Implementation and evaluation of a collaborative learning, training and networking environment for start-up entrepreneurs in virtual 3D worlds
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Exchange of knowledge and ideas, building up a social network and gaining the specific expertise are the first most important steps before starting an own business or enterprise. Business incubator programs and also university innovation courses try to provide these services and impart the accordingknowledge to start-up entrepreneurs. Especially for potential entrepreneurs already in workforce who want to study further it is hard to find time for training sessions or workshops offered by incubators. Virtual 3D Worlds can support the needs of start-up entrepreneurs who cannot participate at local meetings, so that they can build up social contacts to peers, experts and also to potential financiers, but have also the possibility to participate in virtual seminars and workshops to gain the required knowledge. This paper focuses on identifying advantages of using Virtual 3D Worlds to enhance the imparting of the required expertise to start a business and points out ways to improve l arning effects.Within this framework a Virtual 3D World especially for incubation services is implemented followed by an evaluation by students, domain experts and also pedagogical and cognitive science experts. Two different and independent studies were used to identify issues and potentials of the designed Virtual Incubator World and should also help to generalize the findings to the field of research.
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