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Venture Co-founder, Climate Workforce

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Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2023


The skilled trades–an engine of economic mobility and essential to the climate transition–are in crisis. Hundreds of thousands of critical jobs remain unfilled, with a looming disaster to come upon the retirement of the 1 in 5 HVAC technicians & electricians over 55 years old. The consequences are existential if this trend continues: Absent a high-quality, trained workforce to build and maintain our climate infrastructure, the U.S. will fail to meet its ambitious decarbonization goals of 100% clean electricity by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

Workshop is searching for a mission-oriented co-founder who, like us, sees an exciting opportunity to tackle this challenge through entrepreneurial and technological innovation. In this role, you will partner with our team on a pilot to address the skilled trades labor gap, with the goal of spinning out a venture-scale company at the end of the process. We will support you with our extensive industry insights, a world-class team of builders, and dedicated funding to get the pilot off the ground.

If you nerd out over heat pumps and panel upgrades, or if you love working hand-in-hand with the talented people that install those technologies, this is the opportunity for you.


Workshop is a venture studio that partners with founders to build startups in climate and education. Our team of entrepreneurs, engineers, and strategists leverages deep industry and customer insights to identify urgent unsolved problems and supports founders to develop breakthrough innovations to address them. We are led by Eleanor & Chad Laurans, co-founders of SimpliSafe, which they built and scaled into one of the largest home security companies in the U.S.

Over the last few months of research, we have immersed ourselves in the skilled trades by engaging with stakeholders across the HVAC and electrical fields – including students, employees, educators, and industry experts. Through this process, we have identified a promising set of solutions to the skilled labor shortage that you will help us to develop and test with stakeholders.

We’ve devised a 4-month pilot to test our initial solution hypotheses and build a prototype product. You will lead all aspects of this pilot, including managing customer relationships, establishing and measuring pilot KPIs, developing a go-to-market strategy, and overseeing operations and product development. Throughout this process, you will be instrumental in shaping the optimal solution to the problem and developing a business plan for the prospective venture. Workshop’s team of engineers and business strategists will support you throughout this process, and Workshop will provide all funding required to run the pilot.

Our objective is to spin out a promising new startup at the end of this process, which Workshop will support with pre-seed funding to get off the ground. You and your co-founders will own an equity stake in the business and continue receiving support from the Workshop team for the first one to two years post-spinout.

Who we’re looking for

We are seeking an entrepreneurial leader with a passion for workforce development and a demonstrated bias to action.

You would be a great match for this role if you had:

  • A deep understanding of the barriers to employee & owner success in the skilled trades
  • Prior experience building and growing an early-stage venture in climate, proptech, and/or workforce development
  • Proven ability to build and execute on a strategic plan, with a nimble approach to managing processes and teams that enables rapid testing and iteration
  • Experience partnering with product and engineering teams on software development

Ideally, you’d also have:

  • Experience working in the skilled trades, in particular with HVAC/R or electrical (even better if you’ve worked with trainers or educators!)
  • Prior business development or sales experience, particularly within SMB
  • Understanding of finance & accounting, including cash flow management and related back-office systems (e.g., QuickBooks, payment technologies)

How we’ll support you

Workshop will provide you with end-to-end support to test ideas and get a new business off the ground. Resources include, but are not limited to:

  • Dedicated support from an experienced team of operators, business strategists, and engineers to build your product, design your business plan, and support your go-to-market. This support will continue throughout the pilot and post-incorporation
  • Pre-seed funding to help you reach your pilot milestones, with additional funding committed upon successful completion of the pilot
  • Access to Workshop’s playbooks and advisor network to support critical business needs across go-to-market, product and user experience design, legal, and finance & accounting
  • Proprietary tools, processes, and resources to develop the idea and product


If you’re passionate about addressing one of the most critical barriers to the climate transition, and helping the U.S. reach its decarbonization goals of reaching 100% clean electricity by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050, please apply! Together, we will have the opportunity to solve these issues by building a venture that creates a more effective, efficient, and equitable workforce.

Email a cover letter and resume to is an equal opportunity employer.

This job is no longer accepting applications

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