TPB Pioneers Program

We Need Your Help to Heal Our Planet

Science, Engineering, & Ingenuity needed to tackle Earth’s biggest problems.

The TPB Pioneers program is a platform for scientists and engineers who want to use their discoveries, skills, and passion to turn remarkable research into transformative businesses across human health, food, agriculture, biomanufacturing and the broader life sciences.  If you are eager to catalyze and accelerate your research and ideas, are looking for a culture that unapologetically fosters risk-taking and solving hard problems, and want a partner that can help bring your work to the real world in an accelerated way, join us. 

Turn Research into Reality

The Production Board operates as a venture foundry, helping scientists and engineers develop novel research into incubated businesses. TPB Pioneers will work onsite with TPB’s broader team to conduct their research, achieve key milestones, and ultimately graduate standalone businesses. 

TPB offers true partnership - each Pioneer will work closely with a New Ventures Lead who will be your partner as you explore applications of your research, set business strategy and goals, and build out a team. TPB provides ongoing strategic and operating support, recruiting resources, technical facilities, and the capital needed to conduct early-stage research and build a scaled operating business.

Decide what to work on

Learn new fields in pursuit of a thesis and decide what you work on. Your research is funded by TPB, and comes with a competitive pay and benefits package. Have the autonomy you need to succeed.

Solve problems that matter

Each of the markets you’ll aim to transform are large ($100B+). By lowering the environmental footprint of humans and/or improving human health, you’ll experience the joy of seeing your work have a real-world impact.

Have the cofounder others wish they had

You’ll have direct access to all of the capital, expertise, and support of the full TPB team. Get the benefit of decades of lessons learned building successful standalone businesses.

Get our long term commitment

Creating real impact using science and engineering requires unwavering persistence and the room to iterate towards success. We’ve set TPB up with patient, long term capital, that’ll be with you for the long run.

About TPB

Now is the time to heal our planet and its inhabitants. We believe that science and engineering, not their absence, are needed to carry us forward.

For thousands of years, humans haven’t fundamentally changed how we make things, we’ve simply scaled up making them using yesteryear’s technologies. While the humans of the developed world have realized gains in livelihood and lifestyle through this approach, all of us, as well as the rest of the planet, are suffering from the consequences of our prosperity as the consequences of climate change, loss of species and arable land, and new risks to human health emerge. 

Meanwhile, the merging of digital technologies and the life sciences has unlocked profound opportunities that we believe will resolve some of the most pressing drivers and consequences of climate change, extend human life, and restore planetary biodiversity. Never before could we so easily read, write, and engineer our physical world, its inhabitants, and our bodies to realize the outcomes we desire. 

Unlike a traditional venture fund, The Production Board is structured to conduct primary scientific research and build new companies from the ground up. Our unique operating structure and investor set affords us the flexibility to tackle some of the world’s hardest problems by building companies from scratch, taking a long-term investment outlook, providing our operating teams the runway to be creative, aspirational, and risk-assuming.

We’ve successfully partnered with technical co-founders like you to scale multiple businesses, each of which aims to reimagine earth. If you’d like to join us, please apply to the TPB Pioneers program.

"Very few would characterize the entrepreneurial journey as mellifluous: At TPB, my experience has been exactly that! Here, I have the intellectual freedom and creative space to build my venture idea from 0 to 1."
Nefeli, Executive-in-Residence
"I've had the chance to learn the ins and outs of biotech business in a supportive environment while still having the time to do the important lab work that the early stages of the project requires."
Jeremy, Founder & CTO of Triplebar
"In addition to investment, TPB offered management resources and, most importantly, a philosophy that recognized the value of molecular genetics and technology in plant breeding. It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."
Jud, Founder & CTO of Ohalo

The TPB Pioneers program is a platform for scientists and engineers who want to use their discoveries, skills, and passion to turn remarkable research into transformative businesses across human health, food, agriculture, biomanufacturing and the broader life sciences. 

If you are eager to catalyze and accelerate your research and ideas, are looking for a culture that unapologetically fosters risk-taking and solving hard problems, and want a partner that can help bring your work to the real world in an accelerated way, join us. 

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Our partners

TPB is backed by leading strategic and financial investors, including Alphabet, Allen & Company LLC, Cascade, Emerson Collective, and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Baillie Gifford, Koch Disruptive Technologies, Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley), Foxhaven Asset Management, and Arrowmark Partners.

Are we a match?

Tackling hard problems at scale typically requires a healthy mix of curiosity, optimism and unconventional perspective. We encourage candidates of diverse backgrounds to apply, particularly if these qualities describe you. You are:

  1. One of the best in the world at what you do
  2. Restless to see your ideas actualized in the world
  3. Obsessed with your craft and our planet-saving mission
  4. Wanting to move faster than you can in academia, while not being boxed in by the traditional corporate world
  5. Not obsessed with "being a founder" but are willing to meaningfully partner to realize opportunity
  6. Daring to dream the unconventional, the non-incremental
  7. Building and leading teams of the very best in their field
one of the best in the world at what you do
restless to see your ideas actualized in the world
obsessed with your craft and our planet-saving mission
wanting to move faster than you can in academia, while not being boxed in by the traditional corporate world
not obsessed with “being a founder” but are willing to meaningfully partner to realize opportunity
daring to dream the unconventional, the non-incremental
building and leeading teams of the very best in their field

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve set out to make the TPB Pioneers program the easiest way for those with a background in science and engineering to pursue their work and partner with TPB to build world-changing businesses. Questions we often get asked:

What does working together look like?

There are 3 distinct stages in our program:

  • Explore: 1-4 months. Explore novel concepts and hypothesize ways to use new discoveries and technologies to transform our planet and human health.
  • Proof of concept: 3-18 months. Prove out a promising concept by doing initial, original research and/or prototyping with an aim to achieve key milestones within an agreed-upon budget and timeline.
  • Company formation: Form a standalone business with TPB once key initial objectives have been met, including proof-of-concept delivery, core team formation, and standalone business plan approvals, all done in partnership with a TPB New Ventures Lead.

At each step, you’ll be supported by the full complement of TPB’s resources including access to the world’s leading experts, recruiting leaders, core operating functions, and adequate capital to fulfill your work’s full potential. TPB provides all the capital for our foundry projects from proof-of-concept through to growth-stage. 

Will I be compensated?

Yes. As a Scientist/Engineer or CSO/CTO-in-residence, you’ll get a competitive salary and benefits package. When we co-found a company with you, you will also have a substantial equity stake in that business.

Is this an accelerator?

TPB Pioneers is not an accelerator program. We are not seeking to partner with entrepreneurs running existing businesses who need capital. Our unique foundry model means we partner closely with Pioneers to define the business strategy and goals, recruit the initial team, provide all operating functions (HR, Finance, Legal, Facilities, and G&A), offer up technical and general business facilities, and invest all of the capital needed to go from early-stage proof-of-concept development through to later-stage growth.

Will I be the Founder of the business we work on together? How much will I own?

We believe everyone at every company is a Founder. This principle speaks to the notion that every business evolves and is, in effect, “founded” every day. Thus, we try to avoid assigning the traditional “Founder” roles and titles to just a select few individuals and work hard to ensure that everyone and every organization feels like and acts like a Founder.

Our Pioneers and early team members typically end up with equity stakes commensurate with well-funded Seed/Series A stage executive-level hires while earning market competitive salaries and benefits.

Do I need an idea or team to apply?

No. We are looking to partner with top scientific and engineering leaders to help turn your skills and research into world-changing businesses. This is typically an iterative process and can take some time.

What background qualifies me to be a Pioneer?

Every Pioneer is different. So, we keep an open mind when reviewing applications. But, ideally you’d have the following background for our different Pioneer tracks:

Chief Technology Officer/ Chief Science Officer track:

  • PhD in your field (or 5 years of hands on experience in industry doing experiments/building systems in your field)
  • 8< years of industry experience
  • 2< years at Senior Director level or above experience
  • Have directly managed teams of 12< people
  • Possess at least some high-level creative ideas on how to innovate in your field
  • Published papers, patents, and/or shipped products that show your creativity and ability to complete ambitious projects
  • Examples: Jeremy Agresti, Jud Ward

Scientists or Engineer-in-residence

  • PhD in your field (or 5 years of hands on experience in industry doing experiments/building systems in your field)
  • 3< years of postdoc, associate professor, or industry experience
  • Have directly managed teams of 4< people
  • Possess at least some high-level creative views on how to innovate in your field
  • Published papers, patents, and/or shipped products that show your creativity and ability to complete ambitious projects
  • Example: Emily Crawford
When should I apply?

Today! We review applications on a rolling basis and against a rapidly-evolving industry landscape. Even if we’re all booked up for now, we want to get to know you, for when slots open up.

How many Pioneers do you select?

We usually have between 4-10 active foundry projects at any given point in time. As they become standalone businesses, our New Ventures team is freed up to explore new projects with new Pioneers.

Do I need to move to the Bay Area?

Not necessarily. In the earliest stages, it’s a little harder to get access to lab space and all of the other resources TPB can provide in the SF Bay Area, but our businesses span a range of industries and geographies already.

When should I expect to hear back?

Within 2 weeks. 

What is the typical application process?
  • You’ll send us your resume, a cover letter, and your publications, patents, and/or descriptions of products you’ve developed.
  • We’ll review your materials and, if we think you could be a fit, we’ll reach out to schedule an interview process that consists of a series of fit and technical interviews
  • After the interview cycle, you’ll prepare and give us a presentation about the work you’ve done in your career and some ideas you have about how to innovate in your field
  • After your presentation, we’ll do reference checks and extend you an offer if its a fit
  • You’ll start as soon as convenient on your end
TPB Pioneers Program
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