Senior VC Director @ AV Ventures in Simi Valley, CA

AV Ventures is a new organization within AeroVironment focusing on internal entrepreneurship along with engaging and leveraging the vibrant external start-up space related to AeroVironment’s overall vision and strategy. The Sr. Director, AV Ventures, will lead one or multiple Ventures and must be capable of broadly understanding the product technology, market dynamics, and customers and their pain points. They will embrace a start-up like mindset to creatively develop ventures into long term sustainable growth engines for AeroVironment. As a leader they are expected to create a high sense of purpose for their respective Venture(s). The Sr. Director, AV Ventures will develop deep market understanding for respective ventures and work across functional and Product Line groups. The Sr. Director, AV Ventures will be responsible for creating and maintaining business plans and overseeing the execution of these business plans.

The Sr. Director, AV Ventures reports to the Head of AV Ventures residing within the Office of the CTO. This is a key role to help shape and implement the vision and strategy for AV Ventures. The Sr. Director, AV Ventures will embrace and participate in a phased venture process that guides a venture from ideation, market validation, to scaling of a new business and/or product line for AeroVironment. The Sr. Director, AV Ventures must be excited to work closely with customers, technologies, and partners to develop and test product market fit. The Sr. Director, AV Ventures will seek out opportunities to increase AeroVironment’s brand presence within the Venture Capital, Incubator, and tech start-up spaces globally.

The Sr. Director, AV Ventures will lead internal and external teams as required to identify, explore, and implement new ventures. Leadership will be required in areas of Business Development, General Manager, Product Management, Sales, Business Operations, Finance, Engineering Development and Contracts & Legal.

Position Responsibilities

  • Embrace a start-up like approach to create new business leveraging AV’s core technology and product lines aligned to AV’s corporate strategy
  • Develop compelling business plans including an execution strategy and plan.
  • Foster a high energy and total ownership culture like a start-up within AV
  • Develop a high-performance execution team with effective performance-based management practices, which will achieve a high level of motivation, morale, and results.
  • Develop, lead, and execute business strategy for rapid and sustainable growth.
  • Grow opportunities to collaborate and create strategic value through collaboration and partnerships with start-ups
  • Manage business activity from a General Manager perspective including total P&L ownership.
  • Cultivate relationships with key players in industry and government.
  • Inform and obtain approval of matters outlined by the Levels of Authority.
  • Execute quality initiatives and ensure compliance with all country laws and regulations.
  • Lead with rapid agility to deal with shifting priorities, demands, and timelines
  • Identify and manage organizational and/or customer conflicts

Basic Qualifications (Required Skills & Experience)

  • Bachelor’s degree in an Engineering or Business discipline or related field, or combination of education, experience and training
  • 15+ years relevant experience
  • 5+ years of experience leading teams
  • Visionary thinking to move beyond the immediate situation, explore multiple potential paths and adapt decision-making style based on the situational circumstances
  • Experience building compelling business plans with a roll-up the sleeves approach to developing deep market understandings and customer needs
  • Experience with Defense and/or Industrial autonomous system products and users
  • Experience in a dynamic and fast paced start-up like environment
  • Experience bringing new products to both commercial and defense markets
  • Display a proven track record of taking ownership and driving results – self-start and self-directed
  • Experienced and comfortable with presenting to executive leadership and public speaking
  • Display strong critical thinking skills, demonstrated ability to analyze and break down problems with high ambiguity into components
  • Ability to travel both domestically and internationally up to 25% of the time
  • Working knowledge of AeroVironment’s systems and products and a track record of managing multiple projects simultaneously
  • Champions the process of change and promotes a culture of quick adaptation, while helping others deal with the effects of change

Other Qualifications & Desired Competencies

  • MBA Degree is desired
  • Demonstrates strong computer skills and proficiency with office software, productivity tools and other software tools on one’s area of expertise
  • Ability to work on problems of complex scope where analysis of situations or data requires a review of a variety of factors. Exercise judgment, strategic thinking, and best practices to determine appropriate action, yet also creatively thinks outside the box to find solutions to never-solved problems
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Brings organizational values to life using personality, uniqueness and the creation of a shared vision
  • Demonstrates the ability to develop and maintain internal and external trusting, professional relationships

Physical Demands

  • Ability to work in an office and R&D environment (Constant)
  • Required to sit and stand for long periods; talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone keyboard (Frequent)

ITAR Requirement:

This position requires access to information that is subject to compliance with the International Traffic Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) and/or the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”). In order to comply with the requirements of the ITAR and/or the EAR, applicants will be asked to provide specific documentation to verify U.S. person status under the ITAR and the EAR. A “U.S. person” according to their definition is a U.S. citizen, U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder), or protected individual such as a refugee, or asylee. See 22 CFR § 120.15. Some positions will require current U.S. Citizenship due to contract requirements.

Benefits : AV offers an excellent benefits package including medical, dental vision, 401K with company matching, a 9/80 work schedule and a paid holiday shutdown. For more information about our company benefit offerings please visit: .

We also encourage you to review our company website at to learn more about us.

Principals only need apply. NO agencies please.

Who We Are

Based in California, AeroVironment (AVAV) is a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and tactical missile systems. Founded in 1971 by celebrated physicist and engineer, Dr. Paul MacCready, we’ve been at the leading edge of technical innovation for more than 45 years. Be a part of the team that developed the world’s most widely used military drones and created the first submarine-launched reconnaissance drone, and has seven innovative vehicles that are part of the Smithsonian Institution’s permanent collection in Washington, DC.

Join us today in developing the next generation of small UAS and tactical missile systems that will deliver more actionable intelligence to our customers so they can proceed with certainty – and succeed.

What We Do

Building on a history of technological innovation, AeroVironment designs, develops, produces, and supports an advanced portfolio of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and tactical missile systems. Agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense and allied military services use the company’s hand-launched UAS to provide situational awareness to tactical operating units through real-time, airborne reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.

If interested, please apply here.

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