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Wharton grads brand new service

When Wharton School MBA classmates Todd C. Peterson and John Ulrich started Foster Chamberlain nearly a year ago, they wanted something different for their Philadelphia-based consulting firm.

The company works across industries for companies ranging in size from Fortune 500 multinationals to venture capital-backed startups, helping launch new products and businesses.

Lots of people do that, Peterson admits, but few offer "EXTRAPRENEURSHIP" services, a business-development service mark term now registered to Foster Chamberlain by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The approval marks a major step toward achieving Foster Chamberlain's vision of "branding entrepreneurship," Peterson says.

Just what is this new term? It's certainly not "intrapreneurship," which Peterson defines as the entrepreneurial talent hidden inside corporations. "Why should companies confine their search for entrepreneurial talent within the firm?" Peterson inquires. Foster Chamberlain can provide "contract entrepreneurs," business professionals who have refined their skills with practice outside the company.

So, what's in a name?

"Remember how popular 're-engineering' was a couple of years ago?" Peterson counters. "CSC/Index, a very prestigious consulting firm, built an entire business around that term. When they did, the phones began to ring."

Foster Chamberlain hopes to do the same, and with an additional principal and two contract employees in the firm, they are on their way to doing just that.

Similar words abound, Peterson says, but "EXTRAPRENEURSHIP" is special, he insists.

"It's a nice, logical progression from intrapreneurship which fits nicely into this firm's plans," Peterson says. "Branding is a subset of EXTRAPRENEURSHIP," he adds. "But in addition, we can help with operations, pricing or anything you associate with starting up a new process or business."

One would think more people would know about this, but think again.

"No one challenged it when we registered the term," Peterson reports.

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September,1998 - Small Business News

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