VC Partner @ Ark Ventures in London, England

Ark Ventures launches, supports and scales initiatives that have the potential to transform the education system and society. We work with great people and ideas that share our goal to change children’s lives. Ark Ventures contributes strategic and operational support while ventures grow into sustainable organisations.

Many of these ideas started in Ark schools. Others have come from innovators and partners outside of Ark. But they all share the ambition to address some of the most intractable issues in education and society and they all have the potential to deliver widespread system change.

Our present group of ventures are broad in their ambition. They include Mathematics Mastery, which aims to transform mathematics education in the UK; EdCity, an innovative education hub including office space and education provision; and EPG, which uses our deep expertise to advise governments internationally on education system improvement.

We are looking for a Venture Partner to join the Ark Ventures team. This role includes working directly with our ventures through short-term projects and medium-term secondments to ensure they are successful and sustainable, growing the portfolio through building our pipeline of future ventures and further developing the ways in which Ark Ventures supports our group of ventures.

We want someone who is excited to work with entrepreneurs and educators alike, who can use both strategic and operational knowledge and experience to build mission-driven start-ups, and who will help to deliver huge social impact.

Key responsibilities include

  • Leading projects that develop ventures’ strategic and operational capabilities as they grow and work towards financial sustainability
  • Providing direct strategic, operational or business development support through medium-term secondments to ventures
  • Building Ark Ventures in order to deliver our longer-term strategy

The ideal candidate will

  • Demonstrable experience in strategic or analytical roles, e.g. project management roles in a strategy consultancy, leadership roles in a social enterprise, venture capital
  • Be flexible, highly organised, and able to multi-task and prioritise work to meet deadlines
  • Be eager and able to work in an agile environment with multiple start-ups, and comfortable with the ambiguity that may come with this
  • Be passionate about transforming the life chances of children through entrepreneurship and innovation in education and related fields

Please apply with a CV and covering letter outlining what experience and skills you would bring to the role and how you are well suited to be an effective Venture Partner.

Please contact Tom O’Beirne ( if you would like to have an informal conversation about the role.  

Location: London
Closing date: 5pm, Wednesday 18th July 2018
Start Date: From 1st September 2018
Salary: £60,000 – £70,000, depending on experience (+11% employer pension contribution)
Contract: Permanent or fixed term

Ark is committed to safeguarding children; successful candidates will be subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.

This job brief illustrates an overview of the roles and responsibilities, but it is not an exclusive list of responsibilities.

Key responsibilities

Lead projects that develop ventures’ strategic and operational capabilities as they grow and work towards financial sustainability

  • Work with our ventures to develop their strategies as they grow and become financial sustainable
    • Support the ventures to develop business plans and operating models that are mission-driven, impactful and support sustainable growth
    • Provide commercial knowledge and insight, including working with the ventures and the Ark Development team to identify recurring funding sources and to prepare government and philanthropic funding proposals, helping the venture to work towards financial sustainability
    • Provide ‘high challenge, high support’ mentorship to ventures
  • Work with the ventures to build the organisation, teams, governance and capabilities that will give them the best chance of success
    • Provide input into organisational design
    • Support the ventures with recruitment and team development, including helping to source high-quality candidates
    • Help the ventures develop and implement the most appropriate governance structures and reporting disciplines
    • Help the ventures find the best solutions for their back-office needs, including finance, HR, IT

Provide direct strategic, operational or business development support through medium-term secondments to ventures

  • Work with ventures’ management teams to identify resources and capabilities needed within the ventures
    • Support in understanding the skills and experience that ventures need to develop and grow
  • Take opportunities for medium-term secondment opportunities into ventures, as available and desired. For example, current Venture Partner secondments include:
    • Director of Operations for Now Teach
    • Director of Operations for the Institute for Teaching

Build Ark Ventures in order to deliver our longer-term strategy

  • Help build a pipeline of potential initiatives and entrepreneurs from which to source future Ark ventures
  • Continue to develop and refine the ways in which we support our ventures, both strategically and operationally
  • Build the long-term capabilities and knowledge of our ventures, whether by pooling and sharing knowledge across the ventures, proactively identifying areas for improvement across multiple ventures or developing or commissioning knowledge, insights, recommendations and initiatives
  • Help build a thriving community of ventures that can learn from and collaborate with each other
  • Build the reputation and relationships of Ark Ventures, so that these can be leveraged across the portfolio

Person Specification

Qualification Criteria

  • Demonstrable experience in strategic or analytical roles, e.g. project management roles in a strategy consultancy, and/or experience in a senior position in an entrepreneurial venture or entrepreneurial role, and/or experience in an organisation that supports other organisations to grow and succeed, e.g. philanthropy, venture capital or other incubators
  • Right to work in the UK


  • Experience of successfully developing strategy and vision
  • Experience of working with and influencing a complex range of stakeholders with conflicting priorities and viewpoints
  • Experience of leading a team in order to successfully grow an initiative or organisation
  • Strong entrepreneurial skills and a track record of being a self-starter

Personal Characteristics

  • Able to demonstrate a commitment to the mission of improving educational opportunities for underprivileged children
  • Flexible, highly organised and able to set priorities and deliver objectives, including responding positively to setbacks
  • Happy working with a degree of ambiguity and confident in driving towards clarity, i.e. by setting a clear course forwards and garnering support and commitment to deliver it
  • Hard working, detail orientated, and systematic
  • Committed and generous team worker, to whom going above and beyond expectations for their colleagues is second nature

Additional Skills

  • Strong interpersonal skills and confidence when meeting internal and external stakeholders – ability to persuade, influence and hold others to account
  • Comfortable and skilled at communicating with people at varying levels of seniority
  • Excellent quantitative and analytical capabilities
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Effective time management skills


If interested, please apply here.

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