Get to know Dennis and Smartsims
Smartsims began expanding its business simulation offerings into education markets throughout the world through partnering with publishers such as McGraw-Hill and Cengage Learning. Its products are now prevalent in universities, colleges, and high schools and in corporate training programs throughout North America, Canada, Australia, Europe, Asia, the Middle-East and New Zealand. In support of this worldwide venture, Smartsims features two offices (one in Boston and one in New Zealand) with a partner in India, to provide around the clock support with their degree qualified staff. Today, Smartsims is dedicated to providing valuable resources for Professors and Instructors seeking to improve student engagement, motivation, and experiential learning through its business simulations. Smartsims have developed a family of online business simulations designed to support a wide variety of courses ranging from Introduction to Business, Strategic Management, Advertising and Marketing simulations.
Dennis founded and established Smartsims International Limited in 2002 from technology conceived by Dr. Pete Mazany from his Ph.D. thesis at Yale University, New Haven CT, USA. The core of Smartsims today is an online business simulation platform used mainly by university and college students studying business, management, marketing, advertising, accounting and financial management and in corporate training programs. It is used in place of what used to be paper-based case studies in these courses.
Our simulations provide a setting for students to bridge theories and concepts taught in class with real-life experiences. Within this environment, students are engaged with running their own simulated firm, making all key strategic decisions for every aspect of business and competing against others within their course. Competing either individually or in teams, students find business simulations an engaging, realistic and memorable learning experience.
Has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The journey forward through all of these startup ventures has not been straightforward with a great deal of personal sacrifice and hard work. What has been encouraging is the commitment of key staff at critical times.
For the Smartsims Business Simulations business earlier going was fraught with significant cost over-run in the development of the Online Platform as the internet and online browser technology was in itself emerging. Additionally, earlier marketing releases were with CDs, which quickly became outdated cause large quantities of returns. These occurrences resulted in the need for significant additional funding and delays in releases of products.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Dreaming of becoming a successful engineer. This is what I initially graduated in … a metallurgical engineer. I quickly turned to business, graduating in finance & economics which led to various roles in international business development
Read the full interview here.
Adapted from an article written and originally published by Boston Voyager.