Business Primer


Business Primer

Give students the highlights of running a business to excite them about choosing business as a major.

The Business Primer simulation takes students through the high points of the story of a new company. It covers all the fundamentals of business in a format designed for beginning business students or programs with a limited time frame. 

Students act as executive teams making realistic business decisions in the context of a whole enterprise. Each decision round played builds upon knowledge retained from the previous round. Learning content is presented at the exact moments when it is needed for decisions in order to increase retention and get students playing sooner. 

Students learn to interpret market feedback, analyze competitors’ moves, and make quick adjustments to their strategy. Marketplace Microsimulations available at critical points during the exercise cover select business concepts in more depth to ensure that students master the course material. Business Primer is available with two different product storylines, personal computers and our new 3D-printed bike scenario. *Language available in Bike edition.

Typical courses

Introductory business courses

Educational level / Class size

Ideal for small to very large (1000+) classes of novices or non-majors

Decision rounds

4 decision rounds of 30-60 minutes


English*, Spanish, Korean, Russian

Discover Business

Business Strategy

Develop a strategy to serve up to 3 market segments through a set of realistic business decisions.

Product Marketing

Analyze simplified market data to choose new bicycle models to sell, then price and promote them for the targeted segments.

Sales Channel

Open stores in up to 4 markets based on market potential and available resources. Hire and train sales staff to develop demand.

Lean Production

Plan production to meet projected demand and minimize costs and lost sales.

Compensation & Benefits

Devise competitive compensation packages to motivate your salespeople and boost productivity.

Financial Management

Run financial projections and use simplified versions of standard accounting statements to maximize profit.


Get a feel for what is involved in starting a new business.

Explore this simulation with a quick demo.

Realistic Experience

Student teams start up new businesses and compete in a simulated market. They are challenged to develop a niche market based on newly available technology.

Your students study industry data and formulate a business strategy. They produce and sell products, gaining experience by testing ideas and learning from the results.

Learning content is gradually and purposefully added as the market evolves. Based on customer feedback, competitor analysis, and financial reports, students manage their strategy in a dynamic, competitive environment.

Balanced Scorecard Metrics

To ensure that students learn to manage all aspects of business, a Balanced Scorecard is used to evaluate team performance.

  • Financial performance
  • Market performance
  • Marketing effectiveness
  • HR management
  • Manufacturing productivity
  • Asset management
  • Financial risk
  • Creation of wealth
  • Investment in the firm’s future

Class Size Options

Play Against Classmates

Because students compete against their classmates, all teams advance through the game in sync. The friendly rivalry creates a stimulating and engaging experience.

Ideal for small to large classes of novices or non-majors.

Teams of 3 students work well. Playing in teams cultivates soft skills such as leadership and communication.

Play Against the Computer

Teams compete against computer generated opponents and progress at their own pace. This option is a cost-effective choice ideal for large online courses or distance learning.

Ideal for small to very large (1000+) classes of novices or non-majors.

Students typically play individually or in teams of 2-3. Playing individually eliminates the need to arrange teams which may be impractical in large classes.

Engaging Storyline

Challenge your students to develop a new, niche market using an advanced 3D printing technology to build carbon fiber bike frames. The new bikes are strong, lightweight, and can be custom tailored for each rider. Bikes can be built to demand, eliminating most of the inventory that would otherwise be held, and reducing distribution costs. The new bikes promise to create a brand new market opportunity. Will your students reshape the bike industry?

Why Choose Marketplace?

Turnkey Solution

Comprehensive tools to setup, monitor, and grade. Student work is self-guided with built-in instruction based upon a sound teaching methodology refined over 30 years.

Easy to Access

Cloud-based, works on any common Internet browser and operating system. Meets the WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility requirements.

Support 7 Days a Week

Our responsive staff provide comprehensive support by phone, email, or web-conferencing to ensure that you and your students get the most out of Marketplace.