St. Petersburg, Russia: Since its creation in 2006, Virtonomics has grown from a founders hobby to an international massively multiplayer online game in which more than 2,000,000 people train their skills in building a profitable and effective business in conditions that are close to real.
According to the creators of the game, in the last 2 years, the number of registrations of new users from universities around the world has sharply increased with an explicit request for the educational component of business simulation. Based on this, in 2019 it was decided to aim for a new audience and create services that will help startupers develop their entrepreneurial skills.
This is how the Virtonomics Entrepreneur business simulation was created – a global EdTech project that can really help small businesses.
According to Sergei Menshchikov, the founder of the Virtonomics Entrepreneur project, the problem of modern business is the lack of relevant experience for beginner entrepreneurs and the possibility of gaining it before starting their own business: “More than 80% of new companies ‘die’ in the first 2 years. This statistic did not change for decades and is relevant for almost any country. But we intend to radically reduce the mortality of startups and small businesses. Most start-up businessmen make the same common mistakes, but with the help of a realistic business simulator Virtonomics Entrepreneur, they will be able to painlessly gain experience in managing a business before they start investing in it.”
Today Virtonomics Entrepreneur is a multi-user startup simulation for development of practical business skills through experiential virtual company management where one can safely experiment, test ideas and work out possible risks. During the game user actively interacts with players from different countries, such situation teaches to overcome barriers in communication, develops the skill of cooperation in the model of the international business community.
The next step for the Virtonomics Entrepreneur is to create a global and accessible accelerator for any small business.
“All the classic accelerators that are on the market are focused on high-tech startups. And they are not interested in problems of 95% of beginning entrepreneurs, that create traditional small businesses – from barbers to coffee shops. Therefore, we are working on a democratic and understandable product that is accessible to any startup, regardless of the size and specifics of the future business,” comments Sergey Menshchikov.
In addition to the business simulation itself, users will have access to training content, business guidance, self-presentation startups with the ability to attract partners and investors, to look for a team for real business anywhere in the world. This ecosystem will be able to completely cover the need of a novice entrepreneur in testing ideas, gaining experience through trial and error and finding like-minded people.
An analysis of the market for educational technologies proves that this future is precisely in this format. Over the past 5 years, the segment of educational games and business simulations has grown most actively, by 18.5%, while standard online learning tools are losing popularity every year. It is possible that already by 2025, passing a business simulation will be an obligatory step before opening any business, and training managerial skills through an online simulation will be no less popular than regular visits to the gym.