Author: Chuck Sacco


    First published by Springside Chestnut Hill in March 2022 Let’s face it. The world faces enormous problems. The pace of change is accelerating. Technology is rapidly advancing every industry, and the impact of globalization is increasing. We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and facing unprecedented climate challenges. The pace of change is […]

  • Exclusivity

    This is more of a continuing series of tips for B2B startups that are trying to develop pilot projects. Often, organizations want to be early adopters of key technologies and solutions to get ahead of their competition. This actually needs to be one of your key selling points. But be careful not to get trapped […]

  • Pricing your Pilot Project

    This is more of a continuing series of tips for B2B startups that are trying to develop pilot projects. The issue of “What should I charge for a pilot?” is one that comes up frequently for startups. What’s particularly challenging about this is that a startup may not even yet understand its business model, its […]

  • Getting legal

    Every startup that will be entering a formal agreement with another organization must have legal representation. What’s critical at this stage of your existence is that you have a lawyer that recognizes the financial constraints of early stage startups, understands the concept of relative risk (that is, risks you may have relative to your financial […]

  • Finding ideal candidates for pilot projects

    This is more of a continuing series of tips for B2B startups that are trying to develop pilot projects. Not all organizations are created equally. Some are new, some are old. Some are big, some are small. Some are conservative in their approach to business, some are more experimental. One of the best reference points […]

  • What do you want them to do?

    This is more of a continuing series of tips for B2B startups that are trying to develop pilot projects. A pilot project has some noticeable differences from the more standard sales and implementation processes you’ll encounter once you’re out of startup mode. In particular, as a startup, you are asking your pilot customers to engage […]

  • Finding your way

    This is more of a continuing series of tips for B2B startups that are trying to develop pilot projects. A big question for B2B startups is, “how do you find your way into an organization?” This topic brings up a wide range of considerations such as who is the person most interested in your solution, […]

  • Sales Tips for B2B Startups (yeah it matters)

    My friend, Todd Cohen, is famous for saying that “everyone’s in sales.” And he’s right. As a founder or co-founder, you are the lead salesperson in the company. Entrepreneurs sometimes think that sales is someone else’s job, but it isn’t. It’s yours. This is especially true for people who are not technical co-founders; most of […]

  • Five Tips for Working with Startups

    If you are an established organization that is considering running a pilot project with a startup, then you are seeing things from a somewhat different perspective than the startup. You know your industry, your business model, your priorities and your budget. Yet here’s this scrappy little startup telling you things that you may (or may […]

  • Goal setting for the entrepreneur

    Goal setting and planning for early-stage entrepreneurs is very tricky, especially when you’re still trying to validate and de-risk your business model. You’re being told that you should have a plan but how’s that going to work when you still need to figure out where you’re heading? My advice is to think about your goals […]

  • Why do established organizations want pilot projects?

    A continuing series on pilot project strategies for B2B startups… If you are an established organization, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, that is considering running a pilot project with a startup, then you are seeing things from a somewhat different perspective than the startup. You know your industry, your business model, your priorities and your budget. […]

  • Piloting Your Go-to-Market Strategy

    First in a series on pilot project strategies for B2B startups As a startup with a B2B idea, you “think” you know who your customer is, but, you don’t really know. If you have an EdTech startup, for example, how do you approach the market? You may think your customer base is comprised of let’s […]

  • How to get started with developing a new business idea

    Every aspiring entrepreneur needs to learn a few critical pieces of information to move forward with their idea. The first and most important of these are: Customer – who do I think is my ideal customer, where and when might they use my idea, and how do I envision them using it? Problem/need – what […]

  • Comparatives, Competition and Noise

    It’s challenging for any new idea to break through the noise. There’s such a great deal of information, news, content, advertising, pings, beeps, rings and more coming at us nearly every second of the day. Most of it is noise. No wonder it’s very difficult for most startups to find new and inventive ways to […]

  • New Ideas in the Right Order

    I’ve worked with hundreds of potential and current entrepreneurs at the earliest stage of their idea development. With that, I think that I’ve gotten pretty good at helping assess those ideas and provide entrepreneurs with a few useful frameworks that can help them take their ideas forward. One of the first frameworks that I’ll share […]

  • Building a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem

    There’s relatively constant chatter these days about regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. Cities and regions know they need to be more innovative, need to facilitate startup development and need to provide the infrastructure and tax codes that help new businesses launch, grow and stay. A big part of those regional efforts involve universities and their increasing attention […]

  • The Modern Business Plan

    The historical approach for entrepreneurs has been to first generate an idea, then do some market research, then write a business plan, then attempt to raise some money, then build a product or service and then try to sell what was built. Their business plan will often be structured like this: Cover sheet Table of […]

  • Revelations From A Congressional Briefing Panel

    I had the opportunity to participate on a Congressional Briefing Panel regarding the challenges of funding for women and minority tech startups.  Entitled “New Models For Tech Start-Up Funding & Economic Impact”, the Briefing brought together a group of stake-holders to examine and analyze current disparities within tech start-up funding, contributing psycho-social/cultural factors, forecast, possible public-private […]

  • New Models For Tech Start-Up Funding

    I have the opportunity research and reflect on an important topic for a Congressional Briefing Panel focused on new models for tech start-up funding. At task is a discussion on the significant challenges related to female and minority entrepreneurship. To start, here are some recent sobering statistics from CB Insights: Earning the lowest share of investments for all minority […]

  • Startup Grind Talk

    My Startup Grind interview.

  • College Pitch Philly Student Business Pitch Competition

    Very proud to share this press release on the inaugural College Pitch Philly competition. Some additional press here. College Pitch Philly Student Business Pitch Competition Philadelphia, PA — February 24, 2016 — Over 30 teams gathered at the University City Science Center’s Quorum yesterday evening representing 11 colleges and universities across the Greater Philadelphia region for a […]

  • What I Learned About Entrepreneurship by Playing Ms. Pacman

    The title of my next book (ok, well the first book is very unfinished and will probably remain that way for a while) is tentatively titled “What I Learned About Entrepreneurship by Playing Ms. Pacman.” Why this title? Well, I love entrepreneurship and I love playing Ms. Pacman. I even have one in my home and […]

  • Three Keys to Winning Pitch Competitions

    I’ve listened to hundreds of idea pitches. It’s always a lot of fun and it’s great to hear new ideas. I’ve witnessed some of these ideas progress into full-blown startups and some even into very successful businesses. But I’ve also seen many bad pitches. Pitches that not only have poor quality of the verbal presentation but also have poor […]

  • Finding Customer Zero

    “I was Patient Zero. The first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the Internet.” – Monica Lewinsky The prevailing approach to starting something today is that you first find a customer and then figure out their problem. Only then do you develop and test a solution with them. It’s a great approach. This customer discovery process […]

  • Starting at Zero

    The correct handling of equity allocation for founding teams is one of the more frequent issues that I hear from entrepreneurs. Determining what’s right, what’s fair, what’s bulletproof – all very difficult questions to answer. And unfortunately, there are no “right answers”. Every situation is different, every team dynamic is different, and every individual contribution […]

  • Creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem

    Much has been written about how to create and sustain an entrepreneurial ecosystem. It’s interesting to see the ways that local governments get involved in this process. The City of Philadelphia has one method that is helping – through its StartupPHL program. The “Fund Your Ideas” part of this program provides up to $500,000 over a 3-year […]

  • Minimum Viable Failure

    Failure, failure, failure. It’s on every startup’s agenda today. Failure is popular. Even Esquire magazine recently ran an extensive feature on startup failures and the new culture of failure. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs are getting advice from all corners – fail fast, fail slow, don’t fail, don’t fear failure, failure is good, failure is bad, failure is a badge of […]

  • Stop Apologizing!

    Proud to be part of Todd Cohen’s new book, “Everyone’s In Sales, Stop Apologizing“.  I was given the opportunity to write the foreward for this very practical book. Here’s a snippet:  “We don’t always call entrepreneurs sales people and entrepreneurs don’t always think of themselves as sales people because of that. Yet as an entrepreneur, […]

  • Startup Strategies and the Casino Floor

    I’m embarking on teaching a new course this fall called “Ready, Set, Fail”.  It’s a course about entrepreneurial failure, but what it’s really about is how to learn from failure and how to use risk mitigation strategies to reduce the likelihood of startup failure.  – While doing some research for the course, I came across […]

  • Finding Goodness in the Gray

    My colleagues at The Close School of Entrepreneurship posted this cool article about me.  “Be valuable by being versatile!”  Enjoy.

  • High School Entrepreneurs

    August 2014 Great to see how early entrepreneurial development and activity is happening. I love this quote “”What used to be considered a renegade’s choice is now a viable career path”.   See the article at

  • 5 ways to escape middle-management hell

    From February 2012 Fortune Magazine – some helpful tips for using entrepreneurship as a way to kick-start your career: Piggyback on your current job Head to campus for cheap labor Find a good incubator Hit the contest circuit Search for free advice at home

  • Hunting Bamboo

    I have a large patch of bamboo in my backyard. It started as a bucketfull of bamboo transplanted from my brother’s yard about ten years ago and today is a 20’x30′ patch about 20′ high. What I didn’t fully understand when I first planted it (despite warnings from my brother) is that bamboo can grow […]

  • Predicting the next revolution

    Some future musings in this article posted in the Baiada Institute of Entrepreneurship’s blog.

  • Entrepreneurship journey

    With a recent transaction involving Movitas, I thought it was time to document my story from the beginning along with some lessons learned.  Of course as with any good story there are multiple histories. This is the one from my seat… It all started during a 2005 marketing class while getting my MBA at Drexel […]

  • The new business plan?

    September 2013 When teaching entrepreneurs, the focus is sometimes on teaching students how to write a business plan. The general flow of many courses is to have the students generate a new idea, do some market research, then write a business plan.  Usually the sections of the plan look something like this: 1.Cover sheet 2.Table […]

  • Creator skills

    This is the second half of my post about “Creation as Leadership“.  In the first post, I talked about how leadership is rooted in creation…either creating value directly or creating environments in which creation is welcomed and thrives. So. what skills help you be a creator?  There’s no one way, but here are a few […]

  • Creation as Leadership

    I’ve been developing a speech focused on the theme of “Creation as Leadership”. Recently I tested this speech on a group of “emerging student leaders” at Drexel University and I am sharing the first part of that speech here. The basic premise is that one way to become a good leader is to focus on […]

  • Regulated apps

    Recently I moderated two panel discussions that covered the launch of mobile apps in regulated industries such as healthcare.  I’ll also be covering this topic at an upcoming presentation to the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group. What we learned through the panels is that for companies in regulated industries, a great idea for a mobile […]

  • Students with startups

    I’ve had the opportunity to work with Campus Philly, and this new program between Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) and Campus Philly looks sharp. Funded in part by Philadelphia’s Startup PHL program, its aim is to help college students connect with startups. Another good example that Philly is building the layers needed to be […]

  • A few ways I can help…

    Click on the picture to find out how…  

  • Entrepreneurship culture

    I was fortunate to recently deliver a keynote address to a top accounting firm about creating an entrepreneurship culture inside their organization. The idea was to help them think through what it takes to deepen their client relationships by developing new services and business models.  I drove home the point that startups have an advantage because they are creating […]