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From Philadelphia to Shanghai

Chuck Sacco, Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship's Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives, visited SJTU, NeoBay, and Shanghai Tech this year in early July.

Philly to Shanghai

August 4, 2016

Since its inception, the United States has continuously grown and increased its entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our country developed roots in innovative, colonial Philadelphia, which expanded across country to the present-day tech capital of the world, Silicon Valley. Through these expansions within our own ecosystem and partnerships with other nations, we see that entrepreneurship isn't just a domestic endeavor, but a global phenomenon.

China's economy has increasingly blossomed. The well-known manufacturing hub of the world, now has many people in younger generations who are looking towards new ideas and entrepreneurial ventures through their schools and incubators.

And what better school to pair up with than the only freestanding, degree-granting school of entrepreneurship in the United States?

A partnership between Drexel University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) developed in November 2015, when Dean De Carolis and President Fry visited the university. Through this, an affiliation with Drexel and SJTU's biomedical engineering programs begun. To deepen the development of the two schools' relationship, Chuck Sacco, Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship's Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives, visited SJTU, NeoBay, and Shanghai Tech this year in early July.

Sacco spent his days touring these campuses, meeting with students, faculty and on-campus companies, and even lecturing undergraduate and graduate students at SJTU. He taught elements of the Close School's Life Strategies class, which focuses on helping one become the "entrepreneur of your life", along with components of the Launch It class, which focuses on commercialization efforts for new ideas and exploring future markets.

Sacco noted that, "In addition to delivering great value to the SJTU students and faculty, we also hope to deepen Drexel's relationship with them and to explore additional programs. One future idea is to create a joint entrepreneurship competition between SJTU and Drexel students. This will also assist Drexel entrepreneurship students gain more knowledge of China and a better understanding of how China fits into their entrepreneurial endeavors."

A few local investors also lectured, and together a pitch competition was hosted at SJTU. The startup teams, with ideas ranging from an air quality detector to an online high-end children's furniture store, had 10 minutes to speak and 15 minutes for questions. After their pitches were completed, they were judged by Sacco, the SJTU faculty, and local investors.

Chuck Sacco Shanghai

The Close School is optimistic in furthering the bond between these schools. The partnership, as it becomes more developed, will hopefully feature co-teaching, trading students and classwork, incubation, and of course, sharing ideas. These collaborations benefit the students through a deeper, more refined understanding the global market, unique opportunities, and ultimately, understanding what it's like to be an entrepreneur from across the world.

Sarah Temple, Communications, Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship