RESOURCE BRIDGE


NOTE: Airing my ignorance here .... but did not know how to get the images to appear. Would have been easier if I could have just copy pasted the document for folks to click on. 
Main reason for posting is to get the idea out and let whosoever can, do something about this idea. Happy to collaborate, exchange ideas, be involved in some way of course.
Best, Vishnu.

ECMT 650D                                                                                                January 6, 2003

Independent Study Report by Vishnu V. Murthy (01705231)

Advisor: Dr. Theodore Clark

RESOURCE BRIDGE: Narrowing the divide


INTRODUCTION


To me the promise of the Internet did not end with the dot com crash. The internet continues to allow us to add value in innumerable ways – an opportunity that, to my mind we have only just begun to seize. One aspect of the internet that captivated me was the massive surge in entrepreneurship. I believe that entrepreneurs are the true drivers of innovation and the key factors influencing trends in our societies and economies. It therefore saddened me that now (a) entrepreneurs continue to find funds difficult to access and (b) investor groups such as venture capitalists are actually returning funds to their investors as they feel they cannot find suitable investments.

Given these views the idea that we should be able to use the Internet  to make funds more accessible to entrepreneurs by making investments in them more attractive to investors captivated me. What follows is my attempt at describing this idea and its key components.

My thanks to Dr. Theodore Clark who came up with some key suggestions and encouraged me to think along these lines. Given the time constraints many of the notions here were not fleshed out. If some confident soul reads this report and uses it successfully to help entrepreneurs and investors my objective will have been met.

NOTES


I have chosen to call the solution Resource Bridge (RB) so as to signify that it is two-way i.e. all parties must reach their objective; and so as to signify that there is an easier way across an obstacle. I will also use “him” throughout the report for no reason other than it is easier to do so.

The primary references apart from the internet, used to write this report were:
electronic commerce by Paul Timmers
e-Commerce by Jeffrey F. Rayport and Bernard J. Jaworski and,
Value Drivers of e-Commerce Business Models by Raphael Amit (Wharton) and Christoph Zott (INSEAD).

THESIS


A resource divide exists for most small businesses and most small businesses stay small - often as a consequence of the resource divide.

HYPOTHESES


It is possible to create a self-sustaining and comprehensive web-based service that will narrow this resource divide significantly. A key resource is capital.


THE SOLUTION – A general Discussion


As mentioned in the introduction, our founding principle is an altruistic one. We want to create something for which there is a market, but also for which there is considerable social benefit. Helping entrepreneurs succeed will I believe have very positive influences on innovation, employment, and economic growth.

First we must define our version of an entrepreneur – one who is self-employed and who has not yet successfully made a public offering of shares in his or her firm. This broad definition would include anyone running a store out of a garage to someone who has a billion dollar business. Within this broad definition it is likely that the smaller entrepreneur say up to a USD100,000,000 revenue, is the target market. The type of funding could vary across the spectrum from seed capital to working capital.

In order to begin the process of evaluating a possible model we asked ourselves what incentives the service should offer to users and what constraints would the approach have to overcome. The brief list we came up with is as follows.
                                                Incentives                                    Constraints

Entrepreneurs                        Lower search costs            Confidentiality
                                                Better access to funds
                                                Cheaper funds
                                                Learning

Experts                                    Revenue                                    Revenue
                                                Altruism                                    How to qualify
                                                Knowledge                       

Funds providers                        Lower search costs            Quality
                                                Diversification                       
                                                Potential for improved returns
                                                Access to resources

                                                Scalability
                                                Developmental data for continuous improvement

We also asked ourselves the following questions as a means of formulating the key requirements of our model.
What will make this a killer application?
Is it possible to develop (and maintain) a six sigma template?
Can the system be beaten (making it irrelevant as a true filter)?
How do you qualify advisors?
How do you get the best advisors?
Can you track the performance of advisors?
How do you ensure confidentiality?
There are similar providers. Why is this model better?
Games within games e.g. Negotiation skills, finance skills etc.?
Can we use game theory to determine and design conditions that lead to the best (not necessarily highest value) outcome for both sides?

We hit upon the notion that a game ought to be played. Why a game? Because you play for a prize. Because only the best win. But a game that has players without coaches and physiotheraphists will of course result in those with raw talent winning. But what about those who could have been champions with some coaching. Thus was the notion of the experts born.

Games represent a useful way to learn in a very real, yet simulated, environment.
In a real game - where you have something of value at stake:
a) Coaches can be of immense value and;
b) Role playing can help simulate the environment better

Our concept became therefore one of a multi-player game where the entrepreneur is one player who represents him/herself. The other players are experts. The game can be played using multiple strategies. Many entrepreneurs use the same expert, one entrepreneur uses many experts, and many entrepreneurs use many experts. An entrepreneur is unlikely to use too many experts for fear of losing confidentiality. The system will enable trust but it is not an absolute guarantee (we cannot find a fool proof way to ensure trust – though we can mitigate this fear to a good extent). An entrepreneur may wish to duplicate the entire process with two different sets of experts to see if there is a consensus. Where resources are scarce, the players can bid for them.

The RB experience is one of managed simulation where the experts coach the entrepreneurs. Role-playing is used in complex situations where an expert is needed not for advising what to do next but for forecasting as to what may happen next.

We want users to have a very real experience – by that we mean that they should be able to work with their expert partners and make decisions based on the advice they receive.

The RB experience is not just one game but games within games. For example there may be negotiation games as well as business plan games.

Today’s investors like to invest in a geographic comfort zone. For example many VC’s will invest only with in a 200-mile radius of their office. We plan to help such investors source managers on a temporary basis who will act on behalf of the investors. There are temporary executive services currently available that can be partnered with to provide these services.


THE SOLUTION – FRAMING THE OPPORTUNITY


SEGMENTATION

Based on level of use; type of use (functional, industry specific) and type of funds source (NGO, VC, Angels, Government, banks etc.). This ability to specialize and channel entrepreneurs along a spectrum of funds needs makes the offering an important one.
Another aspect of our segmentation is online vs. offline. This is expected to apply to entrepreneurs only and not to providers of funds. Currently the intention is to service these offline entrepreneurs via intermediaries whose only function will be to represent the entrepreneurs. Even here we will make the service as interactive as possible and enable the entrepreneurs to attend audio and video conferences. We will aim – if scale permits – to also provide multilingual facilities especially in the more rural areas of India (the one country in our three pilot markets where language may be an issue).

ATTRACTIVENESS OF THE OPPORTUNITY


Competitive intensity


There are a number of (indirect) competitors for certain components of our business model with the best developed being those firms that provide access to experts. There are however very few firms that we were able to find that offer similar resources. These firm’s attributes are in the Competitor Comparisons section. The primary service that they offer entrepreneurs is as aggregators of business plans and act as an intermediary between entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. There is little if any, attempt to offer any more to the entrepreneurs. This group can be easily intermediated by VC’s.
            A generic representation of the types of (more relevant) competition is shown in Diagram 3. From that diagram it can be observed that there have been attempts (see competitor section for more) at becoming an online intermediary between entrepreneurs and investors. These models though have been limited in their value.

Customer Dynamics

           
There is a huge amount of untapped potential and value and numerous factors that will combine to making the Resource Bridge concept successful. For one, in today’s market the entrepreneur has huge search costs – especially at the VC-funding stage. They essentially have to keep trying various avenues till they get “lucky”. Once they get “lucky” they end up often paying more than they should for the funds they borrow. In the entire process they may not be learning anything that will help them improve their chances. Sure there are innumerable books and articles available. But they first have to find these, then understand the material, and apply their self-learned knowledge – often unsuccessfully.
            Take the other side of the market – the funds providers. They have no clue as to the ability of the entrepreneurs and often make first impressions based on the business plans that they see. These first impressions could very well be wrong. What about the business plans that they have rejected. If there was one that they liked but was not in their comfort zone (say in an industry they did not specialize in) they are more likely to reject it outright than to call another VC and request them to look at the proposal. VC firms often hire a few analysts to cull the number of proposals. They then send a select few to the big 4 audit firms – who are only too happy to “help” the VC’s as they see the “shortlist” as potential clients of their own. Who are the people doing the initial culling and the due diligence? Good, intelligent people – maybe. Experts? Unlikely. When there are thousands of business plans coming in the resources used by the firms simply do not scale. To the extent that the search costs increase even more as now entrepreneurs must spend valuable time networking since such situations mean that “good” firms will not even consider an application unless someone has referred it to them. This situation has changed somewhat dramatically in the past year with the pendulum at the other extreme. VC’s have got too much money but are unable to find “attractive” opportunities. I believe this is because they do not have the ability to search for these opportunities.

These conditions make RB the right service at the right time. A service that essentially reduces search, transactions and opportunity costs for both sides.

By segmenting the resources offered by RB we are essentially offering both specialization and the ability to piece together a complete solution. One intended effect of this type of segmentation is to make a global solution local. The other intention is to bring people of different backgrounds together in a non-competitive environment where each can help the other. We will encourage this kind of active knowledge seeking and knowledge dispensation via hosted chat sessions, video and audio links and directory services.

RB is expected to grow rapidly as the model is scalable. We will however want to manage this growth and strive for quality ahead of growth. Once we have established quality and trust we can expand. Following this approach will allow network externality to take a firmer hold thus ensuring that growth will be organic rather than acquisitory. We intend to start RB with a few pilots whereby we manage small pools of capital funded by government agencies in say Hong Kong, India and Singapore. Once these succeed we can expand locally and geographically as other funds providers will gain acceptance of the system. Our intention is to advance RB to the level that it becomes a prerequisite for entrepreneurs to use RB if they intend to avail funds in the market. That there will be continued growth opportunities is very likely for two reasons: one, there will be no dearth of entrepreneurs; two – we offer services that evolve with entrepreneurs needs.

 

Technology Vulnerability


The technology for the platform is available but not we accept, to all users. We will however not build for the lowest common denominator. Instead we will rely on intermediaries to provide services to those who cannot access all or parts of the RB platform.

We believe that developments in connectivity within rural areas, knowledge management and web based security technologies will create the most ongoing benefits for our users. Especially as our users progress their need for access to ASP type resources over the web will increase and this need will not be satisfied without confidence in these new technologies.

Market Size and Profitability


We aim to earn transaction-based revenue even in the initial stages as described in other sections of this report. This in itself will not make RB profitable though it will help sustain RB. The revenue and profitability growth will come from growing with our customers. In other words we will provide fee based ancillary services – the after-the-funding market.
Our primary objective is to deliver value. The secondary objective is to make sufficient profits to be self-sustaining in offering our primary service – access to cheaper funding and better investments. We will however focus on profitability for any services offered over and beyond our primary service. We believe that by first building trust and a sense of community we will be able to retain our clients and offer them ongoing services. Clearly we cannot price these services too aggressively and will have to strive to maintain our costs as a means of achieving profitability. Our belief is that this approach will put our focus clearly on meeting the value objectives of the constituent groups and create a more stable business.
Our intention is to also introduce this plan to any organization that is interested in pursuing it. The aim is to institutionalize this method in order to aid entrepreneurs’ access a critical resource cheaper and to aid investors in achieving more stable and profitable returns. A few large RB type organizations are likely to be far more valuable than a multitude of smaller ones as network externality is likely to be evident as the benefit of the platform increases with an increased number of fund seekers and fund providers.


THE SOLUTION  - FRAMING THE MODEL


A Business Model (as defined by Raport and Jaworski) has three components. The organization of product, service and information flows; sources of revenue;  and benefits for suppliers and customers. The Business Model plus the marketing model results in the business objectives.

THE MODEL (See Diagram 1)

Our business model is essentially a fltration and osmosis process. Filtration because the plans are distilled and only the best get selected. Osmosis because there is a two-way flow of information and knowledge. In level one, the entrepreneur relies almost entirely on codified knowledge. They will have access to experts but on a more general and public level – i.e. via Q&A sessions, chat sessions, web casts etc.  Once an entrepreneur is selected for Level 2 the interaction becomes almost entirely personalized with a lot of human (via the web)  interaction. This progresses to Level 3 where actual negotiations for the funding resources occurs.

Experts are ranked and tiered, with the top experts progressing through to the top tiers. We will use quantitative evaluation methods where possible and will use knowledge management aspects in determining who the top experts are. We will not qualify the experts in level one but will require that experts who join must make available a video web cast on a topic in which they think they have expertise. Experts at subsequent levels will be qualified – based on our system and users experience.

At the first stage of the second tier experts are self-selected by the entrepreneurs based on information provided by the experts. Entrepreneurs will not be allowed to use the same experts for each stage of the process in order to avoid selection bias. For a business case to pass from one tier to another there will be an independent set of experts (a panel) who will judge whether a plan can go into the next tier. If a plan is rejected or accepted the entrepreneur and if so desired the experts used till then can have a web phone conversation with a member of the selection panel. During this feedback the panel member is required to give specific reasons why a particular plan was rejected.
Experts evaluate, provide advise and also judge business plans and proposals.

Once entrepreneurs are qualified for access to capital they will segmented by investor/stage of funding i.e. angel investors, VC, EC, Banks, Government agencies etc. The qualified entrepreneurs will then put up their plans for auction with selection criteria agreed upon by the entrepreneurs themselves. Depending on the stage of funding it could very well be true that a fundamental criteria is the cheapest funding. In other cases this may not be true. In such cases the aim is not simply to get the cheapest funding but the best partnership.

REVENUE MODEL


The revenue model will depend on whether RB plays the (direct) role of the process owner or plays the (indirect) role of an organization that has in-sourced an activity. In the Direct model entrepreneurs will be required to “Pay to play” starting from level 2. Similarly for VC’s who may be asked to pay a finder’s fee. In the Indirect model, RB could be owned by a VC, or we could invest our own funds (though we would not advise that for fear of selection bias). We could also go to a government agency and ask them to outsource their entrepreneur investment selection and management program to us. The revenue model here will be fee based and payable by the agency that has outsourced the service to us.

Our aim is not to invest in firms directly, nor to take equity in lieu of fees or equity in addition to fees. For one, we may not be interested in equity in a particular firm for reasons other than pure profit. If we participate on the basis of receiving equity we will most likely end up focusing only on those opportunities that represent a potential investment for ourselves. Our belief is that doing so puts us in a situation where we may actually increase funding costs to the entrepreneur. In addition this aspect does not allow us a revenue option in cases where there is no equity to be had.

On the other hand, we may very consider allowing certain expert levels to get equity stakes in lieu of fees and allow them to opt to do so for each successful case. This is an idea that obviously has its drawbacks primary of which is the possibility that there may be a conflict of interest if an expert owns a competing firm but is also advising new entrants to that specific market.

To supplement our revenue sources and to market our organization we will be hosting seminars on topics of interests, talk/chat sessions with experts, and internet delivered courses.

ADVANTAGES OF RESOURCE BRIDGE


The idea is to create a more efficient market by reducing search and transaction costs.

RB will create a more effective value system. Current competitors have an incomplete value chain (see diagram 2) plus no feedback mechanism for entrepreneurs.

RB will create ease of access to hard to find qualified experts by allying with companies such as Guru.com, Keen.com or ProSavvy.

RB will reduce the cost of funding to the entrepreneurs while still attracting fund sources. This will be achieved mainly because higher funding costs for entrepreneurs are due to uncertainty or perceived uncertainty. By reducing that uncertainty the fund cost should be lower. Funds sources achieve not only a higher level of comfort in their investments but by investing in a broader portfolio also enjoy a more diversified risk profile enabling them to offer a lower cost of funds.

For the entrepreneurs RB increases their chance of obtaining funding and (via negotiation experts) obtaining cheaper funding. This cheaper funding is not necessarily reflected in the direct cost of funds mentioned by funds providers but in the better negotiation of various clauses in the term sheets.

Time to market improves as the feedback to the entrepreneurs is quick.
In current models a business plan is rejected often without a sound reason for its failure. This results in the entrepreneur being unable to gain from the experience. In RB there is an education aspect that will stand the entrepreneur in good stead when obtaining various types of funding.

The brand image will be founded on trust and quality. Not just of us but of our experts and the fund providers. Our brand image will be strengthened also via the entrepreneurs. This will occur when fund providers will require that entrepreneurs use our process.

Access to markets and market share – we aim to build this over time. It will start with a few select experts and a few funds providers in pilot markets in Hong Kong, India and Singapore.

Smaller entrepreneurs can for a commission use RB as an outsource agent for various services – from creation of business plans to presentations to funds providers.

Customer Orientation – there will be a self-help section as well as a “ask for help” section. Knowledge garnered over time will be codified where possible. This will create a mild network externality effect.
Quality – experts will be graded based on results and client feedback helping us to maintain quality. Experts will be subject to corporation type performance reviews with RB following a consulting house performance evaluation model. Experts will be expected to host general information sessions over the web. This will give them exposure but also help entrepreneurs decide which expert to choose.

Specialized Resources – over time, as critical mass is reached we will most likely employ the best expert resources.

Extended Services – It is our intention to be modular in our approach and offer a wide variety of services (see business model).

Functional Integration – Will be achieved on a modular basis. To explain, experts by geography and industry and functional specialty will be available as resources. Users can self-select from these resources to build a fully integrated solution. Further integration is achieved via the interaction with the funds providers.

Innovation –  To keep the offering interesting and important we will not only improve on what we have but also offer additional services that will be contingent on us achieving scale. For example: securitization of receivables, discounting of receivables, clearing services, systems services etc.

While it may appear that we are dis-intermediating the VC’s this is only partially true. For one, we serve VC’s as well as other funds providers. Second, we hope to address various stages of an entrepreneur’s funding needs. Having said that, if RB is successful, it is not unlikely that funds that invest in VC’s could directly invest in RB. This type of event is more likely once we build a good feedback mechanism for potential investors.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF RB


Service customization – whereby customers self-select the services they need. We will also help direct them to the best resources we have. Our belief is that each entrepreneur’s case is unique – not so much because the services offered will be so different but because there is so much human involvement in the process that each customer will feel he or she has a personal advisor(s).

Knowledge Based Interaction – RB will look to codify the knowledge that can be codified and make available quality tacit knowledge. Queries and responses will be in the written format allowing us the opportunity to over time, convert tacit knowledge into implicit knowledge. To facilitate this we will be designing specific query forms.

Network of Partners – as the appendix on potential partners shows there are many such potential partners encompassing a wide array of services that will be made available through Resource Bridge.

Alliance Partners – We will look to establish formal alliances with partners specifically for outsourcing customer requirements that we are not geared to meet. For example: services for entrepreneurs who are not online but who wish to use RB; ASP providers to whom we would refer clients who need their services etc.

RB will help entrepreneurs achieve three primary objectives: cheaper funding, credibility and education. The credibility will be achieved as entrepreneurs who qualify for funding will have passed our rigorous qualification process and will be able to prove that they have done so when availing future funding. The process that entrepreneurs will follow on RB will educate them. Today, entrepreneurs submit business plans, which are rejected without any feedback to entrepreneurs as to why those plans failed to get funding. In the RB process every entrepreneur will know exactly why his or her plan cannot make it to the next tier. This increased credibility and education will result in the entrepreneur improving the chances of cheaper funding over time.

KEY FUNCTIONS OF THE RB PLATFORM


Deliver and broker (between network partners and RB) information and knowledge – both codified and tacit
Promote our network partners and alliances and our own site.
Offer the capacity to conduct ad hoc negotiations – for example, help with RFP’s, RFI’s and bidding mechanisms for scarce resources.
Ordering ability and flexibility to for example engage a bundle of resources as opposed to one resource at a time etc. This will include electronic invoicing capability.
A mechanism to deliver the resources purchased or used – primarily email but potentially recorded internet phone conversations; video and audio feeds etc.
Payment acceptance capability. Most payments will be small and it is envisaged that the mechanism used will be that of another service provider (for example PayPal).
Ability to take on and monitor risk – be it reputation risk, system risk, business rules risk, operational risk etc. In the future, this will also extend to market, credit, liquidity and portfolio risk.
Ability to provide financing – we do not intend to offer our services on credit except in the later stages so the platform will initially not offer any financing of the payables due to us. We will however have to have a system to monitor our receipts and route them to the resource providers (for example the experts).
Have capability to encourage a virtual community via web conferences, online courses, seminars and workshops etc.

Value Cluster


I have described our choice of target segment, choice of focal customer base and the rationale as to why RB can deliver better value than the competition. Our primary strategy in delivering this value is that we will always build for and behind value. In other words as we develop a customer base we will begin to offer a wider range of services – ourselves or through alliances. For example, we can “build” an Entrepreneur University using case studies from the work that has flowed through us; or we could set up client chains i.e. groupings of customers who trade and ally with each other thus acting as a larger body with larger access to resources.

Market space Offering


The scope of the offering will be wide but will use a building block approach. We will first build category specific dominance (better and cheaper access to funds and investments) and use that as a lever to build cross-category dominance.

Resource System


The resource system of RB is – given its objective of value to the customer –geared towards a demand-side focus. In addition given the key differentiators in the model – role-playing vs. simulation, interactive and live learning, qualification processes etc. – capabilities becomes critically important. We have to not only have quality processes or activities but also quality capabilities. These capabilities are both system and external resource dependent.

Some of the “competitors” listed in the appendix are actually complementors. They fill critical tasks in the value chain of RB and should therefore be viewed as part of a strategic network. If RB gets established and a competitor perceives an opportunity that competitor will more than likely have to focus on two key aspects: get better expert resources; and develop a better strategic network.

RB is primarily a virtual market characterized by a high sense of community, excellent connectivity, a zealous focus on the efficiency of the user experience, an emphasis on the best information and resource network, with local application that is largely replicable across geographies.

RB is essentially a new intermediary rather than an organization that purely dis-intermediates. We still want entrepreneurs and investors to get to know and have business relationships directly with each other. All we want to achieve in that regard is to facilitate that process by rearranging current configurations of resources, capabilities, roles and relationships amongst players.

VALUE DRIVERS


RB will aim for the following value drivers.

Efficiency i.e. reduced cost per transaction.

Complementarities. Provide the ability to bundle services together (for example a range of functional experts) to provide more value than the total value of having each of the experts chosen sequentially in the plan development stage.

Lock in will be achieved for the first stage via the tiered approach i.e. entrepreneurs will have to stay the course to get the funding. We want to go beyond that and build services that encourage repeat transactions. In RB this is a Stage 2 type activity. The primary objective is to build network externality via the management of a critical resource. Once we have the clients and know what their needs are then we (or our partners) start servicing those needs once sufficient scale is achieved.

Novelty. To our knowledge there isn’t another model like RB. One possible reason for this novelty is the altruistic foundation on which the model is built. Another possible reason is that the model genuinely tries to be fair to both “buyers” and “sellers”. Sellers i.e. entrepreneurs compete for capital with the best being able to command a premium. “Buyers” i.e. the investors are prepared to lower their price in return for less risky investment – or at the least an investment that they understand more. It is my hope though that the model does not remain new. If this paper can unleash a RB look alikes we would be more than happy as we would have met our first objective, which is to reduce the resource divide for entrepreneurs.

Reasons to join

           
Money. Entrepreneurs know that if they are good they have increased their chances of getting funding. They also know that RB gives them the chance of improving their odds of obtaining funding via the education process. Experts will also receive money for specialized work. Investors will have a chance to invest in businesses that have a better chance of success.

Connections. We plan to tap into influential social groups so that users who join the system can become part of a network. The network though is more than just a way to make an acquaintance. It will encourage knowledge sharing and knowledge development in formal, structured ways.

RB will probably create a new type of investor, the Entrepreneur Capitalist (EC). EC’s will invest differently, for example they may aim for stable returns, or aim for lower returns that are less risky. The entrepreneur capitalists will in turn attract funding from institutional investors looking for alternative investments and from government agencies. The entrepreneur capitalists will therefore become a new class of investment intermediary and will essentially outsource their value chain activities to RB.


THE SOLUTION - COMPETITOR COMPARISONS


As mentioned elsewhere in this report, RB faces a lot of competition - but in specific aspects of it’s offering with no competitor following RB’s business model. This raises an interesting question if there are a sufficient number of individual pieces of the puzzle available via the internet, is there a need for an integrated offering. This question is even more relevant when considering that we intend to deliver services using an integrated network of providers. Can the users integrate better than us? Is that why the competition does not have a cohesively integrated network of partners and alliances? Is that why the competition chooses to focus on specializing in one aspect of the offering? Or is this specialization/narrow focus because of a desire to start small and be profitable from early on?

Our belief is that for our model to work the services we provide must be cohesive for the simple reason that we “carry” an entrepreneur through various, often iterative, stages until the funding objective is achieved.

Our model is also different in that it very specifically dictates first the building of a community and then the addition of other resources. This is not unlike investing for the future. To use an analogy. You would not think twice about ensuring a very solid foundation for an apartment complex that you expect to rent out for years. You want to make the culture and ambience of this apartment complex just right. That way, you are almost guaranteed that it will become a desired address.

We have chosen only three companies to compare RB against. Two of them appear to be altruistic in nature, while all three rely on experts and this makes them appear closest to RB.

Capital Missions Company


Capital Missions Company creates networks of "social" investors who invest for market returns plus positive social impact ("social dividends"). Their vision is to achieve a globally-accountable economy while their mission is to create social investor networks whose existence will lead to the eventual achievement of this vision. CMC's strategy is to use its innovative KINS approach (Key Initiator Network Strategy) to create these social investor networks.

ProSavvy

ProSavvy is a web-based solution enabling clients with projects to find the best consulting firms for their needs. ProSavvy provides web-hosted systems enabling companies of all sizes to more efficiently and effectively identify, select and manage the procurement of outside professional services.
The ProSavvy system includes three solutions: Sourcing - provides online tools and business services that facilitate the collaboration between clients and consulting firms; Corporate - increases corporate efficiencies and cost savings by proving the resources to manage the entire procurement process; and Supplier - for all disciplines of consulting firms and professional service suppliers who are looking to expand their business development efforts.

DevelopmentSpace


“DevelopmentSpace brings different worlds together: the developing world and the developed; the for-profit and not-for-profit; the virtual and the physical. Partnerships are a way for us to extend our reach and understanding of these worlds. Our partnerships are based on common interests in investment, marketing, outreach, as well as purely complementary tools and services for DevelopmentSpace participants. Effective partnerships will be the foundation of our successes.”


STRATEGIC VALUE DRIVERS
Capital Missions Company
ProSavvy
Development Space
RB





Trading Relationship Structure
Creates networks of social investors who invest for market returns and positive social impact
Formal relationships with suppliers, runs an affiliated suppliers page.
They say that this is key to their business model and have many relationships. The list of relationships mentioned is very impressive though the majority appears to be a very loose coalition as opposed to a cohesive network.
Experts, funds providers, web of services to support an ongoing venture, offline service providers, information providers etc.
Economics
Fee from consulting on network formation and growth
Solution based pricing from corporates plus an annual fee charged to affiliated suppliers as well as a percent of fees collected from suppliers.
Main fee is a facilitation fee of 7% to 10% of the funds raised for a project
Fees for experts collected on behalf of the experts, finders fee charged to investors, services other than funds access charged per transaction/service.
Channel Structure /Process
Network of people/groups interested in specific social/economic problems
Qualified affiliated suppliers
Aggregator and filter
Entrepreneurs, experts, information providers, transactions providers, investors
Marketing Strategy
Personal networks and conferences
Advertising, word of mouth
Social groups, word of mouth
Build base via focuses groups and then expand. Notion is to create network externality rather than purchase market share.
Value to users
Identifies social/economic issues, constituencies needed to solve the issues, convening these constituencies and building relationships between them and facilitating problem resolution.
Lower cost and more efficient consultant procurement process
Investors return is measured by social return as there are currently no financial returns. Organizations that receive investments clearly get some value.
Lower transactions costs, better access to funds, cheaper funds, less risky investments, more diversified investments, education, knowledge aggregation and disbursement.
Efficiency
Appears that much of the value chain (i.e. identifying issue, convening interested parties etc) is done offline.
Transaction efficiency via access to qualified consulting resources.
Currently I do not see the efficiency. To get more efficient either DS should actively look for investments or they should market themselves enough so that investment opportunities find DS.
Transaction efficiency, information exchange efficiency, knowledge management efficiency (i.e. measures to measure experts to converting tacit to implicit knowledge, to sharing tacit knowledge).
Complementarities
Did not observe any. Focus is on the identification of the issues rather than the success of the investment.
Yes. The corporate solution bundles a single corporate customer’s consulting needs.
Yes. Fairly large list of similar firms that are listed as allies/partners.
Yes. Functional components of each of an entrepreneur’s needs are available by themselves or bundled by RB using RB’s and it’s partners and alliances resources..


Lock In
None I could perceive
The lock in is limited in this model because there is no contract to retain a customer – though some customers do return because they are happy with the service. There is some lock-in on the supplier side due to the qualification process. In terms of monetary value this is not uniform and is unlikely to be strong given that this is not the only source of revenue for most suppliers. The fees are negligible to negative as a switching cost as the consultants PAY in order to participate.
No lock in.
In the primary funds access stage there is some lock in because entrepreneurs are trying to reach the last, money stage AND benefiting on the way there. In post-funding stages the lock in is achieved through contracts as the services offered are based on provide services over a specified period.
Novelty
Very limited. We could not find others like them on the web but their scope and limited offering prevent them from being enough of a novelty to matter.
Pro-Savvy still remains somewhat of a novelty though there are clear competitors.
None. The aggregation/disaggregation function where social projects are concerned is new to the web but the concept is simply transmitted to the web with most of the roles unchanged.
Yes. The aim is not only to provide better access to a scarce resource FOR ALL entrepreneurs but also to achieve funding cost reductions by improving value to the investors AND educating users in the process – be they entrepreneurs, investors or experts.





KEY FEATURES









Availability
Limited by time and geography. Time is not critical but geography is needed to scale.
Not 24/7 but does not need to be.
Appears limited by resources in spite of its alliances.
Limited on time but time is not critical. This factor is also mitigated by the availability of other information rich features. Limited by geography in the first phase – but intentionally not due to the process.
Global
No
No
Yes (?)
As expansion occurs
Local
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Interactive
Yes, but offline
Yes, but entire model limited to “handshake” stage
Requires clients to follow standard format. Not much interactivity. More of a “submit and wait” model.
Yes
Network Effect and Network Externality (i.e. external and internal strengthening forces)
Weak. Some incentive to join but none to stay
Some. Theoretically the better the suppliers, the more the customers and so on. Does not appear to have “tipped” yet – unsure why.
No. While they aim to foster a community the “ties that bind” are too general to create either a network or network externality effect.
Yes. Entrepreneurs will want to join to access resources, investors will want to join to improve investment opportunities, and experts will join because of the feedback (knowledge enhancement), revenue and recognition that they get.
Scalable
Not unless employees are also scaled
Yes potentially but needs qualified suppliers
Yes, but limited by ability to authenticate
Limited but sufficient for market. We want people to want to join but we do not want everyone to be “full” users. This increases the value for those who do become full users. The filtration process takes care of this aspect.
Network of Partners
Yes, that is the stated model – though it appears that there is no formalized network
Yes. The network of qualified suppliers is the heart of the offering.
Yes – but a lot of them appear to be planned rather than real
Formalized network of investors, entrepreneurs and borrowers
Alliance Partners
No
Yes
Yes
Yes





ADVANTAGES









Transaction Cost
Yes, via simulated returns modeling and lower cost of searching for partners
Reduces costs of searching for and hiring and using consultants
Somewhat reduces search cost but possibly does not as it recoups a part of the investment funds
Yes, more efficient and value added process
Time to market
Somewhat. via formation of group of like-minded people
Reduces transaction time via RFP’s and qualified suppliers
Not really on a regular basis. On an exception basis it may be true. Resource-dependent.
Yes via reduced search time, via education leading to better interaction with investors etc.
Brand Image
Neutral. Had to find it – had not heard about it.
Appears to have built some trust and repeat customers.
To some extent – had read about them in a magazine
Not yet implemented. But aim is to make it a trusted center for knowledge and economic development
Access to markets
Appears to have access to influential participants
Access to qualified resources
Some advantage but limited by informal and offline processes
Yes access to funds market plus other services
Customer Orientation
Yes. Customized by project but project introduced by CMC
Yes
Claims to be oriented to social development but charges the borrower and not the lender.
Yes
Functional Integration
No
Yes. Can package solution across consulting spectrum for a corporate client.
No. Appears to fill one part i.e. diligence and forwarding – of the value chain.
Yes. More so in the later stages. But even in the primary (access to funding) stage multi-functional help will be available.
Network Integration
None
Some via RFP but limited
No
Yes – value-added channel to resources.
Innovation
Not really. Concierge approach.
Somewhat – given that this is to find consultants. Improves on the distributor model.
No. Follows the middle man approach. Does present itself as innovative but appears to be a “concierge+” model.
Somewhat – actually a back to basics, lets make a resource more accessible approach. The innovation lies in the determination to make this meaningful for both entrepreneurs and investors.







APPENDIX  A

Diagram One – Schematic of the RB Model



APPENDIX  A

Diagram 2






APPENDIX A

Diagram 3




APPENDIX B  – Competitors, Complementors and Others


http://www.businesspartners.com/  (venture capital matching service)

http://www.ventureexchangenetwork.com/index.htm

http://www.simul8.com/products/what_is_simulation.htm

http://www.investorscircle.net/  (CHECK them out – can they help us?)

http://www.capitalmissions.com/social/



APPENDIX C - DevelopmentSpace’s network


A number of NGOs in Andhra Pradesh that liaise closely with community groups. These include the Confederation of Voluntary Associations (COVA), WASSAN, Andhra Pradesh Mutually Aided Communities (APMACS), The Deccan Development Society (DDS), the Hyderabad chapter of the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), and the Cooperative Development Foundation.

Bodhtree Consulting
Bodhtree, an application developer in Hyderabad, India, is developing the software platform for DevelopmentSpace. DevelopmentSpace has entered into a strategic alliance with Bodhtree to enhance its ability to deliver customized portals and other applications for its key clients.
 
Calvert Foundation
Calvert Foundation is assisting DevelopmentSpace to raise investment capital by taking steps to enhance investor comfort.

CINI (Child in Need Institute)
CINI is an NGO based in Calcutta, India working towards social change for disadvantaged women and children, specifically in the areas of health, nutrition and education. Discussions involving the placement of CINI's community projects on DevelopmentSpace's site are currently underway.

The Crafts Center
The Crafts Center is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that works with low-income artisans to increase their economic independence, supporting crafts production that respects fair trade and labor practices, cultural traditions and the environment. The Crafts Center will serve as authenticators for their members on the DevelopmentSpace site.

Development Gateway
The Development Gateway will share online traffic with DevelopmentSpace and will leverage the synergy between their best practice content and DS’s transactional capacity. 
 
Give2Asia
Give2Asia is an initiative of the Asia Foundation that provides services making U.S. - Asia philanthropy accessible, secure, and tax deductible. Give2Aisa has also agreed to act as a fiscal transfer agent for DevelopmentSpace.

GlobaLegacy
GlobaLegacy is a United Kingdom-based alliance of companies (including Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Ogilvy & Mather) and organizations that is in the process of raising $100 million to finance commercially viable ventures that provide support to disenfranchised urban communities. GlobaLegacy has asked DevelopmentSpace to provide a customized, front-end Web site to source, evaluate, design, implement and monitor projects.

Greenstar
Greenstar delivers solar power, health, education, and environment programs to small villages in developing countries, while connecting the people and traditional culture in those villages to the global community. Greenstar and DevelopmentSpace are partnering on projects as well as innovative ways to provide connectivity to remote locations.

Hewlett-Packard
DevelopmentSpace is a key participant in Hewlett-Packard's World e-Inclusion Program. The goal of World e-Inclusion is to reach 1000 villages, create 1 million partnerships, and deliver $1 billion worth of goods and services to the developing world by the end of 2001. HP has lent DS one of its managers to enhance our marketing and business development capacity.

Marion Foundation
The Marion Foundation is committed to exploring how nature and spirit can empower the lives of individuals and communities. The foundation specializes in identifying innovative social entrepreneurs and projects from around the world. Marion will use DevelopmentSpace to mobilize the resources needed to fully realize the extraordinary potential of the people and initiatives that they have identified.

Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a US- and Scotland- based NGO that serves to alleviate poverty and oppression through emergency relief, sustainable community development, and civil society initiatives.
 
MIT School of Management and Princeton Woodrow Wilson School of Public Administration
Their graduate students partner with entrepreneurs on the DevelopmentSpace Web site. As part of their graduate studies, business students will coach entrepreneurs and help guide them through the business planning process.


PACT
PACT works to strengthen the capacity of grassroots organizations, coalitions and networks and to forge linkages among government, business and the citizen sectors to achieve social, economic and environmental justice. PACT will act as an authenticator on DevelopmentSpace, and has also agreed to act as a fiscal transfer agent for DevelopmentSpace.

Round Table India
Round Table - India is a service organization that currently has over 130 different chapters throughout India. Round Table members will post projects from their "Freedom Through Education" initiative (a long-term project seeking to alleviate illiteracy rates in school-age children in India). They will also serve as authenticators on the DevelopmentSpace site.

Save the Children
Save the Children is a US-based NGO that serves 45 countries globally in an effort to assist children born into poverty by promoting local initiatives in education, health care, agriculture, and economic productivity. Save the Children will place some of its high-potential projects on DevelopmentSpace to seek additional financing from social investors.

Solar Electric Light Fund
Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) is a U.S.-based NGO that specializes in the use of solar energy to facilitate improvements in rural health, education, micro-enterprise, and wireless communication access in the developing world. SELF will take some of its worldwide projects to the DevelopmentSpace web site to search for co-financiers and to enrich its own business planning resources.

Tarahaat
Tarahaat is an Indian business that is built around a network of cybercafes and community-enabled connectivity. They will ensure online reach to DevelopmentSpace throughout rural areas in India. Tarahaat will also help with DevelopmentSpace's marketing efforts and seek funding for their cyberbusiness through our Web site.

The Reuters Foundation Digital Vision Fellowship Program
The Reuters Foundation Digital Vision Fellowship Program is a unique initiative that brings together the academic, corporate, and NGO sectors. Digital Vision Fellows will advise DevelopmentSpace social entrepreneurs as they develop projects on the site.

Virtue Ventures
Virtue Ventures is a management and technology consulting firm that provides affordable services to nonprofit organizations and social enterprises. We are partnering with Virtue Ventures to create and refine the business planning tools on DevelopmentSpace.

World Resources Institute
The World Resources Institute, a U.S.-based environmental NGO, is hosting the Digital Dividend Clearinghouse to provide a knowledgebase and collaboratory environment for digital dividend activities worldwide. As part of its service, the Clearinghouse will send qualified initiatives to DevelopmentSpace for business plan design and possible funding.




APPENDIX D

 

THE TOP 40 WORLD WIDE WEB SITES FOR SMALLBIZ ASSISTANCE

(Copied from www.roninsoft.com. U.S. Centric. Not comprehensive)

Many businesses, government and nonprofit organizations have set up home pages on the World Wide Web of the Internet where you can browse through or download helpful business information, view videos and catalogues, and place orders for merchandise, in some cases. Some of the more useful sites for small businesses include the ones listed below.

LANGUAGE TRANSLATION ON THE WEB -- If you need to read web pages that are in a foreign language, and can't afford to hire an interpreter, the Alta Vista search engine can translate the web pages from any of 5 languages (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, or German) into English, or vice versa. While the translations are not perfect, they are pretty good, and are free. You can even type in text on-screen and see it instantly translated between English and any of the other 5 languages. Check it out next time you are trying to read a foreign web page, and are straining your memory banks, struggling to remember your high school French or Spanish....

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BUSINESS INFORMATION:

. FED WORLD -- This is the central clearing site for Internet sites that are related to the federal government. It's a good place to start to locate and review available information for a wide array of federal agencies and departments. Its Web address is:  http://www.fedworld.gov

. SBA ONLINE -- The Small Business Administration has a Web site that provides tips for starting, financing, and expanding a small business. This is also a useful site for locating the Web address (and real address) of the Small Business Development Center or S.C.O.R.E. chapter nearest you, where you can obtain counseling assistance for your small business. The SBA site is at the following Web address: http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov

SBAOnline.gov includes many links to other Web sites, including a nifty "U.S. Business Advisor" site that includes information on almost every subject for anyone who has dealings with the government. The Web address of the U.S. Business Advisor. Site is: http://www.business.gov

. IRS -- The Internal Revenue Service has a Web site from which you can download tax forms and instructions and obtain other tax information, including downloads of free tax publications. You can download the forms and other items to your computer and print them out later, if needed. You'll need Adobe Acrobat (free) or another such "reader" program to view and/or print
out the files you download. The IRS Web address is: http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/

. EDGAR -- The SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) Web site contains corporate filings that have been submitted to the SEC under the securities laws,  including 10K's, 10Q's and other forms. You can access
the EDGAR database to search for information about any public company, at this Web address: http://www.edgar-online.com

. SEC HOME PAGE -- The SEC LAW home page provides updated information on SEC actions, including a section on small business matters, proposed regulations, and SEC news tidbits. Its Web address: http://www.seclaw.com

. THE WHITE HOUSE -- The Clinton Administration has set up this popular Internet site, which offers information on many areas of the executive branch of the federal government, among other things. The address on the Web is:
http://www.whitehouse.gov

. THOMAS -- Not to be outdone by the executive branch, the U.S. Congress has set up THOMAS, a huge collection of accessible information about the workings of the Congress, including the full text of House and Senate legislation. You can now read the full text of pending bills for yourself, without
need to hire an expensive and Gucci-shod Washington lobbyist to tell you what is in a proposed new bill. THOMAS can be reached at: http://thomas.loc.gov

STATE GOVERNMENTS BUSINESS INFORMATION:

. YAHOO STATE INFORMATION -- You can now access a wide range of business and tax information for any of the states via the Internet. In most states, you can now directly access the state's laws, download tax forms, and access on-screen information on a wide range of business, tax and regulatory subjects. A good starting point for a search of state Web sites is the following "Yahoo" Web page, which lists all of the states -- simply click on the state
whose governmental information you wish to peruse: http://www.yahoo.com/Regional/U_S__States/

. CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT AGENCIES – California is almost like another, slightly smaller, version of the federal government, with more state bureaucracies than you can count (including 3 different state tax collection agencies you must deal with). An excellent starting point on the Web for finding your way through the maze of California government agencies is the
following web page, which links to all major California state agencies that are on the Web: http://www.state.ca.us/state/portal/myca_homepage.jsp

. WASHINGTON, D.C. HOME PAGE -- For information ondoing business in the District of Columbia, a good starting point is the Washington, D.C. home page:
http://www.ci.washington.dc.us

. 50-STATE MAP OF STATE WEB SITES -- The state of Nebraska web site, at the URL listed below, provides a handy U.S. map of the 50 states, on which you can simply click on your state to go to your state's official or unofficial home pages: http://www.nol.org/otherstates.html

PRIVATE SITES OFFERING BUSINESS INFORMATION AND SERVICES:

. ENTREPRENEURIAL EDGE -- Probably the best site for general business information on the Internet, created by the Edward Lowe Foundation, a private philanthropic organization. It contains a vast number of business resources, and you can order whole books or for a modest fee, pick a subject and
use their "fax-on-demand" service to fax specific information back to you on the subjects you select, for a nominal charge. Visit the Entrpreneurial Edge at the following Web address: http://edge.lowe.org

. MARKET RESEARCH -- Two key sites for locating companies that are on the Net are BizWeb and the Commercial Sites Index. BizWeb is sort of a "yellow pages" listing of companies, arranged by category, but also includes a handy
search engine. The Commercial Sites Index lists thousands of companies that have set up a home page on the Net. Access BizWeb at: http://www.bizweb.com


. NATIONAL SBDC RESEARCH NETWORK -- In 1992, the New York State Small Business Development Center began operating the National SBDC Research Network. This Research Network provides research support to over 900 Small Business Development Centers throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Research Network is funded by the US Small Business Administration and administered by the State University of New York. This site provides a great deal of information that can be useful to the potential or ongoing entrepreneur. Web address is: http://www.smallbiz.suny.edu/
. ISO ONLINE -- The International Standards Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, operates this highly useful informational site on ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 standards, which are becoming increasingly important quality assurance standards for companies operating in international markets. Its web address is: http://www.iso.ch

. TECHNOLOGY EXPORT MANAGEMENT -- This private web site offers a wealth of free information on exporting goods and services to all parts of the world, provided by an export management consulting firm. The Web address is:
http://www.txm.com

. THE COPYRIGHT WEBSITE -- Contains helpful information and advice on how to copyright your writing or other creative works, including a special emphasis on copyright laws as they apply to Web publishing. The Web address for this site is: http://www.benedict.com

. AMERICAN CITY BUSINESS JOURNALS -- This site, maintained by the publisher of business journals in more than two dozen major U.S. cities, contains links to each of those local business journals, including sample articles you may view on-line, and the ability to sign up for a subscription to
the journal (if any) in your city. The Web address is: http://www.amcity.com

. CORPORATE AGENTS, INC. -- This private service will, for a small fee, incorporate your business in any state, generally within 24-48 hours. You can initiate the process of incorporation on-line, if you wish, at their Web site:
http://www.corporate.com

. LAWINFO.COM LEGAL INFORMATION SITE. -- A very comprehensive site, offering legal information and online legal forms to consumers, small business, and attorneys. One of the most complete sites on the Internet for U.S. legal information, much of it free: http://www.lawinfo.com

. INZAP (SPEED UP COLLECTIONS FROM CUSTOMERS). This site helps you to learn how to end collection hassles and get paid faster by your customers. They offer some sample collection letters, a cash flow calculator, and very innovative ways for small businesses to get paid faster.: http://www.inzapinc.com

. CREDIT CHECKS AND TENANT SCREENING. Coastal Credit Bureau Credit Reports and Tenant Screening provides credit reporting, tenant and employment background checks, Criminal Records, DMV, and information services nationwide. No setup fees or membership dues, reports processed within minutes. Free downloadable applications.: http://www.coastalcredit.com

. YOUR SMALL OFFICE / HOME OFFICE HELPER. Get SOHO news, small biz tax loopholes & tips, office software, resources, impressive business opportunities, books, and more. SOHOhelper also features a FREE newsletter, "The SOHOhelper Weekly Ezine", delivered every Friday. Includes loads of guidance and many helpful links for on-line marketing. Featured products
include books by Matthew Lesko and other noted authors, small business start-up software, training and resources. http://www.sohohelper.com

FINANCING SOURCES:

The following are some of the best web sites for locating financing for your business, including loans, venture capital, and information on self-financing through an IPO (initial public offering) over the Internet:

--- SOURCES OF LOANS:

. LENDERS' INTERACTIVE SERVICES -- This is an excellent starting point for your search for financing. This interactive site asks you for information about your business, then recommends lenders that may match with your needs, and you can even request that those lenders contact you. Go to: http://www.lendersinteractive.com

. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION -- Of course, one of the best places to find out about the many available SBA loan programs is at the SBA's home page, which contains a wealth of small business loan information, and lists of Certified Development Companies in each state, at: http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov

. LOAN PROCESS -- For information on how to go about obtaining SBA-guaranteed loans or other sources of startup capital, visit the MoreBusiness.com web site and see their helpful guides to startups, financing, or download free business shareware programs, at:
http://www.morebusiness.com

. FINANCE HUB -- Approach any or all of long list of bankers for financing at once through this site, which provides links to nearly 100 banks in the U.S. and Canada, at: http://www.financehub.com

--- VENTURE CAPITAL and GOING PUBLIC ON THE INTERNET:

. SHARPENING YOUR PRESENTATION -- This site will help you to sharpen your presentation to venture capitalists. Check it out at:
http://www.vfinance.com/

. VISTAWEB -- Visit this site to get information and advice you can use, to help you decide if your company is one that could or should consider an initial public offering (IPO) of stock over the Internet, which an increasing number of small firms are now doing: http://www.vistaweb.com

APPENDIX E

Games and Games Resources

What follows is a host of games and game resources that may have some relevance in designing the Resource Bridge game. A significant part of this section is from the part of the INSEAD website written by Thierry Nabeth of the Centre for Advanced Learning Technologies in INSEAD, and from a site called Learnativity.

A note: please use the words shown in blue as the search string in Google.

www.comsimgames.about.com

www.lavamind.com/edu.html
Gazillionaire and Zapitalism - more for high school students; profitania – higher level. Zapitalism is a business simulation game, where the player runs a retail business. The goal is to maximize profits and outsmart the competition.

http://www.insead.fr/CALT/Encyclopedia/Education/Advances/games.html

http://www.insead.fr/facultyresearch/teaching_tools/simulations.htm

http://knowledge.insead.edu/

Simulation & Gaming: An International Journal of Theory, Practice, and Research

SGX : The World of Simulation/Gaming
SGX (Simulation/Gaming Exchange) is a clearing house for web sites related to simulation/gaming. (including a specialised search engine for simulation/gaming).

The World Game Institute
The World Game Institute is a 25 year old not-for-profit education and research organization whose mission is to supply the perspective and information needed to solve the critical problems facing global society as we enter the twenty-first century.

Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning
NASAGA
North American Simulation and Gaming Association
The North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA) is a network of professionals working on the design, implementation, and evaluation of games and simulations to improve learning results in all types of organizations.
SIGIS SIGIS is the italian section of ISAGA (International Simulation and Gaming Association).

The World Game Institute
The World Game Institute is a 25 year old not-for-profit education and research organization whose mission is to supply the perspective and information needed to solve the critical problems facing global society as we enter the twenty-first century.
ISTE
International Society for Software in Education Research Centre

The Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (MCLI)
The Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (MCLI), at the Maricopa Community Colleges, is an environment for continuous learning, experimentation, and systemic, professional, and personal change. MCLI represents a comprehensive and collaborative model for educational leadership, learning innovation, and institutional transformation.
see also the advances in education page 

Educational Software Institute, Inc.
ESI Online is the world's largest and finest collection of K-12 educational software - more than 8,000 titles from over 350 publishers.

NEEDS
National Engineering Education Delivery System.
NEEDS, the National Engineering Education Delivery System of the Synthesis Coalition, is a multimedia courseware development and distribution system to support engineering education. It provides global access to a growing database of engineering information. Its mission is to connect users to educational courseware. It uses powerful computing tools built on open international standards to employ and contribute to the development of electronic publishing technologies on the global information network.

IST project
The learning game.
The KITS project will develop and evaluate a learning environment that comprises an educational supported distributed game in the domain of knowledge management.

Center for LifeLong Learning
ICS DeweyWeb
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, US
An experiment in "global" education sponsored by Interactive Communications & Simulations (ICS) and U.Michigan. The mission of DeweyWeb is to not only serve information to students, but also attempt to provide them a chance to contribute their own observations and findings.
Harvard Business School Publishing

Business game projects running at INSEAD

Business simulation packages

Jerry Smith and Peggy Golden various simulation games

Negotiator Pro different games
different types of games (family, environment, management, introductory, labor-management).

Sigma
by Joe Bissada,
INSEAD. Bissada Management Simulations (BMS) is a company specialising in the design and delivery of business simulations for management education.

Airline
by
Jerry Smith and Peggy Golden
Based on an actual case, this simulation puts student teams in the position of running a small commuter airline.

Mega Learning International
Mega Learning International is an internationally recognized organisation providing World-class Business Simulations for Decision-makers
In Finance

ForAdd (INSEAD)
is a computer-based learning experience designed to help corporate executives, and bankers better understand what it takes to manage the financial position of a multinational industrial corporation. by
Lee Remmers, Professor of Finance INSEAD

WALL $TREET RAIDER, by Michael D. Jenkins
W$R is real-time financial game that simulates a stock market
(comment: relatively interesting)

MarkStrat
by Jean Claude Lareche and Hubert Gatignon,
INSEAD
MARKSTRAT is a simulation that has been designed for teaching strategic marketing concepts.

BricksorClicks.com
BricksorClicks.com puts you in the role of CEO at a traditional toy manufacturer.

In Organizational Behaviour - Change Management EIS Game (INSEAD)
by
Professor Albert Angehrn, INSEAD, and Todd Jick.
In the "EIS Simulation", participants working in groups are challenged to introduce an innovation in a division of the EuroComm corporation.

Tango KM Business Simulation Game
by
Sveiby Knowledge Management
Tango is a non-computerized business simulation designed for all decision makers in knowledge organizations.
The Innovation Diffusion Game
by Alan AtKisson
This game has been designed to demonstrate certain basic principles in cultural change and innovation diffusion theory.

Negotiation

Negotiator Pro
Negotiator Pro allows the user to learn about his/her own style, measure your negotiation smarts, AND prepare for real world negotiations.

Human resources

The Human Resource Management Simulation
by
Jerry Smith and Peggy Golden
the Human Resources Simulation will help you gain a better understanding of the strategic issues of a human resources department

In Technology Management
TripleC (a Decision Support System tool)

In Economics

Institute for Fiscal Studies "Be Your Own Chancellor"
The Chancellor must weigh up the potential effects of the Budget on the economy and on the electoral chances of his party.

Budget 96
Is simulation model in which you can enter your own income and expenditure and find out how you personally were affected by Mr Clarke's budget

Tow - Tax and Benefit on the Web
Taxben being a large "microsimulation model", developed at the IFS to investigate the effect on the British tax system of changes in income taxes, indirect taxes, social security benefits, and so on.

Pro Invest

WinEcon
from
TLTP Economics Consortium (UK)

SimCity - Multi Player Version
Other

SimuLearn
SimuLearn is an innovative eLearning leader in the design and creation of immersive simulation software for teaching business soft skills.

Prendo
Prendo's mission is to revolutionise the management and professional development process, by replacing traditional learning tools such as case studies, textbooks and user manuals with immensely more powerful and flexible immersive simulation environments and online topic experts.

Indeliq
Indeliq offers tools and architecture to deliver packaged applications for performance simulation.

Corporate Gameware
Corporate Gameware combines computer games and business content into a new "Nintendo Generation" approach to learning.

Wall Street Raider
from
Ronin Software
WALL STREET RAIDER is a corporate takeover and stock market game and simulation.

Capitalism Plus
from
Interactive Magic and Enlight Software
Capitalism Plus combines fun and realism in business simulations.

Entrepreneur from Stardock
World domination through corporate warfare

Triopoly
Three-dimensional game of buying and building cities

Game Design Articles


"Case Study: Development of a Corporate Learning Game"
by Sharon L. Gander

The e-Journal of Instructional Science and Technology, Volume 3 No 2, March

http://www.ideasandtraining.com/

http://www.paradigmlearning.com/Products/Solutions.asp

http://www.marketplace-simulation.com/index.php

http://www.rootlearning.com/index.html

http://www.bus.utexas.edu/execed/open/finance.asp

http://www.knowledgematters.com/VBR/VBRSpecifics.asp  (has VC learning but seems geared to high school students)

http://dmoz.org/Business/Investing/Games/

http://www.unice.fr/sg/authors/typespaper.htm (seems like a good site – definitely explore more as it may help determine scope of work if we choose a game for the project)

http://www.learnativity.com/simulations.html (seems like a better site thatn unice.fr – worth exploring)

Article from Purdue University about their Simulation environment www.purdue.edu/UNS/html4ever/9811.Lundstrom.hub.html
Simulations Get Real by Tom Barron. Technology Training Magazine. Nov/Dec 99.

In Simulations, Reality Is Optional. July 1999, TRAINING Magazine. (v36 n7 p18)

Simulation: Reach Out and Touch Some Training Sarah Auerbach, June 1999, Inside Technology Training (v3 n6 p8)

Start up your own start-upBusiness simulation game is a little too much like work. By Liane Gouthro. PC World, 06/09/00

Jeremy Hall's Simulations Site
Casestudy from Powersim with Hydro Agri Europe & British Telecomm http://www.powersim.com/solution/employee.htm

Association for Business Simulations & Experiential Learning (ABSEL)
www.towson.edu/absel/

SGX - Simulation/Gaming eXchange
The Internet Clearinghouse for Simulation/Gaming Resources
http://sg.comp.nus.edu.sg/
JASAG - Japan Association of Simulation and Gaming http://jasag.bcasj.or.jp/

SIETAR-USA Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research www.sietarinternational.org/

EUROSIM Federation of Europrean Simulation Societies http://ws3.atv.tuwien.ac.at/eurosim/

Context is a National Centre and Network for promoting the use of case materials and simulations in higher education and employment. http://context.tlsu.leeds.ac.uk/index.asp

ORS Operational Research Society www.orsoc.org.uk/home.html

OzSAGA Australian Simulation and Games Association www.education.uts.edu.au/ozsaga/

SCS Society for Computer Simulation www.scs.org

SAGSET The Society for the Advancement of Games and Simulations in Education and Training http://graph.ms.ic.ac.uk/sagset/

Who's building simulation tools?

www.cognitivearts.com

www.edusim.net

www.changeatwork.com (custom)

www.mbe-simulations.com

www.ninthhouse.com

Institute for Learning Sciences www.ils.nwu.edu

www.learninginsights.com

www.learningproductions.com

www.powersim.com

Strategic Management Group (SMG) http://phl.smginc.com/smginc/smg/index.html
www.thinkingtools.com. Think2000 is a business risk management simulation

www.smg2000.org

www.teamdevelopment.com/programs_simulations.htm

www.bizworld.org

www.optimal-negotiator.com

www.sparklearning.com

Micro Business Publications (Management Accounting Simulations) www.microbuspub.com

Team Development Simulations www.teamdevelopment.com/programs_simulations.htm
Jerald Smith's Business Simulation's http://home.att.net/~simulations/simhome.htm