Students play one of three roles: founders, investors, or employees. Founders are individuals starting an early-stage company. Investors are Angel or VC investors. Employees are C-level talent who will become part of the core management team and will have a significant stake in the company. Students in all roles compete and cooperate in order to fund, join, and grow startups.
At the conclusion of the game, the simulation scores the performance of each student based on a range of key factors known to be important to startups: Rich versus King orientation, management skill sets, diversity, funding levels, equity versus salary compensation, and valuation approaches. In addition to an extensive teaching note, the simulation includes a video from Prof. Mollick and video interviews with successful entrepreneurs and investors for use during the classroom debrief session.
Before being made available to general audiences, this simulation was played by over 2,000 students — MBAs, undergraduates, and executive students — as well as people with both extensive entrepreneurial experience and those who are much less familiar with the concepts involved. It is often listed as a course highlight by players, regardless of their background.