Open Ventures League (OVL) empowers founders to attract collaborators to co-create ideas into products via exciting open innovation tournaments.
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Significant resources are expended to support aspiring entrepreneurs and their startup ventures, even though, according to the Startup Genome, 9 out of 10 new startups fail. According to Failory, the top five reasons for startup failure are: (1) Lack of Product/Market Fit, (2) Marketing Problems, (3) Team Problems, (4) Finance Problems, and (5) Tech Problems. We believe the main sources of these problems are due to the lack of experiential learning in traditional entrepreneurship education, exclusive and fragmented entrepreneurship ecosystems, and the lack of shared entrepreneurship data.
New venture creation is crucial for economies as they are the main drivers of technological progress and economic growth and prosperity. It’s safe to say that giving entrepreneurs the help they need has a good return on investment for society as a whole.
A post-COVID world is shifting us from a consumer age to a producer age, with the Internet as the backbone of this new economy. The emerging creators of this time, Millennials and Gen Z, are looking to work in a different way. They want to pursue autonomy, mastery, and purpose. They want to share and collaborate on new ideas, have new experiences, and align making a positive impact with startup wealth creation.
Unfortunately, current pandemic restrictions are introducing additional problems for these aspiring innovators:
1. Less in-real-life experiences are lowering the chances of meeting potential co-founders and collaborators
2. No easy way exists for aspiring entrepreneurs to simultaneously attract human capital, social capital, and financial capital to their startup projects.
3. As more work is done remotely, trust is an important concern for sharing new ideas and supporting new projects online.
We have a vision for reimagining and reinventing the innovation process and experience; and if we are able to achieve this, we are confident that we can build the next generation entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Let’s explore two areas, gaming and volunteering, that have the opportunity to be utilized to achieve this goal. According to Game Designer, Jane McGonigal, video gamers collectively across the globe spent a whopping 3 Billion hours in 2011 playing video games; with a reported 8% year to year growth rate, that would make it 5 Billion hours per week in 2020. According to NationalService.org, Millennials and Gen Z collectively spent 1.5 Billion hours volunteering to a variety of projects and organizations in 2019 in the United States.
What if there was a creative way for a platform to harness some of that gaming and volunteering energy and attention towards solving meaningful problems with entrepreneurship? What if there was a way to turn entrepreneurship into a new kind of sport and build a whole new ecosystem around it? We believe we found a potential answer to these questions, which resides at the nexus of three fast growing industries:
Serious Games (Game-Based Learning), eSports, and Open Innovation (crowdsourcing).
eSports is a global phenomenon, generating over 435 million viewers worldwide in 2019, with a projected 645 million by 2022. In North America, there are 167 million viewers. For comparison, the average viewer size for the four major sports in North America combined is 170 million. An eSport is a game that is played competitively through an electronic medium, and prizes are available to the best players. Currently, when most people think of eSports, they immediately refer to video games.
However, there is a growing sub-genre of gaming/learning technology called “serious games” or game-based learning. It is a game that can be virtual and/or played in the real world, and is designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment. It is used by industries like defense (war games), scientific exploration, health care, emergency management (COVID-19 simulations), city planning, engineering, politics, and education.
Regarding education, in recent years serious games have proven that it is possible to learn faster and deeper while you play compared to traditional means. This teaching method is known as game-based learning, a trend that’s expanding at the speed of light in primary schools, prestigious universities and large corporations.
Entrepreneurship can be viewed as a multiplayer serious game that is strategy-based. Prizes are already given to the best entrepreneurs and teams via contests, challenges, and open calls. Entrepreneurship requires a continuous cycle of learning and applying, can be done electronically and remotely, and generates an audience for events just like video games.
This approach has the potential to revolutionize the way creators learn and innovate with a community of support to bring their ideas into reality. It has huge implications for the future of work and R&D.
What We're Building
We're building the world’s first open entrepreneurship league that brings people and organizations together to co-create ideas into products through exciting open innovation tournaments.
Our platform will offer players and teams engaging entrepreneurship micro-courses that are supplemented with a simulation game, tools to attract startup resources, & opportunities to compete for a variety of prizes.
We want to help players and teams learn faster, go to market sooner, reduce their risk, build trust, and have fun co-creating the future. We plan to do this by building a highly engaged ecosystem that taps into the power of open innovation and experimental economics.