About this project
When it comes to business, most people will tell you fail fast, and then learn. But the truth is... FAILING SUCKS.
Being entrepreneurs, we realized that no amount of reading could prepare us for disappearing partners, dealing with suppliers and D-cal's parents wondering what the hell he was doing with his life. This is why experience matters.
No existing board game for business simulates experience. That is until now...
UPSTART is a board game that simulates the UPS and DOWNS of setting up and sustaining a business. It equips players with the tools & insights to have them take their business to the next level. Players learn lifelong lessons in an environment of fun, collaboration and play.
We know that setting up a business is risky. You can lose it all. You can lose your sanity if you're not careful. So, why not remove risk from the equation by playing Upstart first?
There's a statistic stacked against every would-be entrepreneur, 9 out of 10 businesses fail in their first year. About 120,000 businesses fail every day.
This is why this matters for us. If we can interrupt that status quo, make the first steps of starting up a little bit easier and empower more people to succeed, then we've done our job.
Imagine kids learning business at an early age in a risk free and fun environment. Imagine would-be entrepreneurs, before quitting their job, playing UPSTART to gauge how prepared they are to take the leap. We want to jumpstart a worldwide entrepreneurial movement.
D-cal, a self-proclaimed gamer and a teacher (with a little under a decade of experience), was running a business together with Ina for about 3 years. It wasn't easy...
Despite some successes, failures came more often than not. A mix of mismatched expectations, debt and doubt pushed D-cal into a depression.
D-cal locked himself up in a room for a week and used all that frustration, all of the learnings and all of the stories he's read and heard from other entrepreneurs to create Upstart Mk1.
He cut hundreds of pieces of paper himself. Looked for toys laying around the house to use as the first tokens and then called Ina and his friend, Jolo, to play the very first game.
Something clicked. We were on to something.
The next two years would be about testing. We refined and polished the game. Balanced the fun parts with the learning. We did seven major over-hauls.
After a small print run (with a lot more learning about how manufacturing works) and over 400 test-players from around the world from different walks of life, we're now ready to print a NEW and IMPROVED version to reach international shores.
UPSTART works like a role-playing game (RPG). You start by choosing a background that gives you various advantages and disadvantages while you build your business (e.g. full-time employee has steady income but less time while full-time entrepreneur has no income until the business profits but has time).
You then roll and navigate through the board and make choices or deal with chance. Chance is dictated by various cards like life, breakdowns and breaks (opportunities).
You are then given the chance to put fate into your own hands by taking actions with the two currencies of the game: time and money. You will make decisions on whether to focus on revenue streams or followers or even whether to take care of yourself and raise your vitality or risk getting sick.
Here is our turn sequence guide to give you a picture of how a turn goes. Each turn is equivalent to roughly one week in the real world:
Also one of the unique gameplay aspects of UPSTART is that with enough players you can assign a "game master" (much like the dungeon master in Dungeons and Dragons). This "game master" which we call "The Invisible Hand" can re-interpret the rules, create new scenarios and challenges and even add new cards to the game. The Invisible Hand is pretty much like God in the game and also affects players by pulling out "God's Hand" or "Market Shift" cards.
We are raising $35,000. Based on our calculations and conversations with the multiple suppliers, this is the bare minimum needed to mass produce the game and deliver worldwide.
Aside from providing the game as a donation on your behalf. We will be providing training to teachers to run the game effectively as a learning tool. Here below are some of our beneficiaries:
Risks and challenges
We've managed to test print a few hundred board games and have learned a lot in terms of what we need to improve on the design and quality control. We will be applying these lessons learned in the new batch. The board games will be produced outside of the U.S. We have awesome suppliers and manufacturers but with any production line we may come into complications and technical difficulties.
We've done our due diligence on figuring out how to do logistics and delivery, but doing the actual thing may uncover some unforeseen challenges that might cause some delays.
We are committed to create and manufacture a board game that you will love, and that will be delivered to you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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