"Youth Start-Ups" is a nationwide, online business game contest organized by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Young people aged between 16 and 21 are invited to enter the competition and contribute their own business ideas in the industrial, trade and services sectors. The prerequisite is that they present an innovative product idea. The aim is to market the product successfully under realistic conditions in a virtual business world. Participants are supported by e-learning modules. Information on career guidance links up the virtual business world with the competitors' own career opportunities.
Unique about this concept is the combination of an ideas competition, an online business game contest, e-learning modules and an expert system. It also serves to encourage the skills defined in the national education standards.
All 16-to-21-year-old participants experience all stages of company development in this two-phase online business game. They come to know more about setting up and developing a company through self-organized learning. Supervision and support from a teacher is useful but not imperative. Participants can acquire the required knowledge themselves in different categories in both phases of the game (learning modules on the e-learning campus, avatar, glossary, self-testing).
All interested young people are entitled to participate in the "Youth Start-Ups" contest. However, awards can only be given to pupils and trainees in the 10th class or above, who have not yet begun higher education and/or completed their first vocational training. Individuals and teams of up to six are welcome to participate, but participants are encouraged to form teams.
The "Youth Start-Ups" online contest consists of two phases. Young people are entitled to submit applications and enter the competition during the entire period of the contest.
Participants begin by developing a business idea in the industrial, trade or services sector, taking into account production techniques, market potential and company objectives. They then draw up a business plan. Here they have online support from a business plan assistant. There is also a hotline for queries. The business plans are assessed by a panel of experts.
During the business game phase, the participants start, plan and manage their virtual company. The company's development over a total of eight years is simulated. The school students receive specialist advice from a virtual Business Angel or from experts per e-mail.
Examples of product ideas in recent years:
The aim of "Youth Start-Ups" is to
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