Entrepreneurs vs Intrapreneurs: What It Is

What does it take to be an entrepreneur. The fact remains, we all many of us have a desire to be a business owners. Some of us are responsible for innovation and opportunity in big businesses by being entrepreneurial intrapreneurs.

The Entrepreneur in many cases is the person that bootstraps their business to a point where they build the business of their own accord or idea to service a community’s need. The startup entrepreneur is one that looks to have an idea or a specialty that they consider to be innovative & scalable.  The startup entrepreneur sees something that is a particular need that is not served well or serviced at all.  The startup entrepreneur sees a say to build a big business in a space where previously there was no business.

The intrapreneurs is the entrepreneurial employee. This person sees or understands a set of challenges and see a unique way to service them in a larger organization.  They must go up against senior managers or time as resource challenges. The intrapreneur risks their neck, name and  brand to get things done.  The intrapreneur are not risking their resources; they are risking their job or livelihood with an innovative business solution.

The risk to take action for the entrepreneur and intrapreneur is quite different. The old saying is:

When you think of breakfast and you have bacon, eggs and milk. The cow contributed resources. The chicken contributed resources. The pig committed resources (& their life).”   The cow and the chicken are the contributing employees while the pig is the committed entrepreneur.

Both and “Entrepreneur” and an “Intrapreneur” have freedom.   Some incubators (such as Fish Bowl Labs) treat “Entrepreneurs” like “Intrapreneurs” The Entrepreneur has the freedom to organize their committed resources as they so choose and define.  The Intrapreneur has the ability to define and allocate their contributed resources as defined by the corporate structure.

Entrepreneurs vs Intrapreneurs: Funding

I’m excited when I talk about startup.  When I spoke to a great resource and business partner Marcy McDonald an expert online course producer.  What are the challenges you face? “Being a Funded Startup is a Long Shot” according to Steven Rogers, Cofounder of Redstone, LLC a funding  innovation consultant.  While 1 in 400 business gets funded, 2014 has been the best venture capital year since 2000.

  • 2014 saw $49.39 Billion in venture capital investmentan increase of 64.85%  over 2013
  • 2013 saw $29.96 Billion in venture capital investment
  • 2000 saw $105.00 Billion in venture capital investment

When people are simply thinking they will win the funding lottery, its a mistake.  You must aggressively go understand your market.  Position your product to solve the problem for the customer even before they need it.

Steven Rogers recommended Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs get a minimum viable product (MVP) with a basic focus on features and price.  The idea is you should know “How much sales expense (is required) to create revenue.”

It is far easier to get funding through purse sales than it is to get Venture Capitalist or Angel funded.

Angel funding happens when an investor puts in early seed capital.  They idea is you need less than $500,000 and perhaps have sales / customer purchase orders that need to be fulfilled.

Venture capitalized business happen when you have a much more organized going business.  The Phase 1 and Phase 2 stage of funding are usually when venture capitalized company get structured term sheets and activist investors. That being clear, you still need sales and or significant traction for you to have a shot at the rough 1 in 400 Venture Capital funding chance.

Entrepreneurs vs Intrapreneurs: Empathy

There is a real need for conversation and engagement with your customer as they live life.  We must understand what decision making process for customers.   The fact is people don’t focus on understanding how and why customers behave as they do.  People don’t look at the real need to impact the community in a way that makes a product or service invaluable.

The power of empathy is people really see that you understand their plight.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” – Zig Ziglar

The idea is understanding what drives your consumers & customers behavior put you in the best position to satisfy their urgent need.  Your focused on understanding what is driving the consumers is what makes the business valuable.  

Understanding yourself to is important.  Authentically connecting with who you are and being vulnerable put you in a position to be transparent with what your solutions are for the client.  Being in connection with yourself is important.  You must know  what really drives you.  Knowing  drive your customers allows you to positioning your product in a place that is effective for your customers before they even start the buying cycle.

Entrepreneurs vs Intrapreneurs: Taking Actiontwitter-jeremy3-1

To be frank, we are all scared to see if our idea will work. Everyone want to know the special sauce that comes with the two all beef patties pickle onion along with the lettuce and cheese. The truth is, there is no secret sauce.

Getting over the mental hurdle of doing anything is important.  Fear impacts us all, and a dear friend of mine calls it “False Evidence Appearing Real.”

If you start a program finish it. Take twitter-jasonthat action” Jeremy Frandsen “Taking that action and not quitting is the secret

People put a lot of pressure on the first product.” Jason VanOrden “They feel like it has to be the perfect thing for one. They feel like it has to be so above and beyond that its beyond reproach… You just have to put version 1 out

I am guilty.  Many times I’ve thought about what I need to do and just hadn’t done it.  I questioned was I good enough.  I questioned the ideas.  I question my solution to the idea.

Yet I know when I put it out there, it not only provides financially for my family; but it solves a problem for my audience.  That solution is needed to help people in a way that others have not helped them. With the push of my mastermind group and partners like Marcy McDonald, I will execute against that need today to inspire action of other in the future.



A key resource in this development was  Steven Rogers, Cofounder, Innovation & Product Management Practice Leader of Redstone, LLC

With over 30 years of experience in leading domestic and international product development, management, and marketing strategies, Steven Rogers’ expertise is developing and implementing go-to-market plans that exceed time-to-revenue metrics.  He leads assignments ranging from commercializing intellectual property for startups at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins to product positioning for public companies.

Mr. Rogers serves as COO & board member for a Maryland start-up now doing business in China. The company’s positive performance resulted in strong growth in its first three years, ending 2010 with revenues of $5M. With revenues of $12M in 2011, the company’s revenue increased nearly two and one-half times in one year.  Prior to co-founding Redstones LLC, Steve held positions in both start-up and large, well-established business environments, including General Manager of a $1B division of Nortel and senior positions in product design, system design, product management, marketing and business development