Explore opportunities with our portfolio companies

Elemental Excelerator
Elemental Excelerator

Senior Innovation Manager



Philadelphia, PA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2024

ConnectDER (www.ConnectDER.com) represents the next generation in US-based grid technology product development. Our flagship product, the Smart ConnectDER, is a plug-and-play interface for rapidly connecting residential solar photovoltaic systems and EV chargers to the grid and managing them using embedded telemetry and communications.

We’re a 50+ employee, venture-backed company with a planned rapid growth trajectory and a robust product development schedule. We’re looking to connect with talented individuals who are ready to deliver innovative, quality service that drives our mission to empower utilities and their customers with tools that radically enhance the value of clean grid edge resources.

At ConnectDER we know that a diverse, equal, and inclusive workplace is a key to our success. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, family status, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, neuro-diversity, disability, age, or veteran status, or any other non-merit based or legally protected grounds.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

All full-time employees receive access to comprehensive benefits including:

  • Health insurance plan - we cover 75% for employees, spouses, and children.

  • Flexible paid time off – take the time off that you need.

  • 401K with company match – we want to help you meet your future financial goals.

  • Equity stock options - your opportunity to share in the success of the company.

Job Description


The Senior Innovation Manager is responsible for leading ConnectDER’s innovation strategy and system. This role is responsible for driving organizational success by overseeing and optimizing ideation, technical radar, technology development, strategic portfolio management and innovation system processes. This key leadership position requires a strategic thinker with exceptional program management expertise, ability to drive change management and execution, strong leadership and interpersonal skills and the ability to align programs with business objectives. They will also play a unique role in supporting the senior leadership team (SLT) in an operations infrastructure support capacity.

Core Functions/Duties

  • PMO owner ensuring governance and best practices are being followed.
  • Lead and mentor program managers, fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, execution, and continuous improvement.
  • Enable project management and portfolio operations effectiveness through establishment and maintenance of best-in-class project and portfolio management (PPM) systems and tools, data quality standards and reporting and dashboards.
  • Provide oversight and coordination with Engineering, Production, Marketing and other key stakeholders throughout the product development lifecycle.
  • Communicate program status, risks, and opportunities effectively to stakeholders at all levels of the organization.
  • Responsible for building a robust product pipeline in partnership with engineering and product leadership.
  • Lead technical radar development and new technology investigations (NTIs).
  • Support and maintain multi-year product roadmaps focused on improved product vitality.
  • Lead ideation activities and process to identify breakthrough and innovative product opportunities.
  • Define, maintain, and champion improvement processes and provide guidance for overall development processes.
  • Identify, evaluate, and resolve project conflicts, issues, and resource constraints.
  • Support Product Management in orchestrating the definition of functional requirements, ensuring product-cost and project schedules meet market needs.
  • Provide inspirational coaching, direction, and leadership support to employees to deliver employee, department, company, and customer results.
  • Participate in design reviews internally and with external suppliers and customers.
  • Lead program stage gate reviews and other required meetings with internal and external teams.
  • Partner with the Supply Chain team to ensure inventory for prototype development is ordered, received, and managed.
  • Coordinate activities for the product development and quality assurance teams during Alpha, Beta, First Article, Product and System Acceptance tests, and external certification process.
  • Understand customer delivery requirements and revenue targets to help guide program decisions.
  • Capture the lessons learned and facilitate cross-functional post-mortem feedback meetings to share address findings.
  • Manage and maintain key external relationships with vendors, consultants and potential partners.
  • This position will lead cross functional technical teams and must have demonstrated success within a matrix organization.

Compensation range for this role begins at $125,000 + bonus + equity

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.



PASSION – you thrive on creativity and invention and you understand how your work can impact the greater good.

ACCOUNTABILITY – people can count on you to do what you say, to take ownership of your performance, and to work hard to accomplish your goals.

INTEGRITY – you act with sound judgment, honesty, dependability, and consistency.

INCLUSION – you create an environment which fosters authenticity, diversity, innovation, collaboration, and respect.

ENTREPRENEURIAL – you enjoy working in a continuously evolving environment where everyone’s contribution is valued and essential.

MISSION-DRIVEN – you’re excited about renewable energy and you have a passion for clean technology.



Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or Business, preferred

  • PMP certification, preferred
  • PMP training, required

Required Experience

  • 7+ years leading and managing ideation, technology, product portfolios and product development in a fast-paced environment.
  • History of successfully leading innovation systems, technology development teams and activities from idea-to-launch.
  • Proven leadership skills and the ability to associate with all levels in the organization.
  • Proven success in establishing key performance indicators, metrics, and focus to drive product development best practices.
  • Advanced negotiation, problem solving, and interpersonal skills (presentation, written and oral) with the ability to communicate effectively with all levels of staff and management.
  • Comfort in operating in both Agile and Waterfall project methodologies, for both Software and Hardware development projects.
  • Experience using Atlassian Jira, Microsoft Project, ClickUp or other project management software.

Preferred Experience

  • Advanced degree in a technical discipline
  • Experience delivering solutions in the solar, renewable, and/or Distributed Energy Resource (DER) industry.
  • Lean, Six Sigma and other Continuous Improvement process experience
  • Advanced knowledge of innovation tools (Roadmunk, ClickUp, PowerBI etc.)

Key Competencies

  • Proactive with a strong work ethic
  • Interpersonal skills and ability to be effective working within a team.
  • Ability to independently work effectively and efficiently.
  • Strong organizational, analytical and project management skills combined with technical aptitude.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills (written, verbal and interpersonal).
  • Skilled in project planning and project management.
  • Adaptable, results oriented, and effective at managing change, and proven team building capabilities.
  • Skilled at managing conflict and effectively working through to a quick resolution.
  • Ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced, metric-driven environment.

Work Environment/Physical Demands: Must have the ability to work on a computer for extended periods of time with or without accommodation.

US Salary Range
$125,000$135,000 USD

To apply, please submit your resume. Applications without a resume will not be considered.

Don’t meet all the requirements listed above? Research shows that members of historically underrepresented groups don’t typically apply for jobs unless they meet 100% of the requirements. We are dedicated to building a diverse workforce and if this job interests you, we encourage you to apply even if you don’t meet every bullet point.

ConnectDER is committed to developing a barrier-free recruitment process and work environment. If you require any accommodation during the application and interview process, please email us at careers @ connectder.com (no spaces) and we’ll work with you to meet your accessibility needs.

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.