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The First StartUp Board Game Tournament was held on Nov. 16, 2014

Check the StartUp FAQ for rule clarifications or email


Startup Game Boxtop
  • Teaches business and math skills.
  • Complete your IPO to gain cash.
  • Win the Biggest IPO Trophy!
  • Make money in Business Opportunities.
  • Navigate the world of Lawsuits, Price Wars and Networking Opportunities.
  • Watch out for a Shock to the System!
  • Complete your company headquarters to win!
How do you win at StartUp?
The object of the StartUp game is to complete your Corporate Headquarters. The Corporate Headquarters is built in 5 levels, with each level paid for with cash. Players make money by succeeding at business, by selling ownership in their Company, and through other game activities. The first player to complete the Corporate Headquarters wins the game.

Is StartUp good for home schooling?
StartUp is not only fun but educational. It is a great interactive way to introduce kids to financial and business ideas. It also teaches addition and subtraction, use of a table to look up data, basic probability, and strategic thinking.

Is StartUp meant for adults or for children?
StartUp is fun and challenging for both adults and children. Like other games of skill, it is as challenging as your opponent. MBA students and investment professionals would be as challenged by StartUp as school age children.

Who created the StartUp board game?
StartUp was created by former investment banker Michael Ehrenreich, his wife Rebecca Gelman, and their two children Aiden (then age 9) and Zachary (then age 7) while stuck at home during Hurricane Sandy.

StartUp is a business board game in which players compete to guide their startup company from launch to the completion of a corporate headquarters. Along the way there are Business Opportunities, Capital Opportunities, and IPO Opportunities. Build Expertise to increase your chances for success and your company's value in an Initial Public Offering. Navigate lawsuits, price wars, networking opportunities and shock cards along the way.

StartUp is fun to play. Unlike other business board games, StartUp is a lot of fun, even when you are not winning. You lose by succeeding more slowly, not by getting crushed. StartUp is fun for the whole family and is challenging on any level. Although there is some luck involved, the better player will usually win, kind of like real life.

StartUp is educational. The StartUp board game teaches business and math skills and models many real business situations, such as the value of investing in your business, the risks and rewards of business opportunities, and the trade-offs in a Capital Opportunity or an IPO.

Startup Game

Startup Business Board Game - Game Board

How is StartUp played?
Game Objective. The Objective of StartUp is to complete your Corporate Headquarters to five levels.

Starting the Game. Each player selects a company and rolls dice for seed capital. Each company has a certain number of starting Expertise Points in each of six business categories.

Each Turn. Each turn you can purchase additional Expertise Points for your company. Then throw the dice, move your token and perform the activity required by the space. Depending on the space, you may be entitled to engage in a Business Opportunity, a Building Opportunity, Capital Opportunity, an IPO Window, a Networking Event, Play the Market, start a Lawsuit, start a Price War, draw a Shock card, or follow any other instructions on the landing space.

Business Opportunities. When you land on a Business Opportunity, draw a Business Opportunity Card and choose how much to invest. The amount of money you make or lose is determined after throwing the dice and is based on how many Expertise Points you have in the business category.

Building Opportunity. When you land on a Building Opportunity you may build a level of your corporate headquarters if you have enough cash to pay for it.

Capital Opportunity. When you lands on a Capital Opportunity draw a Capital Opportunity card. Choose to take the deal or not take the deal. If you take the deal then you receive the cash and give up ownership in your company.

IPO Window. If you land on an IPO space then you have a chance to take your company public by selling shares to investors on the stock exchange in an Initial Public Offering, selling 40% of your company. You must have at least 15 total Expertise Point to go public in an IPO. Your IPO value is determined by dice roll and depends on your total Expertise Points.

Networking Event. If any player lands on a Networking Opportunity then everyone participates in "networking". Select a Networking Event envelope to give to any other player and secretly insert a TRUE/ FALSE card. Each player must then decide whether to Act on the information or Ignore the information. Acting on True information results in a Gain and Acting on False information in a Loss.

Play the Market. When you land on Play the Market choose how much to invest in either Stocks or Bonds. A die roll determines how much has been made or lost.

Lawsuit. If you land on a Lawsuit space, you can sue another player. Each player rolls two dice and adds to it the number of Legal & Accounting Expertise Points. The player with the higher score is the winner of the Lawsuit.

Price War. If you land on a Price War space, you can start a Price War against another player. Each player rolls the dice and adds to it the number of Sales & Marketing Expertise Points. The player with the higher score is the winner of the Price War.

Shock Cards. If you land on a Shock space, then draw one of the Shock cards and do as it instructs. There are positive and negative events in the deck.

Winning the Game.The first player to complete the Corporate Headquarters to five levels wins the game. There are also several Short Game rules for quicker play.


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Have a question about StartUp game play? Check the FAQ for rule clarifications or email

Startup Business Board Game Boxtop

Startup Business Board Game Box bottom

StartUp is a board game about money for both adults and children (ages 9+) with an interest in business board games, entrepreneur board games and financial games. If you've played Game of Life, Monopoly and other board games that involve money, you will enjoy StartUp. If you enjoy board games of strategy, such as Risk, you will also probably enjoy the StartUp board game.