Intrapreneurship (really) in action. The case of Enagás

Beyond focusing on finding startups from outside, Enagás (the main natural gas transport company in Spain) decided to stimulate startups from inside.


It is what are called spin-off companies, i.e. innovative startups originated by their own employees.


In less than 4 years, Enagás was able to launch 7 startups (such as Gas2move, E4Efficiency) that have already created over 160 new jobs. This makes Enagás experience quite relevant.


This makes Enagás one of the most interesting benchmarks at international level re: intrapreneurship, where, out of the several attempts, very few corporates have produced significant results.


That’s why I asked Marcelino Oreja, CEO at Enagás, to stop by at Mind the Bridge and share insights how the Enagas’s Intrapreneurship Program actually work. In detail. ‘Cause:


the (open innovation) devil is the detail.


In our podcast you can find all the questions I asked Marcelino and his answers. We went through:

  • how they select the ideas from entrepreneurs;
  • how they select the startups companies to be created at the end of the initial acceleration program;
  • how the relation between the new created startup and Enagás works;
  • how the cap table of the new company looks like;
  • how Enagas’s Intrapreneurship Program contributed in transforming the company’s culture;
  • success stories, roadblocs, and anecdotes.

Definitively a lot to learn, if you are interested in the topic.

A final comment. You have probably heard me multiple time saying that, at the end, the main differentiator between open innovation actions that do work (a few) and open innovation programs that do not (the vast majority) is top level buy-in.


I decided to interview the CEO of Enagás because he is the real driver of the initiative inside the company. Marcelino envisioned it, he has backing it up since then, and he is regularly spending part of his time in the process and with the startups that have been originated.


BTW, Marcelino is a former entrepreneur who sold its company to a large corporate. Then he knows what it takes and the internal – corporate – barriers that have to be circumvented. The largest one being, as Marcelino says:


Inside the European corporates we are still too much frightened to fail

Enjoy the show.