Associate Director/ Director: Product Development

Number of employees


San Francisco, CA, United States

Posted on: 2023-11-01

Category: food

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Employment type:

Full time

Experience required:



Salary not provided

About the company:

Wildtype isn’t plant-based, farmed-raised, or wild-caught. We're making  cultivated seafood, starting with sushi-grade salmon. 

About Wildtype

Wildtype is on a mission to create the cleanest, most sustainable seafood on the planet, starting with sushi-grade salmon. We’re pioneering cellular agriculture to protect wild species and our oceans, and to reverse trends of global food insecurity. Wildtype will provide consumers with a new option for real seafood that provides the same nutritional benefits as the most pristine wild-caught fish, without common contaminants such as mercury, microplastics, antibiotics, or pesticides.

We were founded in 2016 by Aryé Elfenbein, a cardiologist and molecular biologist, and Justin Kolbeck (CEO), a former US diplomat who served in Pakistan and Afghanistan, in an effort to solve one of the world’s biggest problems: how to feed a growing population without stripping the earth of its natural resources and biodiversity. Investors include L Catterton, Jeff Bezos, Spark Capital, CRV, Temasek, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition, among others. 

Come join us in transforming our food system for good!

Your work at Wildtype

  • Build and lead a team of multidisciplinary researchers to improve the physicochemical, sensory, and functional properties of cultivated seafood products
  • Work with the Food Science and Tissue Engineering teams, as well as the company co-founders, Chief Growth Officer, and Head of Product, to direct product development for cultivated seafood products
  • Lead the company’s research program for the biological basis of flavor
  • Design and oversee research and development into product development, including ingredient interactions, protein chemistry, food engineering, process optimization, scale up, sensory analysis, flavor development, and nutritional analyses
  • Oversee analytics and formulation development
  • Develop novel seafood products with various scaffold manufacturing technologies and cell integration approaches 
  • Evaluate novel ingredients, preparations, and production methods
  • Cross-functionally operate and have a good grasp of concepts at the intersection of food science, biology, engineering, and commercialization

How you’ll work with other teams

  • Collaborate with product, scaling, and tissue engineering teams to develop new cultivated seafood products
  • Work with our Tissue Engineering and Food Science teams to push the boundaries of traditional cell propagation and differentiation methodologies to larger 3D environments 

What you bring to Wildtype

  • An MS or PhD in Food Science, Materials Chemistry, Bioengineering, Food Engineering, or related fields
  • At least 5 years of team leadership experience
  • A deep understanding of protein chemistry (fats and oil chemistry a plus), hydrocolloids, food engineering, and component functionality & interactions in a food product as a whole
  • Contribute to an environment of scientific curiosity
  • Mission-driven, resourceful, creative, positive disposition, and entrepreneurial
  • Ability to move projects forward in the face of continuously evolving priorities and timelines 
  • Preferred, but not required: knowledge of food processing technology, food cost and scaling, food sensory properties analyses, ingredient regulatory framework, and food storage and packaging

What we’ll teach you 

  • How to apply your experience in product development to create the next generation of seafoods using cellular agriculture technologies
  • How to work with and lead in a fast-moving, interdisciplinary team of researchers and engineers

Impact Plan

  • Within 1 month you will have adapted your experience in product development to Wildtype’s unique context. You will have become familiar with the company’s current products and development roadmap. You will have set your professional development goals for the next twelve months.
  • Within 3 months you will have assumed responsibility for Wildtype’s Product Development organization. You will have developed detailed plans for Wildtype’s near-commercialization products and a 3-year plan for future research, development, and innovation.
  • Within 6 months your efforts on research, development, and innovation over the past six months will have yielded significant improvements to Wildtype’s salmon product. Your leadership responsibilities will expand as our Product Development team grows. You will have trained several new hires and built a high-performing team.
  • Within 12 months you will be overseeing the research, development, and innovation operations in the world’s first pilot-scale facility for cultivated seafood. 
Compensation range is listed below, in addition we offer 90th percentile equity.

Location: This position is an onsite role based in San Francisco.
Compensation (per year)
$225,000$250,000 USD


To learn more about Wildtype and see our newest updates, check out our blog! 

Wildtype is committed to building a diverse workplace spanning multiple dimensions including race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, gender identity, and veteran status.

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