/Chief Operating Officer (spin-off opportunity)

Chief Operating Officer (spin-off opportunity)

Business Development - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

As Chief Operating Officer - COO - for a deep-tech life science start-up you will be driving the product roadmap, supply chain & day-to-day operations

Chief Operating Officer (spin-off opportunity)

As Chief Operating Officer - COO - for a deep-tech life science start-up you will be driving the product roadmap, supply chain & day-to-day operations.

The venture

Developing microdroplet processor technology, implemented on a microfluidics chip and augmented with imaging & AI capabilities, CARTAGENA is on a mission to improve efficacy, quality and cost-efficiency of immune/oncology cell therapies. That way we make them radically better, safer and more affordable for millions of patients.

To further productize and commercialize this technology, IMEC (Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre, Leuven, BE); VIB (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Gent, BE); UG (Universiteit Gent, Gent, BE); imec.expand (VC fund, Leuven, BE) are creating a new spin-off company.


 For this high profile, venture-backed start-up, we seek to extend our founding team with an entrepreneurial COO.

The COO will have a central role, in a fast-paced stimulating work environment within a compelling business area. The performance of the COO is crucial for others to succeed as well.

Key responsibilities of the COO include the definition and day-to-day management of the operations that implement the company strategy, leading to the successful commercialization of a novel microfluidic droplet processor for single cell screening and manipulation at scale.

This will involve:

  • lead the definition and own the execution of the product development roadmap, covering instrument, software, cartridge and microfluidic chip.
  • participate in the design of the production process and the technology transfer to supply chain, production and assembly partners.
  • contribute to the elaboration of the business plan and fundraising.
  • design, identify and set-up a cost effective and risk effective supply chain, production and assembly network, including outsourcing and insourcing; negotiate contracts; set up and manage insourced production and assembly workshops.
  • participate in the definition and meet delivery deadlines, yield, quality, volume and cost objectives.
  • set-up the organization needed to support the product development roadmap.
  • identify and hire key resources to build a high performing and ambitious operations team and operators; ensure full engagement of the team for successful execution of the operations.

Required knowledge and skills

  • The successful COO candidate should have proven experience (helping to) build new deep-tech start-ups and an entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for innovation in life sciences. 
  • We’re looking for a highly motivated and talented individual with strong communication & motivation skills, to build and maintain outstanding relationships with colleagues, partners, customers, and supply-chain stakeholders:
  • you have a deep understanding and relevant experience in life sciences instruments/discovery tools engineering and production, with a relevant Master or Engineering degree. Particular experience in micro-fluidics (including thin-film-transistor active EWOD) imaging and system integration is a strong plus.
  • you have gained this experience either in an entrepreneurial management position in a corporate (large company) environment or preferably in a startup setting, building small but high performing teams to achieve stretched objectives in due time, with limited resources.
  • you have a personal sense of integrity and trust; excellent oral communication, leadership, presentation and negotiation skills at a broad level; advanced organization, reporting and coordination skills.
  • you are a highly motivated self-starter, able to work under pressure, deal with uncertainty, independently as well as a member of a team in a dynamic environment. Available to travel as necessary.
  • you have had international exposure and experience in working with partners in different geographies; fluent in English, written and spoken. Knowledge of Dutch, French and German is an advantage.

You will have the compelling opportunity to shape an innovative high-tech spin-off from leading technology institutes. With your entrepreneurial, technical and managerial talents, you will have a huge impact on the achievements of this start-up.

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