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VentureBlocks Simulation Instructor Version

VentureBlocks Simulation Instructor Version

First Edition


SAGE Publications, Inc

Discover and create business opportunities based on your customer’s need!


VentureBlocks helps entrepreneurs to learn, practice, and master their pre-launch entrepreneurship skills through an interactive online simulation that shows participants how to conduct informative interviews, create customer insights, and identify potential business opportunities. Students achieve a deeper learning experience by developing their skills and building their confidence in a secure environment; all while being supported in every step of the customer development process with instant feedback for improvement. VentureBlocks is the perfect tool for students to practice talking to potential customers and discovering their needs—positioning future entrepreneurs for success in the real world.


How it works

Students compete outside the classroom for 30-60 minutes in a fun and easy-to use online simulation called The Nanu Challenge.  Missions, levels, and points guide students through the customer development process and provide instant feedback so students can learn from their mistakes. As students play VentureBlocks, Instructors get live analytics about how their classroom is performing and what material their students are struggling with the most. Once the game is complete, Instructors can debrief the simulation with their students using a customizable PowerPoint deck, conduct a practice exercise in the classroom, and/or assign a post-simulation homework for “The Real World” Still have questions? Watch a video to learn more.


Instructors, request a demo!


Contact your SAGE representative today to request a demo or receive the full Teaching Note created specifically for VentureBlocks.

Key features

VentureBlocks was designed with a specific set of learning objectives. Through playing The Nanu Challenge, students will:

1.     Develop a better understanding of approaching opportunity creation through the identification of customer needs.

2.     Practice interviewing potential customers including:

a.     Approaching strangers and starting a conversation.

b.    Asking good open-ended questions to get useful and relevant information.

c.     Identifying bad questions that would make real-world customer interviews unsuccessful.

d.    Feeling rejection when someone does not want to engage in a conversation.

3.     Improve listening and observation skills to identify the needs of potential customers and build strong customer insights.

4.     Cultivate pattern recognition skills to identify potential opportunities that meet the needs of multiple customer types.

5.     Distinguish between needs, customer insights, and solutions.

6.     Apply learning from unsuccessful attempts to future attempts and develop an appreciation for the necessity of iteration.

7.     Reflect on both successes and failures through built-in debrief questions.


Additional Key Features:

  • Instructors can choose to customize particular settings to meet various instructor and student needs including:
    • The Leaderboard allows Instructors to choose whether the leaderboard shows real names or are anonymous.
    • Debrief questions offer instructors the option to enter their own questions for students to answer during play. Instructors can also choose not to ask debrief questions. Answers to all questions will show up in the simulations stats (analytics) section of the portal.
  • The first person view increases engagement and fulling immerses students into the experience by giving students the ability to walk around in the park using the arrow keys or running to different areas by holding down the SHIFT key.
  • Throughout the simulation, students are motivated to get better by receiving points (called Experience Points, “XP”) in each level and seeing their rank relative to other classmates in the course leaderboard. At the conclusion of the simulation, students receive an overall performance summary.
  • An instructor portal gives professors access to high-level and detailed stats about their students through the following features:
    1. A Live Leaderboard shows each student’s simulation score in real time.
    2. A Class Snapshot summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of the students as a whole.
    3. Business Ideas compiles a list of all ideas developed by students during the simulation.
    4. Debrief Questions show individual student responses to all debrief questions in an easy-to-read format.
    5. Simulation Details offer instructors detailed information about each individual student.