In this paper, we examine the differential effects of entrepreneurial passion (EP) on product innovation intensity through the mediating mechanisms of exploration and exploitation activities. Using time-lagged data from 260 new ventures from Ghana, we examine the direct relationships between the three domains of EP (i.e., inventing, developing and founding) and a new venture’s product innovation intensity (PII). Further, we test the indirect relationships between the three domains of EP and PII through the mediating mechanisms of a new venture’s exploration and exploitation activities. The empirical results provide a fine-grained understanding of the relationship between EP, exploration and exploitation activities and PII. Implications for theory and practice are also discussed.