What is an intrapreneur?

An intrapreneur is an employee who takes direct responsibility for turning new ideas into profitable new products, services, or businesses from within the existing organization.

How is an intrapreneur different from an entrepreneur?

An intrapreneur is different from an entrepreneur in that an intrapreneur has access to existing resources and networks within a company they can use to launch new ventures. Intrapreneurs risk being constrained by existing business practices or expectations and must be willing and able to challenge existing norms. And since financial and operating risks are borne by the company, intrapreneurs don’t often get the size of reward earned by successful entrepreneurs.

How does an intrapreneur contribute to corporate innovation?

Intrapreneurs can work on both incremental and disruptive innovations. Ideally they have freedom and funding to create new products or services, and are permitted to operate outside of the company’s usual routines and norms. Intrapreneurs may be a part of an ambidextrous exploratory business unit, part of an incubation unit or accelerator, or part of an innovation team.

How is an intrapreneur different from/ the same as a corporate explorer?

They are two different ways of describing the same role. Corporate Explorer is a better term because it emphasizes the importance of innovating “outside-in”, whereas the literal meaning of intrapreneur is “innovating within”, which is not an accurate or appealing description of the role.

Related Terms: