Our Story

So Really – Why Did You Create IPSim?

Between 2004 and 2009 we were trying to commercialise tech and IP in a VC backed biotech start-up. We made mistakes of course and made poor decisions along the way and we had to learn quickly but the key thing was – there wasn’t a trial run or second chance to get these important decisions right – which meant we had to try and look into the future of how our technologies would get commercialised in complex, competitive and emerging markets.

We soon realised that no matter how much forecasting or strategising we did it still didn’t prepare us for how unexpectedly our colleagues, customers and competitors would actually behave when we started to protect and commercialise our tech!

We needed someone that could pass on their experiences to us who’d been there and done it and understood finance, our IP and technology, corporate funding, law, market dynamics, economics and so on.

We realised that this mythical person just didn’t exist and we could only figure out how to commercialise our tech by just getting on and doing it ourselves. But this meant our own tech and IP commercialisation was an experiment – and so is every IP and tech commercialization journey as it’s every piece of IP is by definition unique. In 2010, we started off on the road to creating something that would allow us to simulate IP and tech commercialisation before making those really important decisions and making mistakes. We scoured the world for an existing product, service or course and we couldn’t find any that did what we wanted it to do so we started creating IPSim.

So How Did You Develop IPSim?

We embarked on many testing rounds with our designers and started making and testing physical IPim board game prototypes with our 3D printer. We were successful in utilising grants from Innovate UK and the Manufacturing Advisory Service. You can see the full story as we had to get crowd funding from Kickstarter to build our first manufacturing run and kickstart the software development stage here: www.kickstarter.com/projects/ipsim/ipsim/description

We scoured the world for an Intellectual Property game that provided an experiential learning experience in the form of a simulation. We needed a product like this to work with our very demanding clients – we couldn’t find any suitable products so we built IPSim as a board game as we liked games and loved board games like monopoly – an incredibly quick, easy and powerful way to pass on experience through a simple format with human interaction. IPSim is similar to Monopoly but IPSim uses intangible assets (Intellectual Property) rather than tangible assets (Physical Property).

That said, board games are expensive to produce and our customers were also asking us for a software based version. We didn’t want to lose the human element of the board game so we developed IPSim software where the board simply jumps onto a computer and enhances the human interactions. IPSim is a piece of software created completely from scratch to our specifications and it works beautifully!

The IPSim board-game that we developed simulates the process of IP and technology commercialisation with 2-4 players and encourages its users to experiment, learn and win with hypothetical scenarios (technology, court cases, trade negotiations) rather than having to experiment with their own valuable technology where they wouldn’t get a second chance to make the right decisions or get things right first time.

So What Is IPSim?

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IPSim is a business simulation, real-time strategy (RTS) game for Mac/PC – where player(s) role-play as the management of a company. This takes place on an isometric world-map where commercialisation activities are physically represented by buildings that represent commercial tech production.

You assume control as CEO or CFO of a knowledge-based company that develops technologies and commercialises IP in return for IP royalty incomes. The objective of the game is to win by amassing the most cash and most valuable technologies through co-operation and competition with human or AI controlled company’s – whilst minimising the risk of being sued for infringement and maintaining a competitive IP advantage over other companies – ultimately being able to create an exit at the end of the sim. A successful and strategic company amasses securely protected IP tech that’s commercialised in all territories as well as IP that’s used for blocking or trading purposes.

How Did You Start Selling IPSim?

We ran IPSim on Kickstarter (crowd funding) from the 8th of October 2014 to the 16th November 2014 with a funding target of £3000 to produce 12 board games and develop IPSim as software. A total of 24 people and company’s backed us from the UK, Nigeria, Netherlands, USA, Malta and New Zealand. They were private individuals, business consultants, patent / legal / accounting firms, a plastics manufacture, a leading on-line market place in Nigeria, energy company’s, software company’s, a PR company, local authorities, a biotech company and a recruitment company!

Timeline

September 2015
IPSim sold to Cranfield University
March 2016
April 2016
IPSim sold to Cambridge University
April 2016
Tacit Sims raises investment
June 2016
IPSim workshops sold to Cranfield University
June 2016
IPSim competitions begin
July 2016
IPSim goes on-line with new interface

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