SimVenture Startup Story: Revolutionising Entrepreneurship Education Tools

Welcome to the story of SimVenture, a pioneering company in entrepreneurship education tools. Founded by brothers Peter and Paul Harrington, SimVenture has transformed the landscape of business teaching resources through innovative startup simulations. This page delves into the inception, development, and success of SimVenture, highlighting its impact on educators and aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide.

Paul Harrington, Co-founder & CTO

Peter Harrington, Co-founder & CEO

The idea behind SimVenture

SimVenture was born from a desire to address the startup failure rate and the limitations of traditional entrepreneurship training methods. Peter and Paul Harrington combined their business growth knowledge and software development expertise to create a digital learning environment where users could make authentic startup decisions and experience the consequences.

Inspired by the extensive use of simulations in the aviation and healthcare industries, the brothers believed that aspiring entrepreneurs would greatly benefit from a similar approach. Four years of research and development, involving multiple stakeholders, led to the creation of the business startup simulation, Classic.

Development and Launch

Organisations such as the University of Nottingham, University of Lancaster, Leeds Beckett University, and the York and North Yorkshire Enterprise Agency provided invaluable feedback and validation during the pre-launch period. In September 2006, SimVenture launched Classic at the inaugural International Enterprise Educators Conference in York, receiving immediate acclaim.

Challenges and Milestones

SimVenture quickly attracted major clients like Sheffield Hallam University, University West Scotland, and the University of Nottingham. Interest from Yorkshire Bank and Asda further boosted business fortunes. International demand followed, with Peter Harrington showcasing the simulation in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 2008, leading to long-term clients such as Leipzig University.

On home turf, Classic won prestigious post-16 Bett award in 2008, the first of three accolades within a two-year period. Success led to company expansion, and in 2009, education specialist Paul Brough Jones joined the company, eventually becoming COO. His arrival enabled SimVenture to work more with UK universities and appoint international partner agents including Alan Gonzalez Curiel In Mexico and Latin America, and Ngiam Tee Woh in Singapore and China.

Paul Brough Jones, Director & COO

Impact and Success Stories

SimVenture’s impact on entrepreneurship education has been profound. The launch of online products like Evolution and Validate in 2016 marked a significant milestone. Evolution, an advanced online business simulation, allows individual or team-based learning, while Validate, developed in partnership with Balloon Capital, focuses on ideation and innovation. These tools are popular in both university and workplace settings, helping users quickly acquire essential business skills and knowledge.

Future Plans

Looking ahead, SimVenture remains committed to its original mission of enhancing entrepreneurship. In 2024, the company plans to launch a suite of new employability products, translating all work into multiple languages to reach a global audience. The UK-based software team continues to innovate, guided by feedback from Learning Development Managers, all former clients who understand the needs of educators and students alike.

The SimVenture startup story is a testament to the power of innovation and perseverance. As the company continues to evolve, its mission remains the same: to provide invaluable learning tools that inspire and equip the next generation of entrepreneurs. If you like our story and want to work with us, we’d be delighted to hear from you.