Entrepreneurship Students Learn Value from a Marble

January 30, 2023

Experiential learning has become a key component of a college education, and Gabriella Cacciotti is doing her part to incorporate it into her classroom.

Cacciotti, professor of Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation at the Hankamer School of Business, integrated a simulation called the “marble game” into both sections of her Entrepreneurial Process course.

“In this simulation, students learned how to leverage their passion, story and network to generate unequivocal value from essentially nothing,” Cacciotti said.

The objective of the competition was for students to gain funds through creative means, strategy and effort to collect the most value. Students competed in groups of two and began by receiving one marble to consistently trade up in value over a period of three weeks. The groups can exchange their marble for any type of item of greater value, including money.

Amber Glowski, a senior Entrepreneurship major at Baylor University and runner up in the marble game competition, said she enjoyed the marble game because it helped flex real world skills needed in business.

“When my teammate and I approached people with an offer to ‘trade up’ we would have to make a pitch for what we wanted from the other person and why we wanted it,” Glowski said. “The exercise reinforced that when you effectively communicate your goal people are more willing to help you than you realize.”

Conner Dobbs and Sydney Waldron were the winning group from the 03 section, while Jonathan Rey and JD Watson won the 04 section. The total good accumulated through the simulation was donated to Talitha Koum, an early childhood, therapeutic nurture center in Waco.

“The students had a lot of fun and learned about entrepreneurship in creative ways while also contributing to the local community,” Cacciotti said.

The exercise was developed by Professor James D. Hart from Southern Methodist University which is included his book called “Classroom Exercises for Entrepreneurship: A Cross-disciplinary Approach.” Shaun Eide from Information Systems and Business Analytics and Scott Drew and Michael Estepp, both from the Career Center, helped facilitate the competition.