Disney Online and Kauffman Foundation’s "Hot Shot Business" Teaches Excitement and Challenge of Entrepreneurship
Kids use problem-solving skills, assume financial "risk" in enhanced version of online game
Hot Shot Business (http://www.hotshotbusiness.com), the award-winning Internet entrepreneurship simulation played by millions of children, now has been enhanced to give players an even more realistic and challenging taste of what it takes to start and run a business. Jointly created by the entrepreneurship experts at the Kauffman Foundation and Disney Online’s creative team, Hot Shot Business blends fast-paced, fun game play with real-world lessons to teach “tweens,” children ages 9 to 12, entrepreneurship concepts and skills.
Contact: Jill Bagby, 816-932-1024
Wendy, Guillies, 816-932-1046
Kim Kerscher, Disney Online 818-623-3266
Tapping into tweens’ natural curiosity and Internet savvy, Hot Shot Business welcomes kids to “Opportunity City,” where animated teen characters Kate and Jack help players recognize and act on business opportunities to meet the citizens’ needs. Players can borrow capital or put up their own money to open a business such as a skateboard factory, pet spa or comic book shop.
Enhancements launched today at http://www.hotshotbusiness.com include: a new story line that challenges kids to select their start-up based on which business presents the best opportunities; financing options in which players risk their own money; a multiplayer environment that allows players to compete online; and the addition of a landscaping business — just in time for summer.
Since its initial launch in May 2003, Hot Shot Business has been among the most popular content published on Disney Online (www.disney.com), the number-one kids’ and family entertainment destination which attracts more than 12 million unique visitors each month (ComScore Media Metrix, May 2004). Part of the “Kids Island” neighborhood accessible from the Disney Online homepage, the innovative game has received numerous awards, including the coveted Parents’ Choice Gold Award, and Best Education Web Site, Best Game Web Site and Best of Show in the Web Marketing Association’s 2003 Web Awards.
“These enhancements offer an even greater real-world experience for kids to learn about the issues associated with entrepreneurship,” said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. “Exposing kids early to both the rewards and the challenges helps prepare America’s next generation of strong and successful business owners – a group that is vital to the continued health of our economy.”
Hot Shot Business also teaches kids how to market a business and it aims to empower budding entrepreneurs by showing them how their enterprise can make a positive impact on society.
“Kids have really embraced this game and we wanted to ensure that the enthusiasm around it continued,” said Ken Goldstein, executive vice president and managing director of Disney Online. “This has been a terrific collaboration that taps into the Kauffman Foundation’s entrepreneurship education expertise and Disney’s commitment to kids, and we very much look forward to announcing additional opportunities with Kauffman later this year.”
“The game has been such a success, but we wanted to keep it fresh and interesting so kids would return to the site or visit it for the first time if they hadn’t already,” explained Craig Armstrong, Kauffman’s Hot Shot Business project director. “In addition, we felt it was important to emphasize two very realistic pieces of educational content: opportunity recognition and risk. This new version gives players the option to choose between bank- and self-financing to start their businesses. And four new story lines allow them to choose a business based on economic and social factors within Opportunity City.”
Other enhancements include interaction with narrators Kate and Jack throughout the entire game, enhanced music and animation, and updated resources for parents, teachers and children.
The Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the educational achievement of children and youth. The Kauffman Foundation was established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman. For more information, visit http://www.kauffman.org.
Disney Online (http://www.disney.com) produces the number one kids’ entertainment and family community destinations on the Internet that consistently reflects the magic that has come to be expected of Disney. Its “neighborhoods,” specially designed for each member of the family, include Disney’s Blast, a premium subscription service, as well as Shopping, Destinations, Playhouse Disney, Kids Island, FamilyFun, Entertainment and Main Street Merchants.
Disney Online also produces Disney’s Toontown Online (http://www.toontown.com), the first massively multiplayer (MMP) 3D online game for kids and families, FamilyFun.com
(http://www.familyfun.com), the premier online family resource for great ideas, practical advice and fun stuff to do, and Movies.com (www.movies.com), a leading site that provides a broad array of reviews and information to help movie fans make the right choice on movie night. It is a part of The Walt Disney Internet Group, which provides integrated strategic and operational Internet services for The Walt Disney Company’s Internet initiatives.
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