Established and Expanding: Intrapreneurship vs. Acquisition — A Deep Dive

Nitin Gupta
4 min readApr 29, 2024

Congratulations! Your company’s a success story.

You’ve built a loyal customer base and honed a fantastic product, and things are running smoothly. But every ambitious company hungers for growth.

The question now is, how do you expand? Two main paths lie before you: intrapreneurship and acquisition.

This blog delves into both, helping you choose the right growth strategy for your established company.

Intrapreneurship: Cultivating Innovation Within

Imagine a vibrant innovation lab tucked neatly within your existing company. That’s the essence of intrapreneurship. You empower a dedicated, agile team to brainstorm and develop groundbreaking new ideas and products here. It’s like nurturing a startup within your established organisation.

The Beauty of Intrapreneurship:

  • Culture of Creativity: Intrapreneurship fosters an environment where innovation thrives. This energises your entire company and attracts top talent who crave the opportunity to invent.
  • Leveraging What You Know: Your intrapreneurial team benefits immensely from existing company knowledge and resources. Brand recognition, customer base, and internal expertise are potent tools for their new venture.
  • Long-Term Growth Engine: Intrapreneurship holds the potential to unlock groundbreaking ideas that can become your company’s future pillars, driving long-term growth and resilience

Challenges of Intrapreneurship:

  • The Slow Burn: Building something revolutionary takes time. Patience is vital — results might not materialise overnight. Be prepared for a dedicated effort before reaping the rewards.
  • Bureaucracy Blues: Large companies can get bogged down by layers of approval processes. This can stifle the creativity and agility that intrapreneurship thrives on. Streamlining procedures becomes crucial.
  • Resource Allocation: Intrapreneurship requires dedication of resources, both financial and human. You’ll need to carve out a slice of your existing budget and workforce to fuel the new venture, requiring careful balancing.

Acquisition: The Fast Track to Growth

Acquisition is the polar opposite of intrapreneurship. Here, you bypass the development stage and purchase an existing company that already boasts the product or service you’re interested in.

It’s a shortcut to market expansion and a broader product portfolio.

The Benefits of Acquisition:

  • Instantaneous Impact: Acquisitions let you instantly acquire established products and technologies. You gain immediate market presence, eliminating the need for years of development.
  • Expertise Infusion: The acquired company becomes a valuable source of talent and expertise. Their existing skills and knowledge can be critical, especially in specialised areas.
  • Market Share Boost: Acquisitions can significantly increase your market share, propelling you towards a dominant position within your industry.

The Drawbacks of Acquisition:

  • Integration Inferno: Merging two companies can be a complex and messy process. Cultural clashes, operational integration hurdles, and employee morale concerns can all erupt. Careful planning and communication are vital.
  • Pricey Proposition: Acquisitions don’t come cheap. Meticulous valuation is crucial to ensure the cost of buying the company is justified by the potential benefits it brings.
  • Innovation Stifled: Sometimes, acquired companies lose their innovative spirit after being integrated into a larger structure. Fostering a culture that encourages continued creativity is essential.

Choosing Your Path: It’s All About Context

There’s no magic bullet when it comes to choosing a growth strategy.

The ideal path for your company depends on several factors you need to consider:

  • Time Horizon: The acquisition might be more suitable if immediate results are critical. However, intrapreneurship could be a better fit if you’re willing to invest in long-term development.
  • Resource Richness: Can you dedicate resources like personnel and budget to a new venture? If yes, intrapreneurship might be feasible. However, if resources are tight, acquisition becomes a more attractive option.
  • Cultural Canvas: Consider your company culture. Does it embrace risk-taking and new ideas? A culture that fosters innovation is more conducive to intrapreneurship.
  • Market Landscape: Is there an existing company that perfectly complements your business and offers the capabilities you seek? If so, the acquisition might be a quicker route to achieve your goals.

Beyond the Binary: Combining Strategies

The beauty is that you’re not limited to a single approach. Many companies use a combination of intrapreneurship and acquisition to fuel their growth.

Perhaps you use intrapreneurship to develop cutting-edge new products while simultaneously acquiring smaller companies to broaden your market reach in the short term.

The Final Word: Planning for Success

Ultimately, the key to success lies not in choosing the “right” path but in choosing the path that best aligns with your goals, resources, and market position.

Whichever strategy you choose, ensure you have a clear vision for growth, a well-defined plan for execution, and a dedicated team passionate about driving the strategy forward.

Strong leadership and clear communication are essential to navigate the challenges and maximise the benefits of either intrapreneurship or acquisition.



Nitin Gupta

CEO @ WebMob Software Solutions | Pioneering FinTech Revolution | Creator of 8+ Money Markets & NFT Marketplaces | Influencing the Future of DLT, Web3, and Life