Chuck Sacco is giving Drexel profs a crash course in Lean Startup methodology - Philly


Mar. 3, 2015 12:55 pm

Chuck Sacco is giving Drexel profs a crash course in Lean Startup methodology

It's part of a bigger mission to get Drexel to produce more faculty-led startups.
Drexel University.

Drexel University.

(Courtesy photo)

Chuck Sacco spent the better part of a decade building and running a tech company. Now he’s teaching Drexel professors how to do the same.

Sacco, the entrepreneur-in-residence for Drexel’s Close School of Entrepreneurship, is part of a team that’s running the university’s new “Bootcamp for Academic Innovators.” The 30-hour program will teach faculty members how to build a company, using the Lean Startup model, based on their academic research.

It’s part of Drexel’s tech transfer vision to encourage professors to commercialize their research via spinout startups, Sacco said. (Penn has a similar goal, with the recent launch of its new tech transfer office and its UPStart program for helping build faculty startups.)


Faculty participants in the first Bootcamp for Academic Innovators. (Photo courtesy of Drexel)

There are eight faculty members in the inaugural bootcamp, hand-selected for their interest in commercialization. Those faculty members come from Drexel’s schools of medicine, nursing, engineering and more. Close School dean (and Sacco’s boss) Donna DeCarolis is also taking the class.

A program to train faculty in entrepreneurship is unique, Sacco said. While there are some national examples, like the National Science Foundation-funded I-Corps program, which recently launched at Penn, it’s not common for schools to do this kind of training in house.


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