The Startup Game

For instructors
Learning time
60 mins
Authored by:

Students live through the chaotic and exciting early days of a startup

What you'll teach

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Leadership

  • Strategic Decision-Making

Start up Game
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About The Startup Game

An entrepreneurial marketplace in a class

Students live through the chaotic and exciting early days of a startup in a single class session, and then learn to make sense of what they experienced.

Each player takes on the role of either a founder, an investor, or a key early employee and works to secure the right combination of funding and talent in order to make their startup a success. Players actively move around the room, competing and cooperating with one another to fund, join, and grow startups.

The game introduces students to the latest academic findings that support real-world lessons about key startup concepts such as hiring, equity, salary, and funding considerations. Included in the simulation is a comprehensive Instructor Toolkit.

The Instructor Toolkit includes detailed videos, instructions and teaching notes about how to run the game, how to analyze team strategies and team scoring and how to conduct an impactful and memorable post-game debrief. The game can be played at any point during the semester and is crafted to get students of all backgrounds interacting in new and exciting ways.

The Startup Game Overview

Course authors

Ethan Mollick - Headshot
Ethan Mollick Professor of Management

What you'll teach

  • Illustrates the interplay between the many factors that are required to make entrepreneurial ventures successful, including compensation, fundraising, employee selection, equity allocation, and valuation
  • Allows students to try out multiple strategies to acquiring resources, and allow them to interact with others trying alternate approaches
  • Valuation approaches and implications
  • Equity versus salary compensation
  • Fundraising considerations
  • Rich versus King
  • Exploration versus exploitation, and the effects of diversity
  • Acquiring skilled employees
  • Illustrates the interplay between the many factors that are required to make entrepreneurial ventures successful, including compensation, fundraising, employee selection, equity allocation, and valuation
  • Allows students to try out multiple strategies to acquiring resources, and allow them to interact with others trying alternate approaches
  • Valuation approaches and implications
  • Equity versus salary compensation
  • Fundraising considerations
  • Rich versus King
  • Exploration versus exploitation, and the effects of diversity
  • Acquiring skilled employees

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