Building the Intrapreneurial Ecosystem in Start-ups



Intrapreneurship is the integration of start-up methods in a corporate environment.

Challenging time demands Smart solutions! This is what they say for smart organizations. As the novel COVID 19, the pandemic has staggered operations, it becomes imperative to assemble smart ideas for effective leadership. Undoubtedly, a one-person army cannot build a successful organization. And, a herd without a shepherd will be most probably lost while finding its way through the competition. Moreover, good entrepreneurship demands segregated ideas with individual leadership. That’s where the concept of intrapreneurship comes to the rescue.

Intrapreneurship can be defined as the integration of start-up methods in a corporate environment. Unlike Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs focus on merging digital innovations in an organizational setup. They facilitate multichannel interactions and aids in the reconciliation process from bottom-up to top-down to innovation. Some experts refer to intrapreneurs as a diplomatic rebel. Moreover, experts ascertain that the organizations that have an intrapreneurial environment are likely to develop-in house innovations.

Though the task of establishing an intrapreneurial culture seems easy, it is complex. In this article, we will observe some areas pointed by experts that can facilitate the establishment of intrapreneurial culture.

Layered Layer of Intrapreneurial Ecosystems

Just like Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs celebrate innovative ideas and nurtures them till it turns out something productive. But intrapreneurs are usually the employees of an organization, with access to the organizations’ resources and capabilities. For a healthy start-up ecosystem, the attributes of intrapreneurship are similar to entrepreneurship. This includes culture, policy, financial systems, business networks, technology in business human capital, infrastructure, markets and so on, which accelerates entrepreneurial success.

But as intrapreneurship has its challenges about policies and cultures that the entrepreneurs need to address. This implies the exploitation of resources above and beyond the existing core competencies. Undoubtedly, this is similar to entrepreneurship works, but studies suggest that for successful intrapreneurship, disruptive innovation will be the driving force for concrete organizations.


The culture

Another effective approach that experts point out while planning out the intrapreneurial transformation is  a reassurance to the intrapreneurs that the organizations will “have their back”, and will appreciate the risks are taking. As intrapreneurs are motivated by the thrill of taking risks, it becomes imperative for organizations to undergo a cultural transformation. This includes empowerment, agility, and flexibility. Moreover, experts assert in deciding the cultural traits where the intrapreneurs work in.


The Policy

Different Entrepreneurs have different Policies. And policies drive other factors of entrepreneurial success. For any successful intrapreneurial establishment, the leaders and organizations must keep in mind the tenants of this success before articulating policies. Experts point out that a well-articulated policy becomes the guiding principle for larger ecosystems.


The Superstructure of Intrapreneurial ecosystem 

Like any organization, an intrapreneurial setup also has structures that aid in the functioning of the ecosystem. Vidyut Navelkar, the principal innovation evangelist of TCS in his blog post, says that the intrapreneurial ecosystem’s structure is to be in the form of concentric circles. The first circle implies an intrapreneurship cell or incubator with capabilities of intrapreneurs like technical and business mentoring, design capabilities, sandbox environments, and similar elements.

The second circle is known as “Organizational subsystems,” would look at functions such as finance, HR, infrastructure, legal, business, and R&D, and will be aligned with organizational policies.

The outermost circle is known as “External Systems,” will include customers. Partners, government bodies, regulators, etc. will be either working directly with intrapreneurs or through elements in the third layer.



Like any new technology or system, the intrapreneurial ecosystem also can degrade under the dearth of governance. Hence leaders and organizations need to focus and vigilant, with providing constant guidance and governance for the success of this evolving ecosystem.