Director of Product Design

New Lab supports entrepreneurs who are defining the future of technology and human experience. Based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, New Lab provides the tools and community that unite and support 650+ innovative entrepreneurs, designers, and engineers representing over 130 companies in a variety of fields—including robotics, A.I., urban technology, and energy—and fosters collaboration and advancement across disciplines. 

We are seeking a Director of Product Design to provide unique design thinking and product development capabilities that will cut across our Studio programs. Studio programs leverage New Lab’s expertise in ecosystem development and accelerating frontier technologies, creating a unique approach of applied entrepreneurship in order to solve significant industry challenges and deliver positive impact. Through the development of a collaborative partnership between New Lab and forward-thinking industry leaders, studio programs bring together strong ecosystems of innovators, domain experts, academics and serial entrepreneurs. Each Studio creates a platform to explore where innovative approaches and emerging technologies can be applied to move companies, sectors and entire industries into a future state. 

This role will report to the VP of Product and Programs and work with the support of a growing team of Program Managers to deploy these capabilities across individual programs. You will engage stakeholders throughout the entire program journey to design guidelines and strategies to inform client-startup partnerships and support the execution of prototyping projects and pilots within the Studios. From understanding client context, collecting and interpreting relevant data, developing insights, identifying areas of opportunity where impact and growth overlap, designing strategy, communicating the vision and supporting teams to build and deliver new offers to market, this role will produce roadmaps to lead startups as they address clients’ most pressing challenges. We are specifically looking for people with a depth of experience in end-to-end product life cycles and management of innovation or product design programs. This will be important as you partner with startups, serial entrepreneurs, researchers and advisors to create new and evolve existing technologies, products and services.

Key Responsibilities 

  • Engage Clients and support Business Development 

○ Work with New Lab’s business development team to create scopes of work for Studios and workshops and support client sales pitches. 

○ Collaborate with clients to understand their business challenges and opportunities and to help identify and prioritize opportunity areas to pursue in the Studio. 

○ Run discovery workshops with clients and a curated ecosystem of startups and experts. 

  • Management of Program Collaborators 

○ The Director of Product Design will also identify and secure staff or external teams to achieve the above goals such as product realization specialists, workshop facilitators, researchers and experts. Under their management the Product and Programs team brings all key stakeholders together to ensure our programs are a complete success. 

  • Lead Research, Discovery and Support Product Builds in Studios 

○ Design, scope, and oversee research that surfaces insights from the client’s industry and surveys relevant emerging technology sectors, investment trends and policy developments. 

○ Use insight-driven planning and research to explore concepts that address identified client challenges and opportunity spaces. 

Synthesize findings and co-create product roadmaps and development strategies for teams to carry out.

  • Oversee Product Development and Implementation 

○ Work with startups, advisors and domain experts as they scope, plan and build proofs-of-concept and prototypes culminating in a client demo day and pilot opportunities. 

Shape work plans with teams in each Studio to ensure they are aligned with client priorities and KPIs. 

Identify technical and development milestones, blockers and potential pivots for teams, work through challenges and communicate with client teams as appropriate. 

Provide guidance to teams engaged in Studios by championing their work, leveraging New Lab’s network to help them make progress and recruiting additional talent and support as needed. 

○ Help to scope pilot opportunities with clients and ensure teams are prepared to execute pilots.


  • BS or BA in a STEM field or equivalent experience is a plus 
  • 7+ years professional experience including prior experience in product development and managing innovation or product design programs in a high tech/design environment
  • Experience in a client services or consultative role 
  • Full spectrum project management experience with demonstrated ability to build strategies that take into account the demands of multiple stakeholders 
  • Experience overseeing product development cycles from start to finish 
  • Comfort working with engineers, designers and founders to develop a range of technologies which may include data platforms, IoT devices and automated systems among others 
  • Experience developing and tracking both quantitative and qualitative metrics 
  • Familiarity with Google’s business tools (docs, team drives, slides, sheets etc)
  • Proficiency with project management tools such as Trello and Monday

Skills & Attributes 

    • Demonstrated ability to work with a broad set of collaborators to bring a variety of concepts and products to life and to market 
    • A highly organized and detail-oriented self-starter 
    • Excellent written and oral presentation skills; executive presence 
    • Bias for action and a willingness to contribute to ensure the job gets done 
    • Comfortable conversing with entrepreneurs, technologists, scientists, corporate leaders and investors and an understanding of how to adapt tone and messaging for each audience 
    • Excited by setting ambitious goals, seeing projects through to completion and contributing to a fast-moving, lean organization 
    • Adept at working both collaboratively and independently and managing cross-functional teams (across and up) 
    • Able to be proactive and flourish while handling uncertainty and ambiguity


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