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How Can Big Businesses Innovate Like Startups?
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How Can Big Businesses Innovate Like Startups?


Being an entrepreneur (or intrapreneur) inside a big company is just as demanding as starting your own.

This is our third of four interview questions for Dr. Jeffrey Stamp. Read the other posts here and here. Dr. Stamp is the creator of Baked! Lays Potato Chips for PepsiCo’s snack division, Frito Lay, and leader of seven successful startups. Dr. Stamp helps entrepreneurs and students worldwide awaken their untapped creative abilities and accelerate discovery thinking.

We will see Dr. Stamp in action at Thinkfest on September 28, 2016, when nearly 200 students will join him for a day of creativity and innovation at John Carroll University.

JeffStampVeale Forum: Here is our third question for you, Dr. Stamp. As you know, launching a startup isn’t for everyone. Some entrepreneurs prefer to work in established companies. Tell us, where does the entrepreneur fit within a big company and how do established businesses innovate?

Stamp: Boy, this is a loaded question! Well, to be honest, many big companies innovate by simply buying up smaller companies and the entrepreneurs who started them through a merger or acquisition. Have you heard the term acquihire? An acquihire is when a company buys another primarily for its talented staff along with its products and services. Additionally, I work with many entrepreneurs whose primary goal is to be bought by a bigger company. This sometimes is called having a “successful exit.” The entrepreneur builds the company with the goal of selling it and exiting the business, then moving on to the next venture. This is how serial entrepreneurs are born.

But, back to your question. Many established companies have dedicated innovation teams or design labs that are responsible for creating and commercializing innovations. I had a job like that at Frito-Lay where our team was tasked with coming up with an innovation in snacks. This is how we pursued the concept of a better-for-you snack that ultimately became the Baked! Lays® Potato Crisps that you can buy in stores today. Being an entrepreneur inside a big company is just as demanding and challenging as starting your own company.

Looking for more information on intrapreneurship? Look, here.

More About Dr. Jeffrey Stamp
Dr. Stamp was awarded the prestigious student-nominated Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Award from the Acton Foundation. He has loaned his talents to Eureka! Ranch and University of North Dakota, where was a chaired assistant professor of entrepreneurship. He conducts workshops worldwide. A learning session with Dr. Stamp is a thrill ride for your brain!

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