<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=443149619225659&ev=PageView&noscript=1"> Intrapreneurs:  3 Ways To Build A Startup Within Your Company

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Intrapreneurs:  3 Ways To Build A Startup Within Your Company

Intrapreneurs:  3 Ways To Build A Startup Within Your Company

Business needs for new software development have been growing exponentially. Software innovation and technology are driving business, enabling new business models and redefining customer experiences. Companies of all sizes, in order to survive and thrive, need to adapt and innovate. To do so requires the startup mentality of an intrapreneur.

Intrapreneurs are powerful assets to a software development team. These employees treat the company like it’s their own, and they possess unwavering dedication, passion and integrity.

Intrapreneurs take initiative and find solutions to your company’s largest problems. They’re willing to try new approaches and often think creatively. Although they don’t own a business, these employees have the mindset of an entrepreneur. Essentially, they build a startup within your software development team.

To encourage intrapreneurship within your organization, it’s critical you give your employees an opportunity to work on a project of their choice. The best way to do this is by hosting events where your employees can work in teams to come up with new software product ideas.

Here are three ways to build a startup, encourage intrapreneurship and foster software innovation within your organization:

1. FedEx Day

FedEx Day is a 24-hour event in which employees deliver innovation to their company. During this 24-hour time frame, your employees are not interrupted for regular work and have total control over the project they choose to work on.

Each team member decides what to work on, who to work with and how to create the software. In short, FedEx Day is about boosting software innovation, motivation and creativity by allowing your team to focus on a project of their choice.

Another similar event is a Hackathon, also known as Hackfest or Codefest, is an event where computer programmers and those involved in software development collaborate intensively on software projects. Hackathons last anywhere from a day to a week, with the goal of creating a usable software application during that time frame.

When asked to come up with new ideas, your employees may feel overwhelmed or pressured. Hackathons give your team members the opportunity to work on something they’re passionate about in a creative, safe environment. By the end of the Hackathon, your employees will generate new, innovative software applications for your organization.

2. Innovation Vacation

When your employees are busy working in their day-to-day roles, it’s difficult to find additional time to be innovative. That’s why it’s a good idea to give your employees an innovation vacation.

During this time, your employees are free to focus on innovative activities, such as brainstorming new product ideas or building out new software. The idea is to give employees a break from their regular work roles so they can pursue and promote new ideas of their choice.

It may sound counterintuitive, but being overburdened with work ultimately hurts your employees’ creativity and your business. By providing employees a break from their day-to-day routines, they will feel more refreshed and ready to tackle new projects.

3. Fund Initiatives

Set aside budget for intrapreneurial initiatives. Providing “seed money” will motivate intrapreneurs and help them get their ventures off the ground without delay. Intrapreneurs still have to do the business planning and pitch their ideas in order to get funding, but they won’t have to wait on a lengthy and cyclical budgeting process.

Organizations need intrapreneurs who generate new business growth, spearhead innovative software projects, take on leadership roles and embrace change. Encourage your employees to work on projects they’re passionate about by hosting events such as a FedEx Day, give employees an innovation vacation, and make sure set aside budget to fund initiatives. Lastly, don’t forget to reward intrapreneurial behavior through both public and private recognition, as nothing motivates like acknowledgement. In addition to boosting employee morale, your business benefits from software innovation.

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About the author

Richard is CEO of Small Footprint. He worked for several start-up companies before starting Small Footprint. He spent 15 years working and living in Eastern Europe, during which time he built and managed operations across 5 countries for start-up telecoms provider eTel Group (later purchased by Telecom Austria), and also served as an early Sr. Manager for Hungarian telco Novacom, forging strategic international partnerships and new product development. In 2003 he saw the opportunity to leverage the exceptional software engineering talent of the region to provide global IT services and established Small Footprint. Small Footprint is celebrating its 15 year anniversary this year, having established an exceptional company culture envied by many.

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