Business Development Manager @ AmphiStar (Biotope by VIB)


04 Jul 2024


Scientific Services and Support


Who we are

AmphiStar is a young and dynamic start-up company (2021) spin-off of Ghent University and the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant. We offer locally produced, fully waste-based biosurfactants for brand owners and their suppliers seeking to develop genuinely sustainable, performant and affordable biosurfactant substitutes.
Surfactants are used as active and functional ingredients in a wide variety of products we all use in our daily lives, such as consumer- and industrial products, in sectors as diverse as home- and personal care, cosmetics, textile, pharmaceuticals, food and feed, detergents etc. Without surfactants, our lives would look dramatically different.

Today, 98% of these surfactants are not sustainable: they are mainly based on fossil- or palm oil feedstocks and typically produced using classical (harsh) chemical processes. AmphiStar has a flexible and scalable production technology that can convert waste- and industrial side streams into a wide range of biosurfactants through fermentation. AmphiStar’s biosurfactants are sustainable, local and circular and they do not compete with feedstock for food production and no direct land use is associated with their production.

AmphiStar has the mission to develop, scale up and produce biosurfactants at industrially relevant level by building new local biosurfactant production facilities at waste feedstock sites, reducing EU’s dependency on imports. The developed process and products are safe and sustainable by design!

To enlarge our commercial development team, AmphiStar is looking for an enthusiastic and experienced Business Development Manager for the Home & Personal Care market!

Who we are looking for

Are you ready to make an impact in one of the world’s biggest industries? Does climate change concern you and are you excited by biotech and circular economy?

Then AmphiStar’s team is looking for you!

Our ideal candidate can identify her/him/themselves in the following qualifications:

  • Minimum of 5 years of business experience in sales and/or marketing in the Home & Personal Care market proven by a strong network (you know the active players in the market, it is a plus when your contacts can open doors);
  • Technical degree/training in chemistry, chemical engineering, biotech, biochemistry or bioengineering is a plus;
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects in a matrix environment;
  • Experience with interfacing various levels of management both internally and externally with customers
  • Good knowledge of the surfactant market and especially on the Home & Personal Care market in its different applications area (detergent, ADW, body wash, shampoos , hard surface cleaner ….)
  • Technical background in formulating surfactants in different applications is a plus;
  • You feel comfortable bringing completely novel products to the market and to brand owners;
  • You are eager to achieve ambitious sales goals;
  • You are a strong communicator and can easily build relations and grow partnerships with key internal and external stakeholders;
  • You enjoy regular (international) business travel (~35%);
  • You are an enthusiastic team player, but you can work independently and take initiative to get things done;
  • You can handle the administrative part of the business development job, including visit reports, and closing commercial contracts
  • You are fluent in English; other languages (French, German, Dutch) are an asset;

What you will do

The surfactant market is a highly dynamic market that requires many product upgrades and short to medium-range innovation projects. Several competing technologies are entering the biosurfactant space and AmphiStar needs to keep differentiating itself.

As Business Development Manager, you are responsible for:

  • further building and managing the strategy on how to bring AmphiStar’s innovative biosurfactant products to the market; propose improvements on AmphiStar’s business model
  • owning the commercial part of the AmphiStar business in the Home & Personal Care market :
    • Closing deals with customers and partners;
    • Grow revenues and profitability;
    • Develop and maintain a sales opportunity database
  • managing customers to ensure customer satisfaction:
    • first business point of contact– escalation path in case of issues
    • trusted partner for (internal and external) senior management stakeholders
  • Collect customer input to optimize and prioritize our product roadmap including forecasting, sample management, sales tool management, price implementation, etc.
  • Develop and implement commercial development/marketing program
  • detecting, tracking and quantifying market trends, map AmphiStar’s roadmaps onto market needs and identifying new opportunities for collaboration;
  • Support and coordinate new product development or innovation projects including innovation projects on waste feedstocks
  • representing AmphiStar in customer meetings and at (international) trade shows and exhibitions.
  • Provide marketing support in terms of advertising, literature, direct mail, trade shows and major customer presentations.

What we offer

We offer you the opportunity to join one of the world’s most innovative surfactant companies at its headquarters in Ghent, Belgium. With your talent, passion and expertise, you’ll become part of a team that aims to disrupt the surfactant market by making biosurfactants mainstream. Together, we shape the circular bio-economy and biobased industry of tomorrow.

We are committed to being an inclusive employer and proud of our open, multicultural, and informal working environment with ample possibilities to take initiative and show responsibility. We commit to supporting and guiding you in this process; not only with words but also with tangible actions.
We are aware that your valuable contribution makes AmphiStar a top player in its field. Your energy and commitment are therefore appreciated by means of a market-appropriate salary.

How to apply

Excited by what you just read? Apply directly by sending your motivational letter and CV online via the VIB application tool.

VIB values diversity - in backgrounds and in experiences. The institute needs people from all backgrounds and ways of life to help build a thriving scientific environment. VIB is therefore looking for candidates who are not only strong in their own aptitudes but care deeply about supporting each other's growth. VIB's collaborators are people with different strengths, experiences and backgrounds, who share a passion for science that generates impact in science and in society. Diversity not only includes race and gender identity, but also nationality, age, disability status, sexual orientation, religion and many other parts of one’s identity. All of VIB’s employees’ points of view are key to its success, and inclusion is everyone's responsibility.