Drexel Faculty Strengthens Partnerships in Chile
August 4, 2021
Charles “Chuck” Sacco, Associate Dean of Strategic Initiatives at Drexel University’s Charles D. Close School Close of Entrepreneurship, is a technology entrepreneur, educator, advisor, and public speaker. Professor Sacco’s initial interest in entrepreneurship and business practices in Latin America stems from his experience working as a General Manager for a software company, whose scope covered North and South America. Chuck first visited Santiago, Chile alongside a group of Drexel colleagues a few years ago, during which he met with local universities and brought ideas about Chilean innovation ecosystems back to his entrepreneurship students in Philadelphia. Chuck also met Dr. Cristobal Garcia-Herrera, a Professor of the Practice in Design and Innovation at the Pontificia Universidad Católica of Chile (PUC) who in 2019 would visit Drexel University to speak at the Office of Global Engagement’s Annual Student Conference on Global Challenges. Another highlight from Chuck’s first visit to Chile was visiting PUC’s 8-story innovation center (pictured below), which houses numerous labs and co-working spaces to support entrepreneurial programs and projects.
During his most recent trip to Chile in September 2019, Chuck developed and strengthened partnerships with entrepreneurial programs. One of these programs, called Start-Up Chile, is a government sponsored initiative that supports entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world to develop their business models through providing them with a visa, accommodations, and funding. Chuck’s connection with Start-Up Chile, whom he is pictured with below, presented Drexel students the opportunity to collaborate with its organizations.
The U.S. Embassy in Santiago also invited Professor Sacco to lead a workshop among Chilean entrepreneurs who were interested in expanding their businesses in the United States. Chuck spoke with attendees about best practices for assessing opportunities in today’s global market and how to approach transferring their business models to a different contexts overseas, particularly in the United States. This workshop not only gave Chuck the opportunity to meet with Chilean entrepreneurs, but also strengthened relationships between the U.S. embassy in Santiago and local businesses, thereby optimizing trade opportunities between Chile and the U.S.
Shortly after that visit, Chile’s political system faced a constitutional crisis, which, alongside the outbreak of COVID-19, has prevented Chuck from returning. In the meantime, Chuck has gotten involved with a group called AccelHub, which invests in start-ups in Latin America to broaden the scope of their work on a global scale. Chuck also recently moderated a panel in collaboration with AccelHub to speak about opportunities and challenges in investment opportunities in Chile. Chuck hopes to visit Chile in 2022 to continue fostering collaborations between Drexel and universities and local businesses in Chile. If you are interested in getting involved with Chuck’s work, please contact him at email@example.com.