Director, Business Development

  • Palo Alto, CA
  • Full-time

Company Description

Sapphire Ventures (formerly SAP Ventures) is an independent, financially oriented, venture capital firm with US$1.4 billion under management. Sapphire Ventures seeks to partner with outstanding entrepreneurs and leading venture firms worldwide to build industry-leading businesses. Sapphire Ventures is an independent investment organization affiliated with SAP SE, the leading global enterprise software company. Sapphire Ventures leverages its relationship with SAP and the SAP ecosystem for the benefit of its portfolio companies and underlying fund managers. Sapphire Ventures was founded in 1996 and has invested in more than 125 companies.

The firm currently manages two direct investment funds: Sapphire Ventures Fund I (US$353 million fund launched in 2011) and Sapphire Ventures Fund II (US$651 million fund launched in 2013). Both funds invest in innovative and disruptive expansion stage companies across the information technology landscape. Selected past and current portfolio companies include LinkedIn, Exact Target, Box, Nutanix, Fitbit, Docusign, Criteo, On Deck Capital, Square, Scytl and Socrata.

The Sapphire SAP HANA Fund-of-Funds is a US$405 million fund-of-funds launched in 2012. The fund invests in early stage VC fund managers both in the U.S. and internationally.

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Job Description

.  Only professionals interested solely in a business development role should apply.

Sapphire Ventures is seeking a Director, Business Development for its Market Development team. This position reports to the Managing Director, Market Development.

During 2014, Sapphire Ventures formed a new Market Development ("MDEV") group to act as a liaison between SAP, the SAP ecosystem and other relevant business networks and the Sapphire Ventures ecosystem, which includes companies in Sapphire Ventures' direct investment portfolio and venture capital firms and their underlying portfolio companies in Sapphire Ventures' fund-of-funds portfolio. The MDEV group is actively working to expand relationships, generate commercial opportunities, address end customer needs and provide insight into innovative technologies by enabling partnerships between business groups within SAP and the Sapphire Ventures ecosystem. You can read more about the MDEV team and its work at:

This unique role will provide an experienced sales, marketing or business development professional the opportunity to build relationships throughout the Global 2000 customer and partner ecosystem and with leading emerging technology companies within Sapphire Ventures' direct investment portfolio and through Sapphire Ventures' indirect investments within the Sapphire SAP HANA Fund-of-Funds. The goal of the Director, Business Development is to identify and enable "win-win" opportunities and relationships on behalf of Sapphire Ventures companies inside as well as outside the SAP ecosystem. Lastly, the ideal candidate will work closely with the rest of MDEV team to build the required infrastructure and processes that would enable scale and programmatic execution of our mission.

With a large number of opportunities to pursue, this role requires a strategic thinker with the ability to correctly prioritize activities for achieving both short-term and long-term objectives. Good communication and relationship-building skills are critical, as the person in this position will serve an important marketing role for Sapphire Ventures and will interface with senior executives externally. Applicants who have a broad network of existing contacts within the enterprise software ecosystem will have an advantage in driving successful partnerships and growing the business development platform within Sapphire Ventures.

Responsibilities include:

  • Creating a strategy and action plan to enable exposure to, and active engagements with, Global 2000 companies and industry titans such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, etc.
  • Creating opportunities for companies within the Sapphire Ventures ecosystem to gain direct access to marquee customers.
  • Working closely with portfolio company executives in a "high touch" mode to determine best ways to support them with strategic advice, key introductions, etc.
  • Determining best practices for engaging with portfolio companies in a scalable, repeatable fashion.
  • Marketing Sapphire Ventures' market development capabilities to potential investment targets, positioning the MDEV group as a strategic differentiator.
  • Working closely with Sapphire Ventures' Director of Marketing to create case studies of success stories to demonstrate MDEV's work to pipeline companies.
  • Building relationships with product, sales and marketing groups with select group of executives from various "tech titans" companies. Investing and nurturing the relationships to enable periodic or "on demand" engagement with the respective companies.
  • Playing a role in engaging standalone events and panels / side-events at large, NON SAP industry conferences (e.g. IBM "InterConnect," Salesforce "Dream Force" etc. ) to showcase Sapphire Ventures portfolio companies in order to enable networking opportunities for those companies. 


  • A minimum of 8 years as a business development, sales or marketing executive role within the enterprise IT ecosystem. Preferably, a candidate will have spent 3+ years in one or more business development, sales, or marketing alliance-focused roles.
  • Past experience developing partnerships, alliances and commercial agreements between large IT vendors and emerging vendors.
  • Proven network and vast rolodex of relationships in enterprise software industry.
  • Outstanding communication and organizational skills.
  • Self-starter and strategic thinker with a track record of working from a blank slate in creating marketing strategies and plans for "greenfield" initiatives. Being proactive and possessing a strong can-do attitude are critical to success in this role.
  • Broad knowledge of technology trends for enterprise IT products and solutions.
  • Significant project management experience in a sales, marketing or business development setting.
  • Past experience interfacing with senior executives of large corporate IT end user customers.
  • Proven familiarity and experience with at least one "technology industry titan" other than SAP.

Additional Information

  • Location: Palo Alto, California.
  • The position will likely require travel a few days per month.
  • Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States.
  • Projected start date: Q1 2015.