Founder in Residence, Agriculture Adaptation (Crop Engineering)

Founder in Residence, Agriculture Adaptation (Crop Engineering)

About Marble

Marble is a climate tech venture studio. Our north star is to erase billions of tons from annual greenhouse gas emissions and create a thriving future.

We partner with scientists, engineers and operators to create new deep tech companies that solve hard climate problems — slash emissions, remove carbon from the atmosphere, and cool the planet — while reshaping multi-billion $ industries.

We're proud to be backed by leading climate investors across Europe and the US.

Making Agriculture Climate Resilient

Agriculture is facing a dual imperative: producing more to feed 10 billion people by 2050 while adapting to climate change. Unpredictable weather patterns are leading to larger and more frequent harvest failures, threatening global food security.

Plants usually require centuries of natural selection to adapt to environmental changes at a molecular level. Genetic engineering could enhance plants with desirable traits, to boost yields while reducing their vulnerability to climatic events.

This approach will require careful integration with current agricultural ecosystems and alignment with the needs of growers and other stakeholders.

We are exploring novel approaches to solve this wicked problem, and we’re looking for a stellar founder in residence to create this company with us.

The Opportunity

We are considering various strategies to increase resilience to biotic and abiotic stress using the power of modern genetic engineering. Crucially, we are interested in a solution which could address the combined effect of multiple stressors — including drought, floods, heat, diseases, and more — as future climate events are expected to occur in succession.

Examples of opportunities we are considering:

  • Increasing genetic diversity within crops through breeding strategies or fusions
  • Homology mapping across hyper-resistant crops to re-engineer susceptible species
  • Site-directed mutagenesis using advanced CRISPR technologies
  • Leveraging metabolites for more efficient response reactions: improved use of hormones, reactive oxygen species, antioxidants, other.

We are looking for a Founder in Residence to join our next cohort, to explore multiple approaches and create the most scaleable company to ensure food security.

Skills & Profile

We are looking for an entrepreneurial scientist with deep technical expertise (e.g. PhD level or equivalent industry experience) in plant biotechnology, to further explore several opportunities listed above and create a high-impact climate company with Marble.

Examples of relevant backgrounds:

  • Plant biotechnologist / crop breeder / seed specialist with applied industry experience in crop engineering, seed generation, deals with growers, etc
  • OR Plant physiology / phytopathology with applied experience in metabolic fluxes, hormonal interactions, homology mapping
  • OR Plant-microbe interaction / plant root specialist with experience manipulating the root rhizophere and root architecture
  • OR Relevant industry experience in agriculture: agtech startup operator, farmer, any relevant role in large agriculture and food companies, etc

We encourage you to apply even if you don’t feel you meet all requirements. Above all, we value intelligence, creativity and Founder Potential.

Especially if you recognize yourself below:

  • You can’t wait to start your own company (or your next one)
  • You are a pragmatic optimist on a mission to tackle climate change
  • You are outcome focused and action oriented - you make things happen
  • You are a great communicator - you can convince others to follow you
  • You love to break down ambitious goals into actionable milestones
  • You understand that innovation starts with people - not ideas

What We Offer

As a Founder-in-Residence, you will join other stellar individuals who also believe in the need for deep tech solutions to solve hard climate problems.

Together, we would be scoping high potential approaches before converging on the most promising one and finding your future co-founders

We offer (among other things)

  • A €2,500 to €3,000 monthly allowance during the programme
  • A €250,000 pre-seed investment on startup creation if you’re successful. You and your team will own 80% of the company at pre-seed.
  • Full-stack support in our venture creation programme
    • Mentorship and guidance at every step of the way
    • Hands on support across technology and market research, landing interviews with experts and customers, techno economics, roadmap and scale up strategy, IP strategy, team building, advisor sourcing, and more
    • Access to an unparalleled network across science, industry, talent, investors, mentors, climate tech founders, curated vendors and suppliers
    • Access to our research insights, knowledge base and founder resources
    • Weekly check-ins, work sessions in our Paris HQ (or remote) and continuous peer learning with other programme participants
  • Seed Fundraising support after the programme. Introductions to the best seed investors from our network and help with term sheet negotiation.
  • Founder Visa sponsorship if you wish to relocate to France. Remote participation is possible, preferably from Europe and with regular in-person meetings.

How To Apply

We are currently taking applications for the March 2024 cohort:

We believe that a diverse group of minds is key to solving the climate crisis. We strongly encourage women and people of colour to apply.

Studies have shown that under-represented candidates are less likely to apply for a role unless they feel they meet every single qualification.

We are committed to building a diverse, inclusive and mission-driven cohort. If you’re excited about the programme but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with what you read on our website, we encourage you to apply anyways!


For a full list of FAQs, please visit our website.