A Filipino board game is changing the way people learn business.

I have a confession to make.. Okay here it goes.. I love board games! Who doesn’t right? Especially if it’s mind boggling and confusing sometimes. The skills that can be honed from playing a simple board game can also be translated to real life sometimes.

When I was a kid, me and my sister used to play chess and we would take turns outwitting, outsmarting and outplaying each other and developing sinister plans to eliminate the kingdom of another person and completely eradicate her whole territory from the board. But then when we grew up, we decided on trying out Scrabble because not only does it increase  your vocabulary but it also makes you think a lot on how to strategize and garner the highest points among your competitors. Yes, I know we are competitive like that! 🙂 haha.

But of course we are always on the search for new and upcoming mind boggling board games especially if it contributes to honing our strategic skills in life. Introducing this new board game that launched on October 15 on Kickstarter which is set to transform how people experience starting and sustaining a business without the risk.

UPSTART, a table-top role playing game (RPG) by Richard Dacalos and Lorena Flores, was created to empower entrepreneurs and challenge the reality that 120,000 businesses fail every day.


“There is a statistic stacked against anyone who’s ever wanted to start a business or startup.” says Dacalos, a social entrepreneur and business professor.  “9 out of 10 businesses do not survive their first year and it’s usually not for lack of skills or technical know-how. It’s the little things that life throws at you… the things they don’t teach in business school – a business partner leaving, your family demanding a steadier source of income, or a sudden shift in the market – these things add up and can make or break a business.”

In UPSTART, players experience what it’s like to lead a business through the push and pull of life and industry challenges.” says Dacalos.


“You can’t grow a business in a silo so there’s bound to be failure, and it’s from failure that the best entrepreneurs learn to be successful.” adds Flores, a senior marketing strategist and head of creatives for UPSTART. “One reason we created UPSTART was to practice failure… without really failing. We wanted a safe and fun environment where we can uncover our blind spots, our decision-making biases, our strengths and weaknesses.”

Initially a private board game played among colleagues, UPSTART began getting noticed when players had success applying lessons they learned in the game to real life. Now, after more than two years of testing and product development, seven major game iterations, and more than four hundred players from different backgrounds – from aspiring entrepreneurs to business mavens, from students to corporate professionals, from the Philippines to South Africa – the game is ready to be shared with the world.


“The Kickstarter campaign will give us the ability ship worldwide,” says Dacalos. In line with the campaign, Richard Dacalos will be touring North America visiting 13 cities coast to coast including: Toronto and Montreal in Canada, and Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York in the U.S. Interested supporters from both the Philippines and anywhere in the world can pledge and pre-order the game on Kicstarter at: http://bit.ly/upstartgame

”Momentum in the first 48 hours of the Kickstarter campaign can have a huge impact on UPSTART’s success so we’re giving early pledgers special early bird prices! People who pre-order the board games early will get it at the lowest possible price.” Adds Flores.

Dacalos and Flores hope to empower entrepreneurs all over the world to beat the status quo, and shorten their business learning curve. “We want to make learning entrepreneurship more accessible. We envision a world where an entrepreneurial mindset is the norm, starting with our generation, and we want UPSTART to be a catalyst for that change.” says Flores.

To know more about UPSTART go to:





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