Directing Humble Bee

Humble Bee
Jun 4 · 6 min read

We are looking for an amazing human to fill a Director of the board at Humble Bee

With our wonderful Chair, Greg Sitters leaving [see post on this here] we’re looking for someone to join our board as we prepare for our Series A.

I’ve taken inspiration from fellow wāhine founder, Anna Guenther of PledgeMe fame and we’ve decided to crowdsource applications.

We want to go wider. We want to hear from amazing people we wouldn’t have found otherwise. You are our crowd — fans and investors. So if you are interested, or you know someone who might be a good fit, have a read of the job description below and apply by sending in a CV and cover letter to anti@humblebee.co.nz

If you have further questions then get in touch with either Ian Fletcher (Acting Chair) or Veronica (me).

Company Values

Humble Bee is research-driven and applies world-class scientific interdisciplinary research to commercial problems. We are striving to have maximum positive environmental and social impact. Our team has a passion for the health of people and the planet and we learn from nature — taking inspiration from nature’s R&D (biomimicry). As we grow, we’re seeking to build strong partnerships between private and public entities, in NZ alongside a core team rich in diversity of skills and experiences.

We’re aiming to bring more diversity to our board, and need someone who is happy in the fast-paced world of a startup and who has the rigour required for being a director of an early stage biotech company.

The sorts of skills you will need

Here’s a list of skills, experiences, and general things that will indicate value-alignment.

Someone who’ll ask good questions

You don’t need to know the answers, but you do need to help us ask the right questions and work with speed toward constructive solutions. It’s not only about ensuring the right questions are asked, but it’s also about performing magic communication that brings to light the best path forward. You’ll do this by channelling the experience of the board, reviewing our work and drawing diverging points of view together through skilful summation.

Someone who is ok with a bit of risk (but can manage it too)

We want to push boundaries, move quickly, and make a difference. You need to be comfortable with a constantly evolving playing field with lots of moving parts. We’re trying to change the world, you’re going to be a bit uncomfortable, right?

Someone constructive and courageous

We want to make sure we have a diversity of opinions in our decision making — that’s why we have a board. We won’t always agree, but we do need to come to solutions which work. You’ll need to be able to set standards of communication and conduct so each director has the best brought out in them. You’ll lead a robust discussion about key decisions, hold the board to account, and bring the board to consensus. This needs to be done in a constructive and courageous way.

Someone comfortable with deep-tech and software

You don’t have to have a PhD in organic chemistry, but we are looking someone with experience in the commercialisation of biotech (or a related field). We need someone who responds to emails promptly, and who knows how to use communication platforms like Google Docs, Slack, Trello, and BoardPro.

Someone who is comfortable with the financial and legal side of things

You’ll be an experienced director, you will have an understanding of governance — shareholders agreements and constitutions, and regulatory compliance. You don’t need to be an accountant or a lawyer but, you need to be able to read a budget, balance sheet, set of accounts and be comfortable with the requirements of being a director.

We are looking for someone who has proven skills and experience in capital raising alongside the founder, ideally, you would have experience doing this in both local and international markets.

Someone proactive and results focused

While this is a non-executive position, there is an element of mucking in with an early stage company like ours. We need someone who is able to not only inspire and motivate but harness the specific skills of each director and maintain their decision making performance.

Details at a glance

Position: Director of the Board
Length of term: 24 months with the option to renew
Applications open: 4th June
Applications close: 4th August
Interviews: TBC
Directors’ Fees: $2000 per meeting paid in shares/options annually. We want talented people who can commit to giving the company the headspace and time it needs.

How our Board rolls

The Board has the primary responsibility to oversee the conduct of Humble Bee and to supervise management (who are responsible for the day-to-day activities).

Number of board members
We can have up to five board members. Two Independent Directors, two Other Shareholders Directors and one Investor Director. With Greg leaving we’ll have three board members, and we are aiming for five who have a mix of skills, backgrounds, and expertise.

We want 40% female representation, with wider general diversity (age, location, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation).

Who is on the board?

Ian Fletcher

Richard Furneaux

Veronica Harwood-Stevenson

You? We’d like to add some diversity to the board. That could come in a few forms: gender, age, experience, physical ability, orientation, the list goes on.

Term

The new Director will be appointed by the Shareholders, and following that a new Chairperson will be appointed by a majority vote of the Board. *Board membership is set to a 24- month term with the ability to renew.

Directors’ Fees

Set at $2000 per month paid annually in arrears and paid in shares or options.

Frequency

Monthly board meetings on Zoom and BoardPro and weekly touch-bases on Zoom. The time commitment for this role is roughly 12–16 hrs per month. Board members are required to respond to discussions, messages, and emails within two working days. The Chair is the principal point of contact between the board and the Founder and will speak more frequently as required.

Chair Responsibilities

  • Lead the board by creating an appropriate environment for robust discussion and effective decision making
  • Reporting to shareholders at the AGM
  • Inducting new Directors as to the culture of the board, expectations around how decisions are made
  • Developing a code of conduct for board meetings, and setting their structure and pace
  • Ensure the minutes accurately represent the decisions of the board meetings
  • Ensure the board is kept properly informed about the organisation’s financial affairs, including its cash flows
  • Respond promptly and comprehensively to concerns raised by other directors
  • Lead corporate governance issues, including being aware of directors’ and executives’ conflicts of interest and managing any such conflicts
  • Ensure the board addresses all the major strategic issues that can affect the organisation’s prosperity, reputation and sustainability; and engage the board in assessing and improving its effectiveness
  • Create a constructive relationship with management, acting as a conduit between management and the board
  • Act as a mentor and sounding board for the CEO, setting KPIs and monitoring performance and being fearless in bringing them to account, if necessary
  • Working with the CEO on the agenda of board meetings, differentiating between items for decision, noting and discussing
  • Assisting the CEO in key messaging for shareholder communication
  • Help the CEO develop a capital strategy and actively work with them to execute it
  • Commit sufficient time to the job and not become overburdened with other director roles or other commitments in general

APPLY

So that’s the role and the kind of person we’re looking for. Think it’s you? Then please send in a CV and cover letter to anti@humblebee.co.nz

Humble Bee

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Biotech company making new plastics inspired by a species of solitary bee.