Should You Pitch to Your Employer for Capital or Not?

You or you and a small team have a powerful idea and become convinced it can launch a successful new enterprise. It is in related industry, but different markets than the one your current employer competes. Your team develops a business plan in off-hours, and becomes highly energized by the possibilities.

At some point in the process, you have an important choice to make: should you propose the idea to leadership at your company or just go out on your own? That is exactly the situation my startup team faced as we completed our initial business plan for an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Equipment business. Three of the factors we considered in our decision were: legal or ethical obligations, company climate, and our standing in the company

Our employer, Stryker, did not compete in the EMS market. Stryker’s various divisions sold products to hospitals. EMS was a pre-hospital business. While there were ties at the customer level, less than 10 percent of EMS services were hospital owned. Stryker’s marketing team had investigated EMS in the past and decided to pass. We thought that analysis lacked imagination….

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