Chapter 16

Entrepreneur and Corporate Entrepreneur: The Challenges of Growth

We (Lois and Gina) are back to offer our final commentary on the Propel or Acceleration chapters, Chapters 14 and 15.

It is time to make an impact. You have vetted your business opportunity. Your technical, market, resource, and organization (TMRO) uncertainties have been explored, turned into learning, and provided validated knowledge about your opportunity. You are positioned to Propel. Reducing uncertainties ideally has resulted in confidence about pursuing a specific market or application space and business model. That business model has attracted initial customers—the innovators who, according to Remy (employing Rogers's view of diffusion), are those who must have every new toy. But that type of customer is not going to Propel you to grow. You need to attract a larger base of customers and build critical mass. Are the challenges of the goal of growth the same for both entrepreneurial and corporate startups? Well, yes and no.

The Ecosystem

On one level for both types of startups, successful growth is about aligning with the environment. But the environment is different for the two types. For many entrepreneurial startups, it is primarily the ecosystem in which they are embedded. The focus is often on leveraging that ecosystem to build a business. However, it could be the wrong environment—so then the issue is where to go. A university incubator or park or cosmopolitan area can be a nourishing environment ...

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