GoVenture World, the long-anticipated business education game devised by Sydney serial entrepreneur Mathew Georghiou, has been shortlisted for Microsoft’s competition to find the best new game in Canada.
Georghiou is best known as the CEO and founder of MediaSpark, whose GoVenture product is a series of educational digital games that have been used by more than one million people around the world. For several years, he and his team at MediaSpark have been developing GoVenture World, with the aim of producing a game that simulates running a business better than anything else available.
The team expects to begin testing with users early in 2016, but it has already been recognized by Codename GOA, Microsoft’s competition to find the best new game in Canada. Last week, Microsoft announced that GoVenture World was one of seven products shortlisted as finalists.
“We believe it offers us two benefits,” Georghiou said of being a finalist.
“First, it provides external validation that what we are creating is indeed unique and innovative in the gaming industry; second, it will help us create awareness of the game so that we can acquire more players faster.”
Georghiou flew to Montreal on Monday to attend the Montreal International Gaming Summit, where he was to demo GoVenture World at the Microsoft booth. Microsoft is scheduled to announce the winner of Codename GOA today.
GoVenture World has been years in the making; in the autumn of 2012 it was selected as one of the 50 top startups in the world to compete in Startup Open. MediaSpark has also conducted a demo via video conference to White House senior policy advisers for science and technology, who were curious to discover how it could encourage entrepreneurship and business knowledge.
It’s taken a long time to develop because it’s such an ambitious project. Georghiou said it has the potential to be “the single biggest innovation in the history of entrepreneurship and business education.”
In the gaming community, GoVenture World is what’s known as a massively multi-player online role-playing game. Played on computers, tablets or smartphones, users can create and manage virtual businesses while competing and collaborating with others around the world.
Georghiou said he hopes the game will provide business experience and skill development that are so authentic that people will include their success on GoVenture World on their resumes. He said it could provide university credits or offer a business education to people who cannot afford a post-secondary education.
Now in its third decade, MediaSpark, whose products are marketed under the GoVenture brand, tends to sell its products like ebooks to educational institutions and training services to corporations.
This year, Georghiou launched an enterprise called lokol.me, a platform for what he describes as a series of hyper-local news sites. These are portals that allow community members to post a range of content, from news and events to job listings. In the end, it builds social capital within the community. Its first product is goCapeBreton.com, which launched in the spring.