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The Close School, Drexel Ventures Collaborate On New Program That Turns Faculty into Students

Drexel faculty will learn how to commercialize their ideas using the lean startup model in new Bootcamp for Academic Innovators.


February 5, 2015

The Close School of Entrepreneurship and Drexel Ventures — an enterprise dedicated to helping faculty and alumni commercialize their ideas and innovations — have partnered to deliver the first Bootcamp for Academic Innovators, a groundbreaking course that teaches faculty, postdoctoral scholars and Ph.D. candidates how to take their ideas and new technologies to the private sector.

Using the “lean” startup methodology, a concept that focuses on validating market need and soliciting customer feedback before building an elaborate business plan, the Close School will teach opportunity and market assessment, business model creation, customer development, financing and licensing and company formation. 

Drexel University President John A. Fry, who was on hand during a Monday evening welcome reception at the Paul Peck Alumni Center, applauded the Drexel faculty who signed up for the inaugural course. 

“Bootcamp for Academic Innovators is a great expression of the identity and mission of Drexel Ventures — to grow Drexel’s innovation and commercialization capacity — and an important collaboration with the Close School for Entrepreneurship,” said President Fry. “We’ve recruited an outstanding group of faculty pioneers to participate, and I’m grateful for their commitment.”


The 30-hour Bootcamp will meet for four bi-weekly sessions, during which participants will develop, test and analyze strategies for developing prototypes based on their ideas. Close School faculty members Chuck Sacco, Roy Carriker, Ph.D., and Damian Salas will deliver lectures while Drexel Ventures Director of Startup Services Shintaro Kaido will provide mentorship and post-class assistance to participants on commercialization activities.

“I’ve met with the inaugural participants and everyone is excited about the opportunity to develop commercialization strategies for their ideas and technologies,” Close School Entrepreneur-in-Residence Chuck Sacco said. “The program is intense and will require a lot of homework, but this is the essence of entrepreneurship. Hard work can lead to some great outcomes.”

The inaugural Bootcamp includes representatives from Drexel’s College of Medicine, College of Computing & Informatics, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, College of Nursing and Health Professions, and Close School Dean Donna De Carolis.