||This study focuses on identification and exploitation processes among Finnish design entrepreneurs (i. e. selfemployed industrial designers). More specifically, this study strives to find out what design entrepreneurs do when they create new ventures, how venture ideas are identified and how entrepreneurial processes are organized to identify and exploit such venture ideas in the given industrial context. Indeed, what does educated and creative individuals do when they decide to create new ventures, where do the venture ideas originally come from, and moreover, how are venture ideas identified and developed into viable business concepts that are introduced on the markets? From an academic perspective: there is a need to increase our understanding of the interaction between the identification and exploitation of emerging ventures, in this and other empirical contexts. Rather than assuming that venture ideas are constant in time, this study examines how emerging ideas are adjusted to enable exploitation in dynamic market settings. It builds on the insights from previous entrepreneurship process research. The interpretations from the theoretical discussion build on the assumption that the subprocesses of identification and exploitation interact, and moreover, they are closely entwined with each other (e. g. McKelvie & Wiklund, 2004, Davidsson, 2005). This explanation challenges the common assumption that entrepreneurs would first identify venture ideas and then exploit them (e. g. Shane, 2003). The assumption is that exploitation influences identification, just as identification influences exploitation. Based on interviews with design entrepreneurs and external actors (e. g. potential customers, suppliers and collaborators), it appears as identification and exploitation of venture ideas are carried out in close interaction between a number of actors, rather than alone by entrepreneurs. Due to their available resources, design entrepreneurs have a desire to focus on identification related activities and to find external actors that take care of exploitation related activities. The involvement of external actors may have a direct impact on decisionmaking and various activities along the processes of identification and exploitation, which is something that previous research does not particularly emphasize. For instance, Bhave (1994) suggests both operative and strategic feedback from the market, but does not explain how external parties are actually involved in the decisionmaking, and in carrying out various activities along the entrepreneurial process.