If you have a thing for fantasy sports, well then BizHero is right up your alley. A fantasy business game for a youthful crowd, BizHero was developed in mid-2011 by two University of Virginia techie sport enthusiasts interested in changing the way people approach business decisions. An innovative and fun simulation, BizHero allows users to try their hand at being the CEO running a business and managing a group of executives. The only problem is that in order to become a full-fledged, useful tool for those intrigued by business concepts, Bidhan (Bobby) Parmar and Fred Telegdy, co-founders of BizHero, need a little crowdfunding help.
“The game was the brainchild of Bobby and I,” explained Telegdy, Digital Curriculum Manager at the Darden School of Business, over the phone. “In business education there exists a lot of online learning and simulations. In fact, we make a lot of them here in Darden. But what we kept finding over and over again is that there are mostly only two simulations, one that’s hyper-focused and another that goes a few steps beyond that, adding a little more complexity to the game.” BizHero, though, doesn’t fall into either of these categories.
“The more we looked around the more we realized there were no real games or simulations that existed where you could take on the role of being a CEO, just like being a manger in a fantasy sports game or the mayor in some city,” said Telegdy. “We wanted to build a simulation that allowed people to have a more realistic experience within a game and then take the lessons they learned and apply those in the real world.”
This way you can test out as many theories as you want without fear of being served by the SEC. Sounds useful, right? Imagine having the opportunity to develop an unlimited amount of strategies and trying them out in a safe, yet relatively accurate simulation. That’s what BizHero allows you to do.
“It’s not necessarily a cookbook, but you can see the ripple effect a change in the game makes,” Telegdy added. “BizHero teaches you to be cognizant of this when managing employees.”
At first I assumed that BizHero would be used by a more academic audience on campus, but as it turns out, Telegdy has even bigger plans for the game. He says it will be used basically anywhere, not treated solely as an in-class resource, per se. “We want anyone interested in business to be able to play this and have this type of experience,” he said. BizHero gives people in business and those with a passing interest the chance to have a discussion about what works and what doesn’t work in business as well as why certain things work in the game, but not in certain industries in the real world.
Currently Parmar, Assistant Professor at the Darden School of Business, and Telegdy have a beta version of the game. There are still a few kinks to work out, though, which is why they launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover costs for the full launch of the new technology. It’s the university’s first crowdfunding initiative, an exciting time for UVA and the BizHero duo. To date they have already raised $2,690, but Parmar and Telegdy hope to raise $15,000 in funding by the end of their campaign on September 9th. Check out their video below and then take a look at their campaign here while keeping in mind that by lending a hand to BizHero, you’ll be helping a local business find success.