Startup Roles: The complete checklist

Building a tech focused startup? We've put together a comprehensive list of all the major roles that startups recruit for or split between team members. 


Product Manager - The product manager is tasked with defining the product roadmap and is likely involved in setting the long-term product strategy. This role requires a cross-functional perspective and high-level oversight of enhancements to existing products and launches of new ones. The best product managers take a goal-first approach, creating product initiatives that support the company’s goals. The day-to-day work involves defining the “why,” “what,” and “when” so that the product team can deliver a Complete Product Experience (CPE).

Chief Product Officer - The chief product officer (CPO) is responsible for everything related to product. This role typically includes all strategic planning, innovation, and the long-term roadmap across the product portfolio. They typically work on the product strategy in conjunction with the CEO, CTO, executive leadership team, and sometimes even board members.


Project Manager - A product manager is responsible for the What and the Why; A project manager is responsible for the Who, When and How. In theory, project managers have substantially different responsibilities to product managers. However, in a startup setting the two roles usually become intertwined. 


Sales Development Rep (SDR) - The SDR is an entry-level sales person who interacts with leads, confirms that they are qualified, shares basic information about our product, and schedules meetings (often a phone call and online demo). 

Account Executive - The Account Executive is a more experienced sales-person who only engages with qualified leads. Often, Account Executives are former SDRs who were promoted.

Sales Manager - The role of the sales manager is to keep SDRs and AEs organized and on-task. He or she is often a more experienced sales-person (who was promoted from an AE) who can coach younger people on the sales team. 

Strategic Partnership Developer - Partner development managers think differently than traditional sales managers in that they typically require more nuanced research for partner lead identification and more customised processes to close the deals. 


Social Media Manager - Social media managers are in charge of representing a company across social channels as the sole voice of the brand. They respond to comments, compile campaigns and create content. These experts provide organizations with the guidance needed to enhance their online presence.

Content Manager - The content leader is someone who “oversees all marketing-related content initiatives, both internal and external, across multiple platforms and formats to drive brand awareness, engagement, sales, retention, and other positive customer behaviours.”

Content Writer - Content, at the most basic level, is information. Content on the web takes a variety of forms: blog posts, social media posts, video and audio recordings, web pages, white papers and more. Contentwriters, therefore, specialize in written content.

Growth Hacker - A growth hacker is a quantifier: the person who knows the customer base by the numbers and knows how to measure everything by the appropriate metrics. A growth hacker is a tester: She knows how to test solutions by hand, and more importantly, how to code and automate those processes for expediency in future testing. A growth hacker is also a creative marketer

Chief Marketing Officer - A Chief Marketing Officer is responsible for the development and execution of marketing and advertising campaigns and management of the in-house marketing team. 

Customer Success

Customer Support Manager - Often also called "Customer Success Manager", they provide timely, empathetic help that keeps the customer’s needs at the forefront of every interaction. 


UX Designer  - Generally, a UX designers conduct user research, design, write UX copy, validate/test with user and sell/present the design solution to the business. It’s the UX designer’s role to be the voice of the user and advocate for the users needs while balancing the business goals.

UI Designer - User Interface Design is a crucial subset of UX. They both share the same end goal - to provide a positive experience for the user - but UI Design comprises an entirely separate leg of the journey.

Design Researcher - Design researchers carefully investigate human experience and behavior, dream up new ways to spark and distill insight, and inspire teams and clients to address people’s needs through bold, optimistic design.

Front-end Developer - A front-end developer is a type of computer programmer that codes and creates the visual front-end elements of a software, application or website. He or she creates computing components/features that are directly viewable and accessible by the end user or client.


Mobile Developer - A mobile developer creates software for mobile devices and technology, typically on AndroidApple or Windows platforms.

Back-end developer - A back-end developer is a type of programmer who creates the logical back-end and core computational logic of a website, software or information system. The developer creates components and features that are indirectly accessed by a user through a front-end application or system.

Full-stack Developer - A full stack developer has specialized knowledge across all stages of software development including servers, networks, hosting environments, relational and non-relational databases, interacting with APIs and the external world, user interface and user experience, quality assurance security as well as front-end development. 

Quality Assurance

QA (Quality Assurance) Specialist - A Quality Assurance Specialist checks the implementation of the quality system, conducts quality assurance audits and monitors and records results from processes and procedures within software applications. They continually compared results to predetermined expected ranges and take corrective measures if any deviation is found.


Talent Acquisition Managers - Talent acquisition managers are responsible for the organizational tasks of, quite simply, finding the right person for the job. In a corporate setting, it’s often placed under the human resources (HR) umbrella, and involves sourcing, attracting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding employees. 

Office Management

Office Managers - As a startup’s office manager, you’re at the operational frontline of the business. You’ll work as the startup’s organizational wunderkind, coordinating calendars, scheduling meetings, and serving as the liaison between all the different departments.


Business Systems Analyst - Business systems analysts can be called BSAs, computer systems analysts and even systems architects. But no matter the label, these professionals are defined by the goal of helping an organization operate more efficiently and effectively through the design and implementation of information technology systems.

Systems Engineer - Systems engineers are critical to the development, maintenance and security of a company’s technology infrastructure. They are responsible for installing, testing, configuring and optimizing computer hardware and software systems.

Systems Administrator - A system administrator is a professional who is held accountable for network setup, annual server maintenance such as mail servers and file servers, and much more. Based upon an organization’s requirements and other IT-related infrastructure, a system administrator is tasked with providing a reliable work environment, particularly whereby multi-user computers are associated with the LAN network.


Database Administrator - Database Administration consists of everything required to manage a database and make it available as needed. The database administrator (DBA) is the person who manages, backs up and ensures the availability of the data produced and consumed by today’s organizations via their IT systems. The DBA is a critically important role in many of today’s IT departments, and by extension, their organizations overall.

Data Architect - Data Architects build and maintain a company’s database by identifying structural and installation solutions. They work with database administrators and analysts to secure easy access to company data. Duties include creating database solutions, evaluating requirements, and preparing design reports.

Data Analyst - A data analyst collects and stores data on sales numbers, market research, logistics, linguistics, or other behaviors. They bring technical expertise to ensure the quality and accuracy of that data, then process, design and present it in ways to help people, businesses, and organizations make better decisions.

Data Scientist - Data scientists are big data wranglers. They take an enormous mass of messy data points (unstructured and structured) and use their formidable skills in math, statistics and programming to clean, manage and organize them. Then they apply all their analytic powers – industry knowledge, contextual understanding, skepticism of existing assumptions – to uncover hidden solutions to business challenges


Data Security Specialist - Security analysts ensure the information stored on computers or networks is not disclosed to unwanted parties or modified inadvertently, and may also create and maintain security systems. If the data is compromised, security analysts repair the damage and take measures to seal the security hole that enabled the data compromise.