May 18, 2017

8 a.m. – 12 p.m.


University of California, San Diego
Rady School of Management
Center for Executive Development


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Maps & Directions

“As an organization gets bigger and more mature, there is a tendency to soften up on the original entrepreneurial culture – any corporate innovation initiative should emphasize that the opposite should occur – mature companies in more mature markets face greater challenges and the need for faster change and continued growth can only be met with increased flexibility, adaptability, and innovation, which translates to an even greater level of entrepreneurial capabilities as the ultimate source of competitive advantage.”

Ricardo dos Santos

About the Program

In this 4 hour short course, students will learn the basics of how large corporations currently manage innovation and how they are gradually returning to their entrepreneurial roots, adopting the risk-taking philosophy, methods and tools of the venture capital and startup community. 

The course agenda includes:

  • The innovation imperative for large corporations and the need to adopt entrepreneurial thinking and methods 
  • How large corporations currently view and manage innovation including growth strategy, structures, processes, and people
  • How innovation actually happens inside large companies (the roles of intrapreneurs, managers and executives) – Case study examples
  • The usual impediments to corporate intrapreneurship (Lack of time, skills, connections, resources & incentives) and how to effectively overcome them
  • The “Intrapreneur’s DNA” methodology (Discovery, Networking & Acceleration of radical ideas)
  • Systemic change one can propose to their company to catalyze the internal entrepreneurial spirit and behavior – Case study examples and discussion of student’s experiences
  • Turning intra-preneurial pursuits into a career 

Learning Objectives

After taking this class, students should be able to:

  • Understand how to view and define innovation from the large corporation’s perspective
  • Understand the balance between top-down and bottoms-up innovation approaches
  • Recognize the importance of corporate intrapreneurship as a growing lever of innovation
  • Articulate the key roles played by employees, managers, advisors & executive sponsors to drive innovation
  • Identify systemic enablers and challenges to corporate entrepreneurship
  • Understand how intrapreneurial champions and small teams can develop, prove and convince internal sponsors to support and fund radical new ideas
  • Understand what it takes to pursue one’s own ideas inside a large company and how to pursue innovation as a career path


  • Anyone considering a career or currently in a creative, corporate discipline including research and development, design and user experience, engineering, product management, corporate development, corporate venture capital, strategy and new business development
  • Anyone considering a career as an entrepreneur or as a corporate entrepreneur
  • Anyone currently working in a large company wanting to make a difference of how the company innovates and how it embraces intrapreneurial behavior and VC-like funding mechanisms (individual contributor, manager or executive) 


Ricardo dos Santos is a leading expert on entrepreneurship and innovation, having amassed more than 20 years experience driving internal ventures at major corporations and founding and leading early stage startups.

In 2012, Ricardo brought that experience and his vast knowledge of the Lean Startup methodology he learned directly under its creator, Steve Blank to Biological Dynamics, a molecular diagnostics startup focused on oncology. Serving as Biological Dynamics’ chief business officer, Ricardo has helped the company search for a scalable business model while successfully securing multiple rounds of funding.

Before joining the executive team at Biological Dynamics, Ricardo helped set the standard for successful corporate entrepreneurship as the senior director of business development at Qualcomm.

While there in 2006, he created Venture Fest, an internal accelerator that turned out dozens of successful business ventures, capturing the attention of leading Fortune 500 companies in the process. The program graduated thousands of volunteer participants worldwide, and pioneered numerous new growth areas for Qualcomm. The effort garnered Ricardo companywide leadership recognition in 2009.

Ricardo started his career as a Lean Industrial Engineer at a Ford/Volkswagen joint venture in Portugal, Auto-Europa. He then devoted several years to working in the mobile industry, founding professional services practices for startup companies Mobilocity and Wireless Knowledge.

A former management consultant for The Boston Consulting Group, Ricardo has published numerous articles on corporate innovation. He is a lecturer at San Diego State University, teaching courses on Entrepreneurship and Innovation and he is also a part-time speaker and advisor on Lean Innovation to Fortune 500 companies.

Ricardo holds a BS & MS degrees in systems & industrial engineering from Louisiana State University, as well as an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Ricardo lives in America's finest city, San Diego, with his wife Vanessa and two children, Raquel and Sebastian.