Night said the video game simulates how to build or model your business in a fast-paced multiplayer game. Venture Valley is a free (no in-app purchases or ads) PC and mobile (iOS and Android) game.
The game has card play events, both good and bad, and real-life situations that are “a bit cartoonish,” Night added. He equated it to having a coffee shop business and then a new coffee shop moves in across the street with less expensive drinks.
“And how do you handle that,” he said. “Maybe make your coffee gourmet or you have espresso for sale, you sell more espresso.”
Night said as players build their businesses, they have to figure in costs for running it — such as research and development and marketing. They have to be prepared for emergencies, too, like plumbing problems or storms that flood the building.
FORGE (Finding Opportunities and Resources to Grow Entrepreneurs) is an entrepreneurial community that combines startup acceleration alongside experiential student and community education. FORGE programs provide entrepreneurial education, mentoring, coaching, exposure to the venturing process, and readiness assessment tools. FORGE maintains an entrepreneurial resource hub in Downtown Tucson (Roy Place) and several locations on the UA campus and throughout the state.
Asked about his plans for his winnings, the 19-year-old Stoner-German will handle his prize money wisely.
“I will probably invest it into the market and grow more money and use that to fund my college education,” he said. “Put it in my portfolio; I have a stock market portfolio.”
Stoner-German said he was determined to win the tournament, which ran from 2 to 9 p.m. Students/participants were welcome to start their games any time during those hours.
“We got to do a bunch of tries at the game, and we had 15 minutes for every single try … to create the business and create as much revenue as we could for said business,” he said. “I was there for about seven hours playing. … I was there for the whole entire tournament. … I was there to win it.
“We got to choose from three business options. We had options for floral, pizza and hovercraft. I focused basically fully on the hovercraft one because it made the most money and seemed really cool.”