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17 December, 2021 - 22:23 By Tony Quested

New Cambridge University Impulse venture fosters intrapreneurship

The University of Cambridge Impulse Programme, created to nurture the brilliant minds of international academia, business and research organisations, is now offering its entrepreneurial course to help organisations develop an intrapreneurial ethos and accelerate innovative change.

The rapid pace of technology and industry digitalisation, fuelled by the COVID-19 crisis, is driving innovation in business more than ever. 

With a crisis often comes an opportunity, and the pandemic is no exception, presenting the opportunity for change and growth in many industries. Responding to the rapidly changing needs of individuals and companies while capitalising on growth opportunities needs a company culture conducive to innovation.

According to McKinsey & Company, most executives agree that innovating their business will be critical. Though, pursuing new growth opportunities is a challenge that few executives feel equipped to face, with just 21 per cent stating they have the expertise, resources and commitment. 

Entrepreneur Phil O’Donovan actively contributes throughout the Impulse Programme, including presenting the keynote, delivering workshops, and mentoring participants. 

During his career, Phil has helped many businesses evolve and grow – from implementing pioneering innovations for large corporates and advising top-level executives on developing their corporate innovation culture and strategy to helping startups grow into market leaders.

He said: “In the same way that quality control can’t be added at the last minute, like a coat of paint, innovation is the same – it must permeate the organisation.

“It is a company-wide ethos that enables diverse groups across the organisation to unite with clear objectives, priorities and focus.”

Building on the success of its innovators’ course which attracts leading organisations including CDT, a Sumitomo Chemical Group company, and the National Physical Laboratory, the Impulse Programme is now welcoming intrapreneurs. 

Dr Martina Pintani, Principal Scientist, Corporate Venturing and Innovation team, at CDT commented: “For innovation to thrive, it needs collaboration and support. 

“The Impulse Programme provides an interactive environment where ideas are shared, challenged and refined – supporting our innovative work with industry and academic partners.”

The intrapreneurial approach provides a supportive environment for individuals who want to energise and maintain or strengthen entrepreneurial thinking and skills within their organisation. 

Creating a collaborative learning experience, the programme brings together intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs and provides the resources needed to drive corporate change and support the success of a new business idea.

O’Donovan added: “An ability to continuously learn from others is a skill that is key to innovative thinking. The programme will provide the network and knowledge that will help intrapreneurs accelerate their innovative ideas.”

The 12-week hybrid Impulse Programme kicks off on 26th April 2022. Applications can be submitted by visiting the Impulse Programme website

If you are interested in your organisation partnering with the Impulse Programme, please email Yupar Myint at: impulse [at] The deadline for the next cohort is 20 March 2022.

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