In today’s rapidly changing industries, the survival of established organization often depends on strong corporate innovation.

Both small and large companies often find themselves impacted by the constant shift in consumer preferences and the inevitable rise of industry disruptors. Incumbents must embrace corporate innovation and dedicate the time, energy, and resources to allow their intrapreneurs to flourish and breathe life into new ideas, products, and services.

RIC Centre and Spyder Works collaborate on Intraprise

To aid in corporate innovation and intrapreneurship, RIC Centre and Spyder Works are collaborating on Intraprise, a program that will help business leaders and intrapreneurs bring new ideas, products, services, and divisions to market.

Spyder Works collaborating with the RIC Centre will help enhance and bring the program to market as the two come together to share resources.

Intraprise looks for teams of two to participate in their program, with one being the “mentor,” or an established business leader within the company they represent, and the other being the “intrapreneur,” or a next generation leader that has an idea for a product, service, or division. The program is tailored for progressive companies who are willing to enroll both a seasoned leader and a next generation leader to try to accelerate their ideas to market.

According to Ken Tencer, CEO of Spyder Works, Intraprise is a focused program that begins with an assessment and intake process where his team will meet with the intrapreneur and the mentor to ensure that they both share the same vision, definition of success, and plan for commercialization. The program comprises of five stages, or modules, that incorporate both an online component and a half-day workshop. Participants receive a blended learning experience with in-person sessions where they can work with coaches and their team members.

“One of the strongest parts of the collaboration will be sharing the success stories, sharing the resources, and sharing the knowledge that RIC has helped to foster and develop over the years and bring it together into our cause,” Tencer remarks.

The importance of innovation to existing corporates

As Tencer notes, innovation is important for existing corporates because companies are constantly being impacted by the hyper pace of change. Innovation allows companies to remain ahead of the competition, while also giving employees the opportunity to contribute to the progression of the business. Corporate innovation engages individuals within organizations and encourages them to share new ideas for company growth.

“Innovation, the act of having an idea, and bringing it to market to push your organization forward and to better engage your customers and your team members becomes much more important,” Tencer says.

Intrapreneurship offers a dualistic benefit, says Tencer. Corporate innovation not only provides companies with a continuous stream of new ideas, but also engages more people to avoid company burnout. In addition to this, Tencer describes that a latent benefit of intrapreneurship and corporate innovation is that it “helps attract, engage, and retain the best and brightest of the next generation.”

In his article “Building a Corporate-Startup Partnership? Here’s What Will Help Make it Successful,” Pat Riley writes that partnerships can help transform corporates into more adaptable, innovative companies. Startups can provide corporates with avenues to innovative opportunities that can align with the company’s goals as well as increase employment potential.


How can corporates generate innovation?

To successfully integrate innovation into existing corporates, Tencer recommends using a growth assessment tool to understand the company’s level of cooperation and collaboration, ability to learn, ability to pivot, and ability to innovate. Before moving forward, understand what success may look like for your organization, how many ideas you need, and how many markets you plan to target to assess which of the opportunities you should pursue. Identify who the leaders are to build a strong team around them.

Strive for focus, discipline, and creativity as your company works towards creating a product, service, or division that will better engage your market.

Collaboration can benefit corporates and early stage companies

Innovation and collaboration between corporates and early stage companies can benefit both the existing company and the startup. Tencer explains that the RIC Centre’s First Look events allows corporates to see what is new and innovative in the industry. Interaction between corporates and early stage companies provides corporates with insights into novel ideas while offering early stage companies a greater understanding of the market and commercialization.

A partnership between a startup and a corporate functions as mutually beneficial. Coporates become more innovative. Startups receive steady revenue, industry connections, access to new markets, and opportunities to scale.

“That’s what I love about places like the RIC Centre—it’s a portal to corporates and to potential financing. I think the hub the RIC Centre provides us is a perfect bridge between the corporate and startup worlds,” Tencer says.

For corporates who want to promote innovation and intrapreneurship in their company, but are unsure how to approach it, Tencer highlights the importance of programs like Intraprise that help bring mentors and intrapreneurs together. Events such as RIC Centre’s First Look also provide corporates with a pathway to access and partner with innovative, high-potential startups.

“I think it’s important for Mississauga as a city to have the RIC Centre as one of its assets. And I think that its ability to incubate new ideas and to help be a magnet for entrepreneurs is so important. Today, as you know, entrepreneurship melds into intrapreneurship, so I think that it was a natural opportunity to work together,” Tencer says in reference to the collaboration. “[RIC Centre’s] programs, reputation, facility, how you help ideas come to market and how we do that with or within larger corporates, it’s just a perfect opportunity to come together and amplify Mississauga’s assets in the areas of innovation and intrapreneurship.”

Want more information?

The cost of the Intraprise Program is per project and includes coaching and resources for one intrapreneur, one mentor, and one new project. For more information on the program and Canada-Ontario Job Grant qualification, or to register, contact