Job Title: Business Development Lead

Reporting to: EVP of Operations

Location: Durham, NC or Remote


About Pairwise: Pairwise is a mission-driven food+tech company dedicated to building a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables. Founded in 2017 by eminent scientists in the gene editing and biotechnology fields, Pairwise holds licenses from Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital to base editing and high-fidelity enzymes. We also are tuned in to consumer food trends, and we believe that consumers deserve more variety and innovation in their fresh food choices. Our team is primed to deliver that innovation through one of the best gene-editing platforms in food and agriculture. Pairwise has an exclusive 5-year research collaboration with Bayer to develop products in corn, soybean, wheat, canola, and cotton. Plus, Pairwise is developing new types of leafy greens, berries, and stone fruit, with the first product expected in early 2022. Pairwise is based in the start-up friendly Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.


About This Role: We are looking for a curious and driven individual to join our Business Development team as a director of business development. In this role, you will help drive our business development strategy and have a significant impact on the company and its future. You will own the execution of strategic partnerships and other transactions, developing insightful analyses and working collaboratively and with integrity to foster consensus and gain executive support. As a senior team member, you will work closely with executives who will rely on you to make strategic recommendations and lead ground-breaking growth initiatives.


We will look for you to use your critical thinking skills along with your passion for building an organization, innovation and successful track record. You can successfully own projects in an ambiguous environment from ideation to execution and are comfortable with shifting priorities. We need you to be a teammate, someone who knows how to establish collaborative relationships in a matrixed organization, to scrutinize relevant information, and have the insight needed to judiciously vet ideas and business cases. You are comfortable developing financial models and managing the due diligence process. Long-term impact is what motivates you, so you are always thinking about how to make things happen.


  • Develop business development strategy for Pairwise commercial crops (including berries and vegetables) with a keen awareness of positioning and identification of new potential partners.
  • Source and screen potential business deals by analyzing market strategies, deal requirements, and financials.  In conjunction with internal stakeholders, evaluates options and resolves internal priorities.
  • Drive and manage deal processes including execution of transactions. Will partner with cross functional business unit owners, finance, legal and other SMEs to ensure benefits of transactions are realized.
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships and credibility within the food tech investment community and monitor external and internal environment for development of new market segments.
  • Research competitive business intelligence by participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations, and SWOT analysis.
  • Track industry trends and benchmark Pairwise against peers.
  • Maintain and grown industry relationship, including attending industry conferences, trade shows, and business development meetings.


Required Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree and 8 years of experience in business development leadership role in a food or agriculture based company with an active M&A and/or partnership program, including ex-US experience, or private equity experience or strategy consulting with deep financial analysis and M&A experience required.
  • OR Master’s degree and 6 years of experience as stated above.
  • Ability to quickly ramp up on new projects and demonstrated structured problem solving.
  • Ability to perform rigorous financial, valuation, and broad quantitative analyses and familiarity with accounting & key operational metrics.
  • Demonstrated track record of successful deals.
  • Strong negotiating skills and imaginative approaches required.
  • Must have strong knowledge/experience with food or agriculture.
  • Proactive, hands-on, make-things-happen executive.
  • Must have a results-oriented work ethic.
  • Must have a polished, executive presence.
  • Ability to travel depending on the fluctuating demands of the role, up to around 50%.



  • Comprehensive Benefits Plan, including Medical, Dental, Vision, HAS/FSA, 401k, Life Insurance, Short-Term & Long-Term Disability, and more!
  • Uncapped PTO, in addition to company holidays
  • Casual work environment
  • Cutting Edge Labs
  • Innovative, Driven Community
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