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Launching new businesses in a corporate enterprise

January 30, 2023
clock 5 MIN READ

As well-established companies seek to ignite new growth opportunities, they often set their sights on new business ideas that can foster revenues and profitability. However, launching new businesses, especially within a corporate enterprise, often comes with inherent challenges that can create barriers to realizing success. Some come in the form of how well-established firms think: the mindsets, risk appetite, and mental models that come with long-term success. Other challenges are more tangible, focused on the methodologies, skills, and strengths needed to launch a new business.

Create enabling platforms to set the stage.

In order to bring new businesses to life, corporate enterprises must find a way to consistently generate new business ideas, test those ideas, and launch businesses at scale. The best way to achieve this is by leveraging a set of enabling platforms. These are centralized processes and resources that allow for the cultivation, scale, and investment in new business ideas that emanate from internal employees [intrapreneurs] and external founders [entrepreneurs]. They are designed to provide a scalable, repeatable, and measurable process to take a raw business idea from “zero to one,” including the creation of a minimum viable product (MVP). Once product-market-fit has been proven, the platforms will take the idea from “one to X,” enabling business and technical scale to drive new revenue growth. Lastly, the platforms provide for initial capital investment and redeployment to cultivate accelerated growth.

The platforms leverage industry-proven models that, when integrated together, create the greatest likelihood of success. Executing and delivering platforms within a corporate environment requires the company to make a commitment of resources, operating budget, investment capital, and mindset shift.

“We have an idea [internal or external], capital, tools, and the resources to develop it. We will work to cultivate this idea and identify if there is a product-market-fit.”

Platform 1: Launching a corporate venture studio

A venture studio aims to create multiple companies in rapid succession by leveraging specific resources, skills, capital, and methodologies. Its resources and infrastructure are focused solely on creating startups from the ground up; it dedicates time, effort, methodologies, technologies, and unique business-building expertise to create an efficient company-building machine. The venture studio often pools its human capital, technical tools, and skills to build several businesses in a year.


  • A venture studio builds companies, which takes an idea from 0-1.
  • The venture studio takes an idea to MVP, through to initial launch with iterative pivots and learning.
  • The intent is to determine if there is a product-market fit and business growth opportunity.
  • Not all ideas get to MVP, as the process and tools will provide line of sight via prototypes and market feedback to determine product-market fit.
  • The venture studio leverages design thinking, lean startup, and stage-gate resourcing and funding which includes entry criteria, KPIs, and exit criteria.
  • The key outcome is driving to an MVP with proven product-market fit.

“Let’s take a startup business [internal or external] with proven product-market-fit, put them into a program and teach them/help them to grow, scale, and mature the business.”

Platform 2: Launch a corporate accelerator

An accelerator is a fixed-duration, cohort-based program that includes mentorship, resources, infrastructure, educational components, and capital, and culminates in a pitch event/demo day to corporate stakeholders and potentially external investors. It’s a tool that enables emergent growth companies to gather the knowledge, and leverage methodologies and resources to rapidly scale.

Corporate accelerators often leverage enterprise resources and know-how to provide holistic advice to the startups, and combine this with external resources with entrepreneurial experience. The goal of an accelerator is to help the business scale, reach profitability, and meet the right connections for distribution, funding, and PR. Accelerators have a host of benefits independent of launching new businesses, but when aligned to a new business launch strategy, they can provide unique benefits to help foster success.


  • An accelerator takes a business that has proven product-market fit and an MVP, and creates business and technical scale [takes it from one to X].
  • The accelerator matures and scales the team, business model, go-to-market strategy, technology, implementation, sales, support, legal, compliance, service, etc.
  • The accelerator leverages lean startup, agile development, and stage-gate resourcing and funding which includes entry criteria, KPIs, and exit criteria.
  • The key outcome is driving to a scalable business that creates material revenue growth.

“This startup is ahead of the pack using emerging technologies or a unique business model, and we can learn and partner with them to drive growth, and equally have an opportunity to win financially.”

Platform 3: Launch a corporate venture capital unit

A corporate venture capital unit (CVC) deploys investment capital for building and scaling new businesses. It also invests in emerging technologies or business models that may be catalysts for growth, enable the launch of new platforms or products, or enhance the enterprise’s overall business value. While corporate venture capital units can be financially focused, such as Google Ventures, strategic-focused CVCs are most successful for launching new businesses or providing strategic value to the corporate enterprise and clients.


  • A corporate venture capital unit deploys investment capital for building and scaling new businesses or exploring emerging technologies or business models.
  • The deployment of capital for early stage firms (A/B/C) is focused on enabling the launch of new platforms or product offerings, or enhancing the enterprise’s overall business value through the acceleration of strategic roadmaps or the creation of strategic partnerships.
  • The corporate venture capital unit utilizes a detailed, efficient, and scalable investment process that includes startup engagement, due diligence, investment execution, and strategic value extraction.
  • The key outcomes include funding new business ideas, strategic partnerships that expand revenue penetration in existing markets, the acceleration of revenue capture opportunities with key roadmap deliverables, and/or producing positive investment returns.

Building brave futuresSM

Launching a truly new business can be challenging for corporate enterprises. Their history of success and DNA tends to guide them to incremental growth opportunities where the markets, clients, products, and services are familiar. And there’s nothing wrong with incremental growth—adding products and services that existing markets and clients find valuable.

However, the true growth opportunity lies in launching new businesses that can transform the growth trajectory of the enterprise. These ventures can reach brand-new and adjacent markets with fresh business models, products, and services. By introducing a corporate venture studio, accelerator, and corporate venture capital unit, enterprises can build brave futures out of new business growth opportunities. 

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