VC Lead @ 1848 Ventures in Westfield Center, OH

Westfield, a leading provider of commercial insurance, established 1848 Ventures in 2018 to lead the company’s efforts to expand beyond conventional insurance by understanding and addressing the broader risks that customers face. We deliver tangible customer growth and financial results by developing and monetizing a portfolio of customer-centered innovations, which may or may not involve insurance, but are consistent with Westfield’s brand and reinforce our right to win in various markets.

Based in Northeast Ohio (near Cleveland), 1848 Ventures offers team members the opportunity to apply their creative talents and entrepreneurial drive to a wide range of portfolio concepts while taking advantage of the stability and total rewards that are made possible by the backing of a strong, leading company. Our cultural emphasis on values like work-life balance, recognition, learning and career development are all a reflection of our belief – true innovation and entrepreneurship require the right balance of support, freedom and growth opportunities.

We’re looking for experienced, collaborative, results-driven critical thinkers from a diverse array of personal and professional backgrounds to lead the development and refinement of new venture concepts based on deep customer insights.

The Opportunity 

We have a goal at 1848 Ventures to develop new, stand-alone ventures that address the uncertainties that business owners face in their day-to-day operations. This role will support 1848 Ventures by providing executional direction and “boots on the ground” support for our concept development activities, as well as leadership across our venture development portfolio. As part of an agile, multi-disciplinary team, the Venture Leader: Concept Development will be focused on developing and refining new venture concepts using a human-centered approach to rapidly iterate from customer need to prototype to MVP. S/he will lead the exploration of the feasibility, viability, desirability and strategic alignment of new, data-driven b2b digital concepts inspired by the empathy for customers developed throughout research and concept refinement. Our operating model pulls together the necessary skillsets and experiences to best support the work at hand which allows for accelerated progress through the concept development process. 


The role creates ample opportunity for collaboration internally and externally to generate and refine new venture concepts (customer discovery through MVP.) This role is in the field, early and often, working to understand business owners’ key challenges and uncertainties and using those insights as inspiration to develop innovative solutions. Ultimately, the concept development work is aimed at enhancing and de-risking the operations of business owners and improving their lives at work. The Venture Leader: Concept Development leads the work of identifying the pain points and challenges business owners face that best align strategically to the sweet spot of 1848 Ventures and prove to be most viable. 


Our partnership model creates opportunity for the Venture Leader: Concept Development to lead work and boundary span across functional areas of expertise to drive the hypothesis-driven approach that refines our concepts. The work is sprint-based allowing for rapid iteration and input from across the 1848 Ventures team to support the development and refinement of new venture concepts. Patient capital combined with the intentional separate structure of 1848 Ventures creates an environment for those with an entrepreneurial spirit to help develop new businesses at startup speed, but without startup founder risk.  


The Day to Day 


  • Engage in and lead diverse teams of internal employees and external partners responsible for uncovering human-centered insights, and skillfully translating these insights into meaningful opportunities for new product designs for a portfolio of product development opportunities 
  • Design, scope, and execute qualitative and quantitative ethnographic research to uncover the most critical unmet needs and uncertainties affecting business owners and their operations 
  • Facilitate the synthesis of research activities to generate insights and opportunity areas to inspire the design of new digital, data-driven product concepts 
  • Lead the development of new concept ideation, prototyping and user testing to uncover additional insights, enabling the refinement of the concepts that most resonate with target users 
  • Refine promising concepts using a sprint-based, hypothesis-driven approach that targets the most critical viability, feasibility and desirability assumptions 


Participate in/Contribute to: 

  • Fostering collaborative and mutually beneficial external partnerships that help accelerate 1848 Ventures’ progress toward its goals 
  • Thought leadership across the entire 1848 Venture portfolio to build on the ideas of others, improve outcomes and ensure strategic alignment 
  • Developing and iterating frameworks and capability building across 1848 Ventures 
  • Informing stakeholders of concept progress in both written and verbal forms 



  • Demonstrated experience (5+ years) leading the development of new b2b digital products with a combination of experience in a design consultancy and corporate innovation environment 
  • Experience applying human centered design approaches in product design (2+ years) with a depth of knowledge about a variety of approaches to customer discovery through MVP 
  • 5+ years of proven experience as a high performer, while executing with speed and agility and applying creativity to the work 
  • Experience or familiarity with data-driven products not required but, strongly preferred

If interested, please apply here.

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