Corporations Develop Social-Impact Ventures at The Intrapreneur Lab


The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise is in New York City hosting The Intrapreneur Lab, an innovative, hands-on program for business managers designed to steer their new ventures to success.

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University is hosting the second Intrapreneur Lab in New York City on May 20-22, 2014. The program – a partnership with Accenture Development Partnerships, Business Fights Poverty, and Leadership Laboratories – helps corporations launch profitable ventures that hold potential for positive social impact.   

Participants enter the Lab with an idea or early stage project. The program kicks-off in New York City with 3-days of intensive coaching by leading social entrepreneurs and experts, including the founder of Vodaphone’s M-Pesa, Nick Hughes; Amit Mehra of Reuter’s Market Light; the global managing director of Accenture’s Institute for High Performance, Robert Thomas; and Erik Simanis of Cornell’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise.

“The Lab is an intimate setting that helps corporations fast-track their ventures,” said Erik Simanis, managing director of Market Creation Strategies and core faculty member of the Lab. “It provides them deep exposure to the accumulated learnings of leading companies and doers in the field.”

The three-day session is followed by a 3-month incubator-phase in which participants receive a combination of consulting support from Accenture Development Partnerships, executive coaching from Leadership Laboratories, and introductions to social enterprise experts through Business Fights Poverty. The end-goal is to help participants build a sound business case and a rigorous plan to pilot test their ideas.

The Intrapreneur Lab was first held in October 2013 at Oxford University with managers from Barclays, GSK and Novartis. Companies participating in the New York City program include Mars, Barclays, Cemex, and Pearson. The next Lab will be held in Oxford in the fall with a fourth planned for South Africa in the winter.