• #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

  • The Next Big Thing: The Game of Entrepreneurship

    A board game for people who are interested in being startup superheroes, changing the world, and becoming billionaires. Players take on the role of startup founders to create "the next big thing", bootstrapping using their initial cash savings and superpower skills (i.e. programming, design, sales, marketing, etc.) to create a minimal viable product, gain initial traction, and then go on to raise multiple rounds of capital from investors, increasing the value of their company, but while also having their founder's ownership get diluted.

    During the game players will experience many of the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey including: increasing revenues while balancing against expenses to grow the company, various significant events (good and bad), and creating an impact that changes the world. There are also multiple paths such as an accelerator path, pivot paths, and in the end (if you haven't gone bankrupt) players decide to either take the acquisition path or IPO path. Along the way players also collect impact points, as it's not just about the money, from sustainability, ethics & diversity, social impact, and health & wellness. The winner is the player who exits ("cashes out") with the most money by creating the company with the largest valuation while still maintaining the most founder's ownership and generating the most positive impact on the world.

  • Watch The Video

  • 189% Funded on Kickstarter!

    If you missed our Kickstarter campaign...you can still order your game above.

  • How To Play

    Founder Cards

    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).

    Company Cards

    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.

    Accelerator Path

    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.

    Pivot Paths

    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.

    Capital Raises

    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.

    Impact Points

    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.

    Exit

    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

     

    2nd Place

    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!

    Scorecard

    Track your progress during the game, including Company Valuation, Founder Ownership, and Impact Points.

     

    Need more Scorecard sheets? Download here and print.

  • 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.

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    Hear about exciting updates, contests, and promotions.

  • 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.

  • Contact Us To Learn More 

    Create A Custom Branded Board Game! Your Company's Own"Next Big Thing"

    Perfect for Large Events, Accelerators, VC Funds, Startups, Law Firms, Consulting Firms, etc. 

  • Classes

    by Inside The Mind of The Venture Capitalist

    Inside the Mind of a Venture Capitalist One Day Boot Camp: Saturday 2/18 in NYC

     

    This intensive venture capital course, taught by leading venture capitalist J. Skyler Fernandes, covers everything from the basics to the more advanced details of venture capital. Venture capital is like the Wild West of finance, where investors look to identify the “next big thing” when companies are at a very early stage in their existence. The return potential is huge, but the risk is also great (with a possible loss of 100 percent of invested capital in 50–75 percent of portfolio companies).

     

    This course, designed for both entrepreneurs and investors, introduces the process of investment evaluation, develops the theory of due diligence, and explores various issues related to valuation and investment structures.

     

    Learn how to source deal flow, to review investment opportunities and conduct due diligence, and to calculate the valuation of a company and internal rate of return using a waterfall analysis.

     

    Other course topics include the differences between angel capital, venture capital, corporate venture capital, and private equity; venture capital fund structures; case studies of real start-ups and early-stage growth companies; cap table analysis; exit analysis; VC portfolio theory; and more.

     

    YOU'LL WALK AWAY WITH

    • The ability to source deal flow

    • The ability to calculate the valuation of a company

    IDEAL FOR

    • Entrepreneurs

    • Corporate officers, sole proprietors, firm partners, and investors who seek to develop familiarity with the sources and techniques of venture capital

    Webinar: The "Best" Startup Pitch Deck - How To Raise Venture Capital Funding: Saturday 3/4

     

    A webinar to help Entrepreneurs create the "best" start-up investor pitch deck and insights into raising venture capital from an actual top ranked Venture Capitalist!

     

    This webinar is based on the "Best" Startup Investor Pitch Deck Methodology, which has become the #1 Startup Pitch Deck online, viewed and downloaded over 450,000 times, and taught at top business schools and accelerators around the world. This class is taught by its creator, J. Skyler (Sky) Fernandes, who is a top ranked Venture Capitalist (a Powerlist 100 VC), an Angel Investor, a serial entrepreneur, adviser to start-ups, and a frequent speaker on the topic of entrepreneurship at institutions such as Harvard Business School, Wharton, New York University, New York Stock Exchange, and also presented the first TED Talk on Venture Capital.

    The knowledge you'll obtain from this class comes from an aggregation of some of the best pitch decks and wisdom from some of the top angels, VCs, and entrepreneurs, including Sky's personal insights and experiences.

     

    This webinar is much more than just a template for entrepreneurs to use to present to investors and a discussion of what details should be addressed on each slide. Sky will discuss personal stories and share some of the "secret" inner thinking that goes on inside an investor's mind and how (ultimately) they decide to invest in a select few of the thousands of opportunities that show-up in their in-boxes each year.

     

    What am I going to get from this course?

    • Help you create a start-up pitch deck that is best in class
    • Learn what investors are looking for in the deals they invest in
    • Learn how to speak "investor" and answer the main questions they ask every entrepreneur
    • Avoid some of the main mistakes that many entrepreneurs make when creating and presenting a pitch deck for their start-up

    Who is the target audience?

    • Entrepreneurs
    • Aspiring Entrepreneurs
    • Those interested in learning about how start-up investors think and act
  • Raise Capital With 

    The "Best" Startup Pitch Deck

    Wanna raise real venture capital? Use the #1 startup pitch deck template to put together your own pitch on "The Next Big Thing" and start pitching angel investors and VCs. The "Best" Startup Pitch Deck has been viewed and downloaded over 400,000+ times, is used by top entrepreneurs, recommended by leading venture capital funds, and taught at business schools and accelerators around the world. Take the video course below to walk through slide by slide what information you should include, hear personal stories, and get inside VC advice.

     

    The "Take Video Course" button below includes a discount link to get 50% off.

  • The Next Big Thing Coloring Book!

    Free to download, print, and color all The Next Big Thing Founders. Made for all ages.

  • Timeline

    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!)

    June 2015

    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.

    July 2015

    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.

    Aug 2015

    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

     

     

     

    Sept 2015

    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

     

    Created Twitter and Instagram account for game

     

    Posted game PPT to Slideshare

     

    Increased number of Likes on Facebook to 150+

    Oct 2015

    Lots more testing

     

    Created all Kickstater graphics

     

    Started working on PR & Marketing plans

    Nov 2015

    Kickstarter campaign launches!

     

    Press Release

    Dec 2015

    189% funded on Kickstarter!

     

    Sent the game to the printers in January.

    April 2016

    First in person sale at NY Tech Day

  • Thank you!

    Industry Supporters

    Accelerators: 500 Startups, Plug & Play, Y Combinator, Crowdfunding: Crowdfunder, SeedInvest, Angel Groups: ARC Angel Fund, HBS Angels, NY Angels, Sand Hill Angels, Seed Funds: Cowboy Ventures, ff Venture Capital, Founder Collective, Primary Ventures, Rubicon Venture Capital, Softech, SV Angel, Early Growth Funds (Series A-B+): FirstMark, Greycroft Partners, RRE, Tomorrow Ventures, Upfront Ventures, Multi-Stage Funds (Seed-Series C+): Battery Ventures, KPCB, NEA, Norwest Ventures, Corporate Venture Groups: Comcast Ventures, Intel Capital, Simon Venture Group

     

    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

    Richard

    The Stamford Innovation Center

    The Team At SeedInvest

     

    First In-Person Game Purchaser

    Jason Klein

     

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  • Questions?