Many of our students enrolled in our Master of Science in Technology program have expressed an interest in learning about entrepreneurship and the development and management of a technology driven company. Students interested in entrepreneurship can pursue a 12 credit concentration that includes classes in developing a cohesive marketing and technology strategy, comparing and contrasting technology strategies for companies within the same market niche, developing an entrepreneurial business plan and coursework in either small business management or entrepreneurial finance. One critical component of this concentration is the utilization of the Marketplace™ Venture Capital simulation game to provide students with real world management experience in running a technology driven company. Teams of students playing roles as CEO, Marketing Manager, Manufacturing Manager, Financial Manager and R and D Manager develop the technology and marketing strategies for their companies as they compete against each other in a global environment. After four quarters of operation, students are required to prepare and deliver a 15 minute presentation to venture capitalists detailing their marketing and technology strategies, performance to date and expectations in the market for the remaining two quarters in the game simulation. They are competing against the other teams for the venture capitalist’s money and must not only have a good presentation but also demonstrate conceptual understanding of what the financial and market data means. The roles of the venture capitalists are played by retired professionals in the community that have run businesses with revenues exceeding $50 M/year, have started new technology based ventures or have managed researchers in a commercial environment. We instruct the venture capitalists to play the role as tough managers who require data and not fluff before they part with their precious venture capital financing. VC and Technology business managers must negotiate on the purchase price for shares of their company with lesser performing companies giving up a greater share of their company in the negotiation. Students utilize techniques presented in the first two classes in their curriculum (Investigations in Technology and Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation) to develop their marketing and technology strategies. The students appreciate the fact that they are able to take risks and make mistakes in a simulation environment where financial disasters are made with fake money. After utilizing this simulation program for three years, we have found that non- traditional students who have been working in an engineering field typically perform better than the traditional graduate students who are entering their graduate program immediately after receiving their bachelor’s degree. Our experience is that all engineering technology students (regardless of when they enter the program) are weak in their comfort and understanding of financial data and that this is a weakness that we need to correct in both the undergraduate and graduate programs.
Clark, W. Andrew; and Turner, Craig A.. 2009. Market Simulation Programming As A Culminating Experience For Students Interested In Entrepreneurship And Pursuing An M.S. In Engineering Technology. Proceedings of the 2009 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, TX. 14.861.1-14.861.8. https://peer.asee.org/market-simulation-programming-as-a-culminating-experience-for-students-interested-in-entrepreneurship-and-pursuing-an-m-s-in-engineering-technology ISSN: 2153-5965