#1 Board Game For Entrepreneurship
& Venture Capital
A great friends and family board game to inspire the future founder's of "The Next Big Thing".
Supported By Over 25 Top Accelerators, Crowdfunding Platforms, Angel Groups, and Venture Funds
Get The Game!
Watch The Video
How To Play
As a founder, you’ll start off with little to no cash savings, and you'll have a unique skill set, a “superpower” (such as programming, design, marketing, legal, etc.) to start your company and build a minimal viable product (MVP).
In addition to selecting a Founder Card you'll also select a Company Card. This card will not only tell you what industry your startup will be innovating, but also how much cash savings your co-founder's are putting in to help start the company.
Revenues & Expenses
If a player lands on a green revenue space or an orange expense space then the player will collect or pay the amount in cash shown on the space. Along the journey, players have to continue to increase revenues to keep up with a growing amount of expenses to grow the company, and avoid going bankrupt.
Significant Event Cards
If a player lands on a space with a “!” take a Significant Event Card from the top of the pile and follow the directions on the card. Significant Event Cards are a mixture of good and bad things that can happen to you and your company.
If a player takes the Accelerator Path they subtract 5% from their Founder’s Ownership and collect $100K. Taking the Accelerator Path is also a shortcut to raising the Seed round of capital. The Accelerator is a 12 week program to become a better entrepreneur and ends with a demo day to present to a group of investors and potential customers and partners.
Startups, even the best of them, have gone through one or more pivots. What is a pivot? A pivot is when a startup re-evaluates its business and decides to go in a new direction with its product or service, and potentially even address a different target market. Pivoting isn’t failing, it’s just another chance to learn and grow your company. Pivots cost more capital and take more time, but with a plan of coming out stronger on the other side.
Player’s raise multiple rounds of investment capital throughout the game from a small seed round to a large Series D / IPO round. During each capital raise a player randomly selects a capital raise card (Low, Medium, High) and an investor ownership card (15%-25%), and then calculates the new Company Valuation and new Founder Ownership. Note: There are Cheat Sheets to follow so no math is required, but equations are also provided if you want to be a geek and do the math in your head or with a calculator.
Being an entrepreneur is about more than just money, that's why Impact Points are part of the game too. These cards help tell the full story of not only how well you're doing, but how much good you're doing too!
Acquisition Path vs. IPO Path?
Towards the end of the game, choose between the Acquisition or IPO (Initial Public Offering) Path to determine how to eventually exit the company (and get rich!).
The Acquisition Path is a shorter path, less risky, but also has less upside potential.
The IPO Path is a longer path, more risky, with more upside and downside potential.
Congrats. You made it to the final stage! This is when founders are rewarded for all their hard work. Finally the company’s investors, fellow founders, and especially you, can get rich!
At the end of both paths players randomly select Exit Multiple cards and calculate their company's Exit Value and player's Final Founder Value.
How To Win
The player with the highest Final Founder's Value wins the game. Your Founder's Value (the value of your founder’s equity) goes up by increasing the valuation of your company through capital raises, while at the same time your Founder’s Ownership decreases as investors increase their ownership stake in your company. The Final Founder's Value is based on your Final Founder’s Ownership in the company (hope you didn’t get diluted too much!) and how big your Exit Value is (the bigger the better).
1st Place (3 Degrees)
1st Degree Startup Black Belt: The player with the highest Final Founder's Value
2nd Degree Startup Black Belt:
…and most Cash OR most Positive Impact
3rd Degree Startup Black Belt:
…and most Cash AND most Positive Impact
The player with the most Cash AND a Positive Impact
Note: There may not be a 2nd place winner if the 1st place winner achieves the 3rd degree.
Words of Encouragement
Good luck! Just like in real life there will be ups and downs throughout your entrepreneurial journey. Get ready for a wild ride. Just when you think things are looking their worst or best, they can turn around in an instant! We hope this game inspires not only entrepreneurs, but serial entrepreneurs (someone who starts more than one company) and encourages players to play again and again!
Created by a husband and wife team, a venture capital investor and serial entrepreneur, who love to play board games. One day when they were looking for a board game to play, they saw two of their favorite games on the shelf, The Game of Life and Monopoly. They thought, "why can't there be a board game about entrepreneurship that could exist in everyone's home just like these two classics?"
Like every good investor and entrepreneur they researched the market and found that there was a white space that they could fill. They created a prototype and then shared it with their friends, many of whom were fellow investors and startup founders, to have them play the game and get their feedback. The first players loved it, and after iterating further, it got better and better with each group that played, and the creators of the board game knew they were really onto something! A frequent quote the founders hear from players is “Everyone should play this game before starting a company.” Whether you’re interested in launching a startup now or in the future, or just interested in having fun with friends and family, this game is for you.
Custom Game Creation
Founders Forum's Next Big Thing
Our most recent Custom Games were created for Founders Forum's 2016 event in London.
For this custom version of the game, we created 240 custom Founder Cards and Company Cards for the top 200+ tech Founders from around the world who attended the event. Founders we created cards for included, Reid Hoffman, Peter Thiel, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, Elon Musk, Arianna Huffington, Jack Ma, Jessica Alba, Will.i.am, Sean Parker and many more.
April 18, 2015
Developed Concept & Created Game Rules
Founders, J. Skyler (Sky) Fernandes and Jenna Fernandes, brainstorm the creation of The Game of Entrepreneurship
April 23, 2015
Annual Spring VC Luncheon Hosted By Dentons
During lunch Sky stands up and shares idea with room of VCs in NYC and they love it!
April 25 & 26, 2015
Designed Board On Giant White Sticky Note Paper
Sketched out size of board (18x18), size of each space, and the entrepreneurial path from the start space to the finish spaces (Exit via Acquisition vs. Exit via Post-IPO).
May 2, 2015
Designed Game Board In PowerPoint & First Prototype Printed At Home
Game played for the first time by its creators!
Found critical changes that needed to be made.
May 8, 2015
Second Prototype Printed @ FedEx Office
$137 (need to get the price down!)
May 9, 2015
First Group Plays Game In NYC
Special Thanks To The First People Who Helped Us Test The Game:
Jeffrey Berman, Christine Cao, Elliot Guilbe, Kaelyn Guilbe, Roger Meilleur, Andrew Schoen, George Valdes, Denice Zhu
May 10-24, 2015
Updated Rules, Board, Cards & Money
Took feedback from first group of game testers and implimented changes.
May 25, 2015
3rd Prototype Printed @ FedEx Office
$107 (getting the price down now, but still have aways to go!)
Target price: ~$30 using a board game manufactuer
May 26-30, 2015
Testing 3rd Prototype.
2nd Group Plays Game @ The Stamford Innovation Center
3rd Group Plays at BBQ in Ellington, CT
First Meeting With An Illustrator
(Quote = $30K, way too high! We're bootstraping!)
Received quotes from multiple illustrators and selected the illustrator to design the game. Started reviewing drafts of board game design and logo.
Changed name of game to "The Next Big Thing: The Game of Entrepreneurship".
We further refined the rules.
4th, 5th and 6th groups play and test the game.
Completed First Illustrated Draft Of Game Board & Started Designing Game Cards
Made Updates To Rules and Scorecard
7th and 8th groups play and test the game.
8th Test Play Group Coined #DoTheUnicorn hand gesture: place back of hand on forehead with first finger pointing up in the air.
Selected Board Game Manufacturer, based on on-demand capabilities and pricing.
Finalized illustrated design of board
Finalized design of the box
Created design for Personalized / Corporate versions of the board and box
Finalized the Official Game Rules, Score Card, and Cheat Sheet
For "About" video: Drafted script, selected video creator, and selected choices for voice over and music
Starting sending invites to top Accelerators and VCs to add their logos to the box and rules - Received first "yes" from Plug & Play
Started drafting Kickstarter campaign content
Posted game PPT to Slideshare
Increased number of Likes on Facebook to 150+
Lots more testing
Created all Kickstater graphics
Started working on PR & Marketing plans
189% funded on Kickstarter!
Sent the game to the printers in January.
First in person sale at NY Tech Day
Featured Kickstarter Supporters...
Greg Albertson, Melissa Campanelli, Jonathan Frangakis, Tom Herman, Jian Yet Lee
And all the other amazing people who backed our Kickstarter campaign!
Early Game Testers...
Neha Aletty, Jeffrey Berman, Angel Biros, Summer Rose Biros, Kevin Boswell, Brien Buckman, Christine Cao, Marcia Fernandes, Jeffrey Finkle, Pamela Finkle, Keith Fiore, Hali Ganbold, Elliot Guilbe, Kaelyn Guilbe, Corie Hardee, Will Heffner, Harrison Hines, Hana Ku, Jamie Konigsberg, Jessica Kong, Nicolas Leeper, Dan Lockwood, Maria Martinez-Diaz, Allison McGuire, Roger Meilleur, Vikas Nigam, Tammi Nguyen, Jim Perlmutter, Peter Propp, Bahiyah Robinson, David Rose, Andrew Schoen, Deidre Smith, Anne Marie Stephen, Liam Smith, Jay Thakrar, Peter Thomson, Alex Trotta, Alexandra Tynion, Darius V, George Valdes, Denice Zhu, The Stamford Innovation Center, The Team At SeedInvest
First In-Person Game Purchaser