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4 ways Heuristic, the world’s first start-up game, can help attain entrepreneurial skills

"Scale of India's development needs is huge. Need to achieve it is urgent. We cannot simply continue on traditional paths to development."

- Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India (Startup Konnect 2015)

Imagine growing up in a society where everyone expects childrens to get a decent job after college or prepare for exams to land a better career prospect. In infrequent scenarios, as a student you would find parents, families, or even society encouraging to take up entrepreneurship as a future prospect or take up something innovative that could primarily affect others.

The old saying, "everyone wants to be a job seeker, and no one wants to be a job giver," holds true in today's scenario when the emphasis on becoming a job generator is greater than ever in history. Every stable government worldwide wants its future to be secured so that its population does not have to face the brunt of poverty or unemployment.

As per the data provided by the International Labor Organization, there are 808 million people below the age of 35 in India, which comprises 66% of the country's total population. Training minds to generate entrepreneurial skills is more important than ever.

"Entrepreneurship- The pursuit of a goal without regard to current resources controlled" –

Howard Stevenson

Let's first put an end to an old debate about whether entrepreneurs are born or made?

Nature or Nurture: Decoding the Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is really not a fate yet a capability. The research "Nature or Nurture: Decoding the Entrepreneur," a report based on a survey of 685 entrepreneurs worldwide and in-depth interviews, concluded that -

  • Nearly 60% have worked in a corporate setup, and 33% say working in a professional workspace was vital to the accomplishment of their business.

  • 45% of entrepreneurs start their first business after the age of 30.

  • 10% of entrepreneurs have started ten or more companies.

Entrepreneurial leaders are characterised as much by their initial business experience, social foundation, and outside condition as they are by any intrinsic individual qualities. Nurture, not nature, appears to be progressively significant in forming the entrepreneurial outlook.

The research data shows that comprehensively 95% of entrepreneurs are made, and just 5% are born, and this gives us a strong foundation to truly nurture entrepreneurship at the grassroots level.

The general realities which are pushing entrepreneurship education as the need of the hour are contracting the employment market, a growing population of youth and employment searchers, and pressure on the government to offer employment; however, in the light of the fact that the current education system has bombed its fundamental order of nurturing 21st-century skills and self-reliance among students and this is, where entrepreneurial education becomes increasingly significant as it offers holistic growth and encompassing development for the young minds.

Let us look at the void in the current approach towards entrepreneurial education and ecosystem, especially at the school and college levels.

Present ecosystem and methodology to impart entrepreneurial education depend on the regular old and conventional classroom-based models like-

  • teacher to student spoon feeding,

  • mentor to a mentee, or

  • tech-based online courses

Every one of them is generally a one-sided interaction-based model; a greater amount of instructing or lecturing is involved than doing or learning through the application-based model. The final result is that the vast majority of instructing and lecturing is lost within hours of the session, and most of it is either exhausting or non-relevant to the student.

Since it is non-interactive, most students cannot connect it with reality, and lastly, it brings home nothing as it's not application-based learning.

So the issue is how to overcome this challenge and acquire a progressive change in imparting entrepreneurial education to expel the spoon-fed learning system. This would bring enthusiasm to learning and offer application-based knowledge so that learning becomes realistic and stays long-term with the learner.

This is the place where the HEURISTIC approach becomes very significant and cutting edge.

Let's harp more on the hypothesis, methodology, and tools.

Entrepreneurship Education – The HEURISTIC Way

HEURISTIC - The holistic approach

Let's put a spotlight on the term HEURISTIC and its significance in imparting Entrepreneurial Education.

Heuristic is an approach to arriving at objectives in the briefest conceivable manner yet not searching for impeccable arrangements.

Heuristic additionally intends to empower somebody to learn for themselves, which is the substance of the methodology and ideally suited to the entrepreneurial world. It fundamentally aims to bestow entrepreneurial education among youth and make them self-reliant.

Heuristic believe that regardless of the age and the background of the student, they have the potential to change the world.

Heuristic is a movement to nurture an entrepreneurial mindset to empower young people with the tools needed to become coming-age innovators and entrepreneurs.

HEURISTIC methodology has divided the entire learning into two-step -

  1. Entrepreneurial Mindset

  2. Entrepreneurial Skillset

What are Entrepreneurship Skills?

Entrepreneurship skills encompass the qualities needed to generate new ideas (for start-ups, businesses, innovation changes, etc.) that can impact the lives of people involved with them directly or indirectly. As the skills vary for different functions and roles one might need to perform, there is no definitive "one size fits all" approach for entrepreneurship skill development.

For example, a person may wish to sell a one-of-a-kind handmade item incorporating a regional art form. For that to be accomplished, they would require good knowledge of raw material needs, inventory management, the workforce needed from production to delivery, and the viability of product costing. In such a case, the skills required would be more management, communication, and networking skills. But this might vary for those who would be just involved in marketing similar products, as they would need more risk-taking, negotiating, and critical thinking skills.

Skilleit, the world's first game-based entrepreneurship development program, has been working since 2018 to nurture entrepreneurial, intrapreneurial, and 21st-century skills in students and young men and women.

Skilleit has conducted various events and programs like physical start-up game events, online incubation program, offline training programs, and online short game program to help budding entrepreneurs become the next generation of change-makers in society.

Different types of entrepreneurial skills

Entrepreneurial Mindset

Innovator: Doing something different and innovating things to make an impact is what leads to an individual developing good entrepreneurship skills.

Leadership: To become an entrepreneur, one has to start taking the first steps first and lead the way for others to follow. They must become role models for people looking for motivation.

Opportunity Seeker: To actively observe and identify the situations and solve problems through innovative solutions.

Growth mindset: To have a belief that intelligence can be developed and remain a constant learner.

Learn from failure: Failures are fuel to work again; learning from the past and making sure that the same mistakes do not happen again is the key to having a good entrepreneurial mindset.

Curiosity: Always ask and try to find answers and seek new ways of learning.

Problem-solving skills: The general idea of entrepreneurship is to disrupt the normal flow of things. Viewing things as usual will not result in significant changes. Instead, doing something different and innovating things to make an impact is what leads to an individual developing good entrepreneurship skills.

Resourceful: Ability to withstand and recover quickly to overcome challenges

Empathy: Think about people's needs while developing the solutions as the role of the entrepreneur is not limited to making innovations but making changes at the grassroots level through them.

Entrepreneurial Skillset

Opportunity identification – Entrepreneurs get their ideas by observation and looking at the problems as an opportunity.

Understand the user needs – To develop effective solutions, entrepreneurs must understand the user's needs and keep the feedback in mind.

Idea Generation- Involves the creative process of finding solutions to existing problems or coming up with futuristic innovations.

Innovation- The most important aspect of entrepreneurship is innovation, achieved either by improving existing solutions or offering something entirely new to the market.

Idea validation- It involves the process of testing and validating the idea to know whether it is workable and practically applicable in the market.

Skillset and Skillgap – Skillset is the knowledge, abilities, and experience needed to perform a job. A skill gap is the absence of any core skill needed to perform a particular task.

Bootstrapping- It is an act of initial funding with own money or arranging from closed ones.

Build MVP- Minimum Viable Product(MVP) is the product with just enough features to offer a user experience with a price tag and attract the early adopters

Refining the prototype – Refine the prototype based on the feedback received from the market and do several iterations.

Prepare the Pitch- Deck for a short persuasive speech targeted to potential investors or other kinds of potential stakeholders/supporters.

Know the investor's perspective- As it is important to know how the investor thinks and what they look at before approaching them.

Organisation and time management: There is a need to be well equipped to handle short-term and long-term challenges related to various parameters (like employees, finances, deliverables etc.) functioning in an organisation.

Effective communication: Communication does not involve speaking but also listening actively. Entrepreneurs are primarily compelling speakers who can convince the people around them to believe in their ideas and working style.

How is Heuristic helping to attain entrepreneurship skill?

1. Nurturing an innovative mindset in students:

The physical card games help to inculcate students or budding entrepreneurs with an inquisitive mindset involved in making a more question-based approach to the problem. It further makes them more innovative in doing things differently. The students learn not only about the problem model, in theory; rather, they learn to identify the problem practically too. This helps them in the future when they need to solve actual problems around them by means of path-breaking innovation and change the lives of the people involved.

2. Various level of games for various target groups:

Heuristic, the physical card game by Skilleit, has categorised a three-stage journey to build a start-up for the easy understanding of learners. The three-staged journey consists of

  • Star-where they learn about the start-up journey, challenges involved, and solutions.

  • Challenger-where one is taught to think like an entrepreneur and brainstorm on innovating ideas, building MVP around them.

  • Unicorn-where one learns about acting like an entrepreneur by executing ideas into reality via customised monitoring sessions and boot camps.

Through its different stages and methods in the game, like trick cards, it allows one to show the skills of communicating with other role-holders and negotiating effectively with them.

3. Giving a push to the entrepreneurial ecosystem

As emphasised by the major world agencies, including the United Nations, for the need to foster innovation (Sustainable Development Goal 9), countries around the world are focusing on developing an entrepreneurial mindset from a young age. Skilleit, through its physical card game using Heuristic, has collaborated not only with the Ministry of Education in India but also with many state governments like Haryana, Mizoram, Maharashtra, and Delhi to help students through its programs and sessions.

We have also been involved with organisations around the globe (like South Africa, Kenya, and Singapore) to help young people grow more entrepreneurial aptitude within them.

4. Learning the Entire Start-up Journey-

Skilleit's holistic card game Heuristic uses various gaming methodologies to enlighten learners about the start-ups and help them learn more about them through interactive learning. Cards are of different kinds, like

  • Start-up game cards help to understand the 13-stage journey of a start-up along with the trouble and solutions in the journey. There are lifelines to move forward and tricks to defeat the opponents.

  • Investor-Mentor cards help one assume different roles involved in the process and understand the perspective of an entrepreneur, mentor, and investor.

  • I2U (Innovator & User) Cards assists in understanding the function of innovators working more on human-centric designs.

You can well understand how different models working in the same game, i.e. Heuristic can help the learner to pace up their entrepreneurship skill development by our interactive learning through games using Heuristic, which has been the world's first start-up game to attain entrepreneurship skills.

In one of the recent workshops conducted via Heuristic at BML Munjal University, Atal Community Incubation Centre (ACIC) of Gurugram, we trained a batch of 250 young and enthusiastic students in 2.5 hours of the interactive session, which was composed of –

  • Ice-breaking activity

  • About entrepreneurship and the start-up ecosystem and their journey,

  • Session 1 of gameplay using the world's first start-up game, Heuristic,

  • Start-up Activity

  • Session 2 of gameplay using Heuristic

  • Reflections and sharing

Card games provide a fun and interactive way to learn even the most complex concepts, help students understand the fundamentals, and develop the skills needed to be successful entrepreneurs. If you or your organisation are looking forward to including a game-based learning method and revolutionising the process of learning 21st-century skills through Heuristic, feel free to reach out at or email us at

Let Skilleit become a partner in your contribution to upskilling future entrepreneurship today!

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