Start-up spotlight: LaunchNow turns launching start-ups into a game is a new startup that has developed a game about building start-ups. What makes it different is that the game is played with real-life startups, not fake ones. The main idea is that players will compete in order to earn badges, achievements and a “Gamerscore” which is then published to their start-up’s profile page.

When starting, players enter basic information about the start-up that they’re working on and are then given a set of goals they have to complete in order to enhance their company and earn badges. Some of these are things such as product milestones (alpha, beta, etc.), investments, turning a profit, hiring people and getting mentions in the media. According to TechCrunch, LaunchNow works around the risk every entrepreneur fears most – having your idea stolen – by allowing players to choose to keep their start-up listed as “private” while they play.

The creator of LaunchNow is Raymond Angel, the CEO of Guild Press and the Interim CEO of Startup Weekend. Co-founder of the New Media Cartel, Craig Crook,  helped create the idea for the company, which is currently fully bootstrapped with just Angel heading things up.

Currently, the LaunchNow site is still in its very early stages. Planned features include a startup feed, user profiles, forums, customisable URLs and more. However, TechCrunch contends that the fact that all entries have to made manually makes it doubtful “that any serious entrepreneur would stop what they’re building to play this game”.

For us, it is TechCrunch’s parting words that have the most resonance: “LaunchNow is very much a sign of the times, where there’s so much opportunity and so much money, that some are approaching building a startup as a casual exercise, even a game, and not the very hard work it is supposed to be”.

Click here to read the full TechCrunch article

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