Know Opportunity focuses on addressing the gap between contextualized learning and real world application of skills. Know Opportunity was originally developed as a “hands-on” learning experience, giving students a taste of entrepreneurship in the global marketplace. Prior to launch, we sent prototypes of the game to board game shops, individuals, high schools, youth groups and colleges throughout the US, as well as places like Trinidad, South Africa, Morocco, England, and The Netherlands and integrated content based on feedback from players, entrepreneurs and board game enthusiasts around the world. Know Opportunity is available as a stand-alone board game or as an educational tool which includes a year-long curriculum (optional) with opportunities for expository writing (business plan development), economics based math (profit and loss tracking), public speaking (elevator pitches to mock investors) and general business skills. VIEW OUR JOURNEY
HOW & WHY KO?
There’s a better way to get kids (and adults) to think bigger, think about their future, think globally and it can start with something as simple as a board game. The reality is, we live in a globally connected world. Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs and the way we teach entrepreneurship, leave this very real part of business out of the conversation.
KNOW OPPORTUNITY IS FOR INDIVIDUALS AND CLASSROOMS
Know Opportunity was originally developed as a contextualized learning experience, giving students a taste of entrepreneurship. However, over the past 18 months, we’ve sent prototypes of the game to board game shops, individuals, high schools and colleges throughout the US, as well as places like Trinidad, South Africa, Morocco, England, and The Netherlands. In this phase of feedback, it became apparent that there is a great calling for the game.
So, we took all the feedback, made some changes and redesigned the game to be more standard sized, and now we’re ready to start production on a mass production run of the game! Even though the focus isn’t primarily in the high school classroom, Know Opportunity still includes a year-long curriculum (optional) with opportunities for expository writing (business plan development), economics based math (profit and loss tracking), public speaking (elevator pitches to mock investors) and general business skills.
How Does This Apply to The Real World?
For those of the upcoming generations, adaptability will be key to a successful lifestyle, and entrepreneurs tend to exhibit such traits. The Know Opportunity program works to teach students the fundamentals of entrepreneurship in an applicable, real-world way through contextualized teaching.
- Global Commerce: Part of the challenge facing entrepreneurship today (at least in how it’s commonly taught) is the lack of acknowledgement of addressing a global market. Know Opportunity works to integrate the idea of global commerce into the game, to give players a foundation for exploring opportunities for success that don’t solely rely on their geography.
- Extemporaneous Speaking: Throughout the course (as well as being ingrained in the board game), students are asked to give “pitch sessions” to the class. Sometimes, these are rehearsed and planned in advance, but often they are extemporaneous and done on the spot. This helps students develop critical interpersonal communication skills through being able to clearly and articulately deliver a message to a specific audience.
- Business/Finance Mathematics: In the board game, students keep track of their incomes and expenses on their income statements, teaching them valuable lessons about cash flow, balances and investments.
- Expository Writing: Know Opportunity was designed to be integrated with Youth Entrepreneurship Programs across the country, or other applicable courses. Students learn throughout the course how to identify target markets and potential business opportunities, which helps build the foundation of a business plan. Again, this reinforces the demanding critical, real-world skill of strong writing and articulation.
For At-Home Players: the game is set to be a standard price and ultimately works to expand your vision of what opportunity looks like. We all have friends or connections overseas, but have you ever thought how you might work with that person? No board game can teach you everything there is to know about entrepreneurship, but the obstacles and rewards in the game are almost all taken from real-life scenarios, and the idea is to encourage you to think about building your ideal lifestyle, and not be bogged down by your geographic location.Global commerce is insanely easy to access, even for the little guys.
And this game will get you thinking how to be a part of global entrepreneurship.
For Players in a KO Course: Accompanying the course and curriculum is an educational board game designed specifically to resonate with students, primarily at the high school level. There has already been considerable interest in adapting the program into a middle-school program. As students play the game, they will be able to better apply the lessons learned in the course.
Entrepreneurs learn quickly how every little thing adds up. It’s a life lesson that students quickly learn translates to everyday life. Students gain an understanding of real world economics – through weighing the cost of doing business. From buying a new suit in order to impress at the next client meeting, to upgrading to a new computer, these expenses are tracked on the Income Statement Ledger Sheet. In addition, students track risk. Investment opportunities require a financial commitment without a guarantee as to whether or not they will pay off in the future.
The Know Opportunity board game was designed to appeal to the high school student audience. In order to solicit the highest level of engagement, it was necessary to design the game with a heavy emphasis on visual and aesthetic appeal. Students, teachers and parents have all enjoyed the layout and functionality of the board game. With the mission of providing an additional level of deep and contextualized learning, the game was created to reiterate lessons learned in the course.
Any entrepreneurial venture requires a certain level of vision and foresight for potential trends, areas of opportunity for growth and expansion, and untapped target markets. Know Opportunity cards are meant to reiterate to students that developing an idea and thoughtfully pursuing it will prove beneficial in the long run.
Too Cool to Pass Up
The early days of starting and running a start-up can be extremely taxing – mentally, emotionally, financially. All the focus is on cutting costs and increasing output, in addition to all business functions. Sometimes, to keep one’s sanity, it’s necessary to invest in something for yourself – new clothing for meetings, office furniture, etc.
What Could Go Wrong
Murphy’s Law states that whatever can go wrong, will. While not meant to be pessimistic or negative, the What Could Go Wrong card is meant to teach students that detailed planning is crucial to business success, but even with the best of planning, things can and will go wrong. And it’s up to you to overcome those obstacles.
Part of the Know Opportunity concept is to teach students to become more adept at understanding global commerce. The Foreign Connection card is meant to show students that investing in international markets (through partnerships, manufacturing or expansion) can be a viable option, but it doesn’t come without risk.
Let’s Make a Deal
Being able to see an opportunity – even in the midst of small business stresses and problems – can ultimately be rewarding. But just because an opportunity looks promising doesn’t mean it will deliver. Let’s Make A Deal teaches students to recognize when investing money is a good idea, and when it’s just a gamble.
Part of the entrepreneurial dream includes growing a business to large, profitable proportions, expanding brand awareness and ultimately becoming a household name. What many people fail to realize, though, is growth is expensive. The Growing Pains cards remind you that to make money, you must first spend (wisely, of course).