Marketplace was born more than 25 years ago as a learning exercise involving play money, poker chips and a scientific calculator. That's when Dr. Ernest Cadotte, professor of Marketing at the University of Tennessee, started experimenting with novel teaching approaches in marketing and business, something that would become his passion for decades to come.
As personal computers became mainstream in the 90’s, Dr. Cadotte developed the first computerized version of Marketplace. Together with a dozen of international faculty and content experts, he created a robust computer-based simulation model that covered the essence of every functional area of business and their interconnectedness. Dr. Cadotte started using the game with his undergraduate and MBA students at the University of Tennessee.
In the spring of 1996, Dr. Cadotte recruited an undergraduate team from the Brno Technical University in the Czech Republic to compete with four American teams at the University of Tennessee. This was the first experiment involving student teams competing over the Internet. It was a rough beginning, but a successful one. Soon after, a few dozen schools adopted Marketplace for their courses, using the crude FTP technology to transfer data to and from the simulation processing center in Knoxville, Tennessee.
As Internet technologies evolved, Dr. Cadotte and his small team of researchers at the university created Web Marketplace - the first fully web-based business simulation on the market.
The new version eliminated software download and installation issues and made the data transfers and game processing transparent for the instructors and students. Marketplace quickly gained popularity outside of the University of Tennessee.
By 2000, the simulation project outgrew its initial research phase at the university and Innovative Learning Solutions was formed. Located in Knoxville, Tennessee, ILS, Inc. became the commercial provider of the Marketplace business simulations.
As Marketplace constantly evolved over the years, we added more simulations for specific marketing and business courses. With the gains in Internet technology, we have been innovating and reinventing constantly. Today, seven software generations and half a million student users later, Marketplace is a family of more than 20 marketing and business simulations, some available in 8 different languages, used by students and business professionals around the world.
We have educators on our team and we know that when you are standing in front of your class, the technology simply has to work. That’s why our IT team continuously strives to keep our systems secure and reliable.
We want every single course that uses one of our simulations to be a success. And we know you may need a little hand holding, especially to get started. Our product specialists are available for 24/7 emergency support.
Dr. Ernest Cadotte
Sales and Marketing
Infrastructure and IT
Our thank you
Marketplace is one of the best training business simulations in the world. However, it owes its success to the contributions of many individuals. First, thousands of students and hundreds of faculty have provided innumerable suggestions, which lead to many improvements in the learning environment. Second, Dean Warren Neel of the College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee created a supportive environment, which facilitated the
creation of this new learning methodology at its early stages. Mr. Harry Bruce, a UT alumni and the former CEO of Illinois Central Railroad, provided the financial and personal support to get it all going. Finally, the entire team of ILS has poured their personal energies and talents into the creation of Marketplace. Each of these individuals deserves a special "Thank you" for helping to create a magnificent learning environment.