, fostering collaboration, and driving organizational change effectively.
  • Deep knowledge and expertise in bioprocessing, fermentation and relevant scientific domains, translating research into practical applications, and staying updated on cutting-edge technologies.
  • Must have prior experience scaling up to demo or commercial scale.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, with a knack for building and maintaining strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Proven ability to manage complex projects, including planning, delegation, resource allocation, and risk management.


  • Experience with SCADA deployment and support.
  • Author or co-author of grant proposals resulting in funding.

This position is intended for the Director or Senior Director level, and we reasonably expect this role’s salary to fall within the range of $160,000-$185,000. Individual compensation is based on various factors, including experience, education, skillset, and geographic location. This range may be adjusted as needed.

This role will initially be based at our Berkeley, CA facility and ultimately at our new facility in Alameda, CA (this fall).

Compensation and Benefits

Pow.bio offers competitive salaries and benefits including unlimited PTO, company-wide holidays, health, dental and vision insurance, 401(k), and commuter benefits.

Pow.bio is an equal opportunity employer promoting diversity and inclusion in the workspace. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), sex (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding), genetic information, taking or requesting statutorily protected leave, or any other basis protected by law.

Legal authorization to work in the United States is required. We are not able to sponsor individuals for employment visas for this job. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.