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Connecting the dots

Hamza Bilgen with colleges

The path of an intrapreneur is never a straight line. Rather, it is a dynamic route created by connecting dots – from one role to the next, one project to the next, and one experience to the next.

Hamza Bilgen has been connecting the dots for years. In high school, he launched a short-lived start-up that taught valuable lessons. Later, he experienced the fast-paced intrapreneurial life as part of the Bosch Discovery Disruption Team. Then during his time at Bosch Turkey – whether as Project Manager or Intrapreneurship Program Lead – he added to his arsenal of knowledge.

For Hamza, the more dots connected, the easier it is to see the bigger picture. Today that means serving as Business Development Manager at Copperdot, a grow platform start-up focusing on printed circuit boards. Every day, Hamza explores new business opportunities and validates scalability for the growing company.

Do-it-all mentality

Hamza Bilgen

Do it all mentality

Although an expert in many technical areas, Hamza sees himself as an all-around innovator, capable of moving from one field to the next with the ability to overcome any challenge.

"I want to be a generalist, a person who connects dots." Hamza Bilgen

It’s not that he wants to fill his plate with additional tasks and responsibilities. Rather, he’s ready to assist wherever needed, lending his years of expertise regarding business growth and interpersonal dynamics.

It’s a major difference from his corporate experiences, where Hamza primarily handled well-framed tasks. “For me, the best thing is to be somewhere where I can connect all the dots because I’m able to understand every field of innovation: feasibility, viability, and desirability,” says Hamza. Working in such a small team at Copperdot makes this not only doable, but also highly rewarding.

The unstoppable intrapreneurial spirit

Every dot along Hamza’s path has one thing in common: a relentless intrapreneurial spirit. In 2016, Hamza was driven by his bold attitude to apply to the Disruption Discovery Team, a former Bosch initiative centered around cultivating disruptive business ideas. It’s no surprise that he was selected among roughly 1,800 applications to join the small team.

If you seek disruptive innovations, you have to challenge everything.

Hamza Bilgen

As part of this team based in Germany, Hamza worked at intrapreneurial speeds while developing a business model for a full laundry service operation. While the experience only lasted two months, it was another monumental dot on his journey.

Returning to Turkey, Hamza took a position as Senior Industry 4.0 Project Manager, then established a regional start-up initiative for Bosch Turkey and the Middle East. Separate from grow platform, this initiative focused on finding good business models that could support regional growth for Bosch.

After two business models from this initiative, Hamza connected his next dot: he joined grow platform with the goal to disrupt everything in a whole new way.

Hamza Bilgen with a college

From grow platform to Copperdot

Hamza Bilgen and colleges

Hamza first joined grow platform as a Business Development Manager, helping start-ups to expand. While highly rewarding, he followed his intrapreneurial spirit even further, transitioning from grow platform to one of its start-ups, Copperdot, working in the same role.

Rather than performing specialized tasks, Hamza uses his vast knowledge and wide-ranging perspectives to thrive in a variety of areas. He says, “Small start-up teams like Copperdot need a person who can do multiple roles at once. This is my area of expertise, and I can touch multiple topics and use all my skills combined.”

I am more valuable to the team because I can solve many problems.

Hamza Bilgen

He expands on his passion as an innovator: “I’m like a Swiss Army knife. For marketing, I can create the value proposition. For sales, I can go to the customer and explain our solutions and make a deal.”. He also continues to build on the skills gained at grow platform, especially in validating global scalability. “In taking everything to an international scale, I’m constantly learning and applying new ideas,” he says.

At Copperdot, Hamza is learning more about the PCB field, including purchasing and the entire supply chain. He’s also honing his people skills on multiple fronts. Case in point: he is discovering new perspectives on people and cultures around the world. “I’m becoming more open-minded because every culture innovates and works differently,” he says. The diversity extends to the younger generation of innovators joining his team, helping Hamza to expand his leadership skills.

The crucial dot: the customer

At every stop along his journey, Hamza has learned that validation is the driving force of any start-up. He explains, “Once you have an idea, you have to validate it. Would it work as a business model or not? Can you generate revenue and value with it?”

You need to understand customer needs.

Hamza Bilgen

At Copperdot, and when he helped start-ups within grow platform, Hamza says that customer conversations are key to validation. “Customers will not tell you what they need, so you need to listen and ask questions, and you need to verify whether you can deliver value in a scalable manner,” he says.

When start-ups are in the validation phase, they have business models and products, so it’s time to dive deeper and fine-tune certain areas. Hamza explains, “It’s about asking correct questions to understand whether the idea could grow in different segments, and then asking if you have enough of these segments to continue to scale. Eventually, the question is how can I deliver this business model to thousands and thousands of customers around the world?”

Discovering new paths

For aspiring intrapreneurs who want to discover new dots, Hamza instantly recommends breaking free from corporate settings and becoming part of grow platform. As he describes it, entering the start-up world is like entering the jungle, where nothing has been discovered and there are no steps to follow. There are only dots to connect. “You are creating your own path through the jungle, and you have to decide where to go because no one has passed this way before,” he says with excitement.


I can decide quickly by experimenting and testing, and then hopefully blaze a new trail.

Hamza Bilgen

The great thing about navigating the jungle is the full support of grow platform and the resources of Bosch. From its tools and support all the way to its pragmatic approach, grow platform is an environment solely focused on start-ups.

As Hamza says, “At grow platform, everyone is focused on building your business.” That means intrapreneurs do not have to juggle corporate job roles while simultaneously trying to validate and scale start-up business models. Rather, intrapreneurs can dedicate themselves 100% to the start-up life with all-encompassing support – with the resources and mentality to connect more dots on the path to worldwide success.