If you get excited by the idea of creating new businesses from the ground up in a dynamic high-intensity environment, have a natural curiosity to uncover, understand and solve meaningful human & market problems, and a proven track record helping early-stage startups gather evidence that supports product direction & investment decisions, then your place is with us! 

We are Koru.
A groundbreaking venture incubator created by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan that builds new business models, experiences, and technologies to drive disruptive growth for OTPP’s portfolio companies. We merge the good facets of the corporate world (Stability, Funding, Domain Expertise, Credibility) together with great attributes of a fast-paced startup (Agility, Quick iteration, Scrappiness, New technology, Flat structure).

At Koru,
You can unleash your research and strategic design superpowers working side by side with a carefully selected small group of startup veterans in engineering, product, design and business. As we continue to disrupt industries, it is vital that the ventures we set up are customer-focused,  technically feasible, financially viable and built to operationally scale. 

With us, you will have a unique opportunity to be exposed to a wide array of industries, and be a vital voice around our decision making table. As we continue to shape user research and strategic design capabilities at Koru, you will have the possibility to go deep within specific venture projects, while contributing to our internal tools, methods and approaches to venture architecture. 

In this role your core responsibilities will include:

  • Shaping User Research Goals & Objectives 
    • Work with the User Research Lead, Product, Growth, Business Operations, and other members of the Koru team to define research needs, goals, objectives and methods 
    • Identify/prioritize critical user research hypotheses & assumptions relative to venture goals
  • Planning & Designing User Research
    • Design the appropriate qualitative and quantitative research experiments, including but not limited to: defining the characteristics & quantity of research participants; developing research screening questions & interview guides; establishing content/channels for participant engagement; and environments for data collection
  • Executing User Research
    • Conduct relevant primary and secondary research to gather evidence needed to validate / invalidate key venture (user & market) hypotheses
    • Collect and analyze user behavior through field visits, ethnography (observation/interviews), surveys, benchmark studies, user-generated data and other relevant experiments
    • Iteratively design, test and iterate on product & service concepts/features to validate problem-solution fit
  • Documenting & Communicating User Research Results 
    • Design and facilitate immersion sessions with multi-disciplinary client teams
    • Advocate research findings to diverse audiences through written & visual assets
    • Bring your research to life through personas, customer journeys, insight-opportunity frameworks, system maps, stories and scenarios that have a tangible impact on ventures
    • Work with product designer to communicate design ideas that are grounded by research findings (i.e. product concepts/features, service models, to-be customer journeys & systems)
    • Demonstrate significance & prevalence of research findings to de–risk venture decisions

As a User Researcher, you’ll also be involved in shaping the user research and strategic design practice at Koru. This entails:

  • Helping grow and evolve the user-research toolkit across Koru and our ventures
  • Representing Koru, and connecting Koru into the broader research, design and startup ecosystem to support the evolution and growth of our practice
  • Contributing to the development of thought leadership across the organization

Qualifications & Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Design, Strategy, Anthropology, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Human Factors, Psychology, Sociology, or a related field or equivalent practical experience.
  • Experience leading & executing research utilizing various methods including but not limited to contextual inquiry, usability studies, and surveys.
  • Significant track record shaping real-to-world user experiences and delivering tangible products to market, with a min. of 3 years experience leading creative projects to completion
  • An outstanding portfolio of work demonstrating strong human-centered design capabilities across a diverse range of projects

Highly Desirable:

  • Experience in identifying user & market needs that have resulted in a new venture
  • Experience using UXR recruitment, testing & synthesis tools such as UserInterviews, Userbrain, UserTesting, PollFish, Typeform, Dovetail, etc.
  • Experience in statistical analysis & measuring statistical significance of research results
  • Experience leading workshops and defining processes to guide strategic design thinking

Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

Diversity of perspectives and experience is at the core of how we approach disruption and innovation. We believe in fostering an environment where team members of all backgrounds can feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work every day. We aim to ensure all of our employees work in an environment that makes them feel valued, heard and supported while they strive towards career pursuits and their personal and professional growth.

We are committed to providing accommodations for all candidates that require them and in all aspects of the recruitment, selection, and/or assessment process. If you are selected to participate in any part of the selection and/or assessment process, please inform us of any accommodation(s) that you may require.

Our location

Koru’s offices are located in downtown Toronto. We humbly acknowledge that Koru HQ is located on land that is the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, Chippewa (Anishinaabeg), Haudenosaunee, and Wendat. This territory is covered by the ‘Toronto Purchase: Treaty 13’ which was the surrender of the lands from the Mississaugas of the Credit to the British Crown initially in 1787.

Koru staff and/or board members are made up of settlers, immigrants, descendants of immigrants, or a combination thereof. Our roots lie in continents across the world and we are grateful for the opportunity to share this land where we work and live.


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