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United Rentals Manager, Product Innovation & VC Strategy in Stamford, Connecticut


The Manager of Product Innovation & VC Strategy will work closely with the Innovation Council and innovation leaders across the company to implement and manage a Stage Gate product strategy and Stage Gate-based innovation approach, and with the M&A team to align our related VC investment posture and management with our product strategy.

Product Innovation

Under the direction of the Vice President and/or Director of Strategy & Business Development, support development, implementation and management of a Stage Gate-based Product Innovation discipline including:

  • Working with the Strategy team and other constituents (i.e. Operations, ASG, Marketing, Finance), support definition of a Product Innovation strategy for the Company

  • Define the range of potential Product Innovations, and a classification system with customized pathways by type (i.e. high risk/high reward corporate initiatives, tactical or strategic bottom-up innovations driven by front line field operations, and everything in between)

  • Establish and support a Stage Gate process for United Rentals, including process steps, metrics, decision milestones, and portfolio management approaches for each Product Innovation classification

  • Support innovation teams by providing templates and coaching for various inputs to the Stage Gate process (i.e. VoC, market sizing, financial and risk profiling, etc.)

  • Facilitate Innovation Council meetings to ensure maximum engagement and impact of the process and value added

  • Provide regular updates to Company leadership including the SOC and potentially Board of Directors on Product Innovation strategy and impact

VC Strategy & Management

In support of the Product Innovation strategy and process be the eyes, ears, and voice of the Company in the Industrial VC environment. Define a VC development and management strategy to maximize contribution to the Product Innovation portfolio (i.e. build, buy, partner), including optimizing strategic and financial value by facilitating engagement between the portfolio companies and appropriate United Rentals operating leaders. Included in particular:

  • Attend key VC conferences on Industrial solution development, and establish a network to drive the VC pipeline in support of our overall Product Innovation strategy

  • Implement and manage a VC pipeline management process, including tracking software if/as advantageous

  • Working with the M&A team and for each investment the appropriate Operational owner, support VC investment due diligence, and presentations for approval by the Innovation Council and/or SOC

  • Facilitate engagement between VC portfolio companies and UR to maximize the strategic and financial value of our investments

  • Manage the agenda with Brick & Mortar to ensure alignment with the Company's overall and Product Innovation strategies to maximize the strategic and financial value of our investments


Bachelor's degree is required and an MBA and/or other relevant advanced degree is highly preferred.

  • 6-10+ years of experience in management consulting, private equity, and/or corporate/business unit strategy and development / M&A

  • Product Innovation and development experience, ideally using a "Stage Gate" type approach

  • Deal experience through M&A, private equity, and ideally VC

  • Passion for and ideally experience in the greater diversified industrial market, and understanding of technology trends and impact on Industrial businesses

  • Strong finance skills, problem solving capability (intellectual horsepower), and a thorough understanding of economic issues, application of financial models, and the ability to quantify the impact of various initiatives

  • The ability to successfully translate and communicate the strategic plan into tactical Product Innovation goals and initiatives which lead to overall company growth

  • Highly collaborative with proven skills in developing a consensus from diverse opinions in a highly fluid and sometimes ambiguous environment

  • Excellent team player and people management skills (i.e., can lead/motivate people, manage multiple priorities and projects, and lead and develop synchronized and effective cross-functional teams). Support and provide coaching and professional development opportunities for colleagues in field and corporate roles

  • The ability to seamlessly navigate multiple landscapes via influence while pushing collaboration and teamwork. The ability to politically maneuver and unnecessary angst of Field and Functional leaders is a must

Office environment, sitting at a desk and working at a computer and phone; Travel as necessary.

Other duties assigned as needed.