Wiring Central America – $11M from software entrepreneur

High-tech education in Central America will get an $11 million boost, thanks to the chairman and former CEO of Chili!Soft.

Charles Crystle, sold his company to Cobalt Networks, will receive $15 million for the deal.

The high-tech entrepreneur plans to use the funds to help nonprofit groups in the region build training programs and set up high-tech businesses.

“We’re interested in catalyzing positive change,” he says. “The dollar goes a lot farther in Nicaragua than in the United States.”

Crystle stepped down as Chili!Soft’s chief executive in November, believing his talents were better suited to start-ups than to the large company that Chili!Soft had become.

He took a two-month vacation in Latin America and returned with philanthropy on his mind.

Crystle will not leave the business world completely.  He plans to set up a business incubator in New York for start-ups that can make money from MP-3 digital music files.  Meanwhile, he hopes others will join him in philanthropy.

“My advice to people who are making a ton of money is to pass on the yacht, rent a boat and put money into social ventures,” he says.

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