Jan 5, 2024 at 11: 36 am

Top 10 Simulation Sessions of 2023

Journey through our most impactful simulation sessions of 2023. Strategy Tools ran over 80 sessions across more than 25 countries in the past year. From venture capital to corporate transformation, these sessions spanned a wide range of topics and provided valuable insights to participants. Join us as we revisit the top 10 sessions that left a lasting impression..

Strategy Tools



Dubai Future District Fund
Fund Manager!

WHO:  DFDF – Dubai Future District Fund


DURATION: Three days

WHY THE SIM?: DF2 is Dubai’s evergreen venture capital fund of funds and direct investment platform. It is anchored by the Dubai International Financial Centre and Dubai Future Foundation to strengthen startup and venture capital investing in Dubai. In this capacity, DF2 is both deploying capital and supporting the long-term capacity development and growth of the MENA VC ecosystem.


For DF2 it made a lot of sense to bring the VC Fund Manager Masterclass to Dubai, to both develop the ecosystem, allow the participants to master new VC canvases, and generally strengthen the collaborative nature of the MENA ecosystem.

OUTCOME: The 3-day Masterclass was a big hit, with participants putting a lot of emphasis on three things; increased collaboration between fund managers in the ecosystem, increased focus on ‘back-end’ value creation and a substantially increased focus on exit paths and exit routes in the MENA ecosystem.

In 2024, we expect to be back in the MENA region 5-8 times, running multiple VC Fund Manager Masterclasses in Dubai and beyond.

WHY IT MADE THE TOP 10 LIST: The Dubai Future District Fund VC Fund Manager Masterclass was a true highlight of the year. The level of experience and mastery of the participants was substantially above what we normally see in the VC Masterclasses. Having genuine participant commitment over the full three days allowed us to both cover multiple topics in-depth, but more importantly, it allowed for the participants to spend time developing slide decks, portfolio reports, value creation roadmaps and exit strategies.

Looking ahead, the DFDF VC Fund Manager Masterclass has set the new standard in terms of expectations to participants, both in terms of workload and fund performances.


Newton Venture Program / London Business School
Fund Manager!

WHO:  Newton Venture Program

WHERE: London, over 2 days

WHY THE SIM?: The Newton Venture Program has quickly established itself as one of the leading venture capital training & education programs in the world. In close partnership with London Business School and Local Globe, NVP runs two programs, the Fundamentals Intro level) and the Fellows (advanced level).

We ran the Fund Manager! Simulation as an integrated part of the Fellows program, having highly experienced participants from across the world of venture capital. For the first time ever, the simulation was integrated into the most advanced part of the Newton Venture Program.


With an average of 6-years of industry experience, the participants were quickly able to step into the shoes of active fund managers. Yet, few of them had ever seen a full fund cycle in practice. The number one outcome for most participants was the chance to see and live a full fund cycle, with value creation, exit strategies and DPI come to life, something few managers get to see in the early years of their career.


Working with a partner like NVP is truly special. They are deeply dedicated to the long-term impact on the VC ecosystem. Bringing the Fund Manager! Sim into action with this committed group of Fellows (students) make it a true highlight of the year.


Tiye Angels Egypt
Scale Up Angel!

WHO:  Tiye Angels, Egypt’s first women’s angel investor network

WHERE: Cairo, over 3 days

WHY THE SIM?: Angel development and Angel training programs are quickly becoming a growing part of Strategy Tools’s global portfolio. In Cairo, we designed a 3-day, immersive experience for both new and experienced angel investors, all built around the new Scale Up Angel! Simulation. The sim served as a the backbone for training angel investors in all aspects of early-stage investing and how to be ‘a good angel’.

OUTCOME: While many of the participants had sat through other angel training programs in the past, no one had ever been through such an “exhilarating”, “fast paced” and “super competitive” angel training as this. The unique combination of visual angel canvases and in-person angel simulation led to many participants for the first time truly understand the many aspects of investing, creating a portfolio and building value as an angel investor.

WHY IT MADE THE TOP 10 LIST: Working with a room full of 50+ angel investors for 3 days is a privilege. Seeing the room come to life with a deeply immersive, highly competitive angel simulation is just amazing. The steep learning curve, the mastery of the participants and the overall energy made this a top sim for 2023!


Transform! Sim

WHO:  Executive Participants in a Certificate International Management Program 

WHERE: University of Iowa, Iowa City USA, over 5 days (Mon-Fri)

WHY THE SIM?: Building on in company visits together with Strategic Frameworks and application- this was a perfect way to cement together the capstone of this 9 month programme


The participants were able to take their learning from the nine months in their certificate programme and use this as a capstone to understand deeply Transformation and the opportunities of how they could make this work in their own roles. Discussions building in Corporate Finance, M&A, Strategy, Entrepreneurship (CVC,) Technology, applied together with case studies, company on site visits (global headquarters of John Deere in nearby Illinois,) impact of decisions on market cap, investor relations, and the dynamics at both board and management levels were incorporated to ensure the participants were “living” the Transformation while using the tools.


Topping off a 9 months long international programme with an on-site five-day session in the United States was great. The sim together with the support of the guest speakers (including two from Strategy Tools Global!) and the onsite company visits in the USA made for an excellent combination of both applied learning and the practical tools necessary to transfer this into the leadership toolboxes of the participants.


Norway / Germany
Transform! Sim

WHO:  Large global automotive manufacturer

WHERE: Norway, Germany

DURATION: 3 days (going on months) 


Globally, the automotive industry is undergoing disruption. Brutal industry shifts, competitive dynamics, changing consumer preferences and the pace of innovation across the sector is making life very challenging for the established automotive manufacturers. Internally, many strategy- and transformation teams need to rethink how they work to accelerate transformation at scale.

This was the background for why the strategy- and consulting team at one of the world’s largest automotive companies chose Transform! As a key tool for 2023-2026. Combined with the Building the Transformational Company and the rich Strategy Tools toolkit, the team is set up for success to deploy Transform! Across 10’s of 1000’s of people in the coming years.

OUTCOME: The team went through a 3-day in-person certification program, with two online programs supporting the long-term deployment. Once completed, the team is fully certified and ready to run a large number of Transform! Sessions across the company for years to come.

WHY IT MADE THE TOP 10 LIST: Transform! Is a powerful tool to drive large-scale transformation in corporates and classrooms. Equipping an internal strategy- and consulting team to deploy Transform! At scale in a global company is a blast.


2X Ignite Singapore
Fund Manager!

WHO:  2X Ignite

WHERE: Singapore, over 2 days

WHY THE SIM?: The 2X Ignite GP Sprint is a globally leading GP accelerator. Aimed at emerging VC/PE funds with a gender-lens, the Sprint helps fund managers remove barriers and accelerate their strategy, fundraising and closing. The 6-month blended program has multiple in-person sessions. One of these took place in Singapore with a packed 3-day+ program. Day one was dedicated to LP meetings and pitch sessions, days two and three to a deepdive into the Fund Manager! Simulation. With GPs and real-life LPs working side-by-side, in teams, this was a perfect way to build capacity, build relationships and build insights into the value-creating back-end of a fund.


Few emerging fund managers have ever seen a full fund cycle. For many, the value creation- and exit- dimensions of the fund journey are just theoretical (for the next few years, at least). Living through it, in a highly competitive and collaborative format allows everyone, regardless of background and experiences, to truly experience the importance of mastering the ‘back end’ of a fund, and get the right strategies in place early-on.
Translated into real-life, many fund managers left the experience in Singapore with a profound new acknowledgement of the importance of ‘winning’ on exits, not just investments.


Seeing a two-day program, where real-life Limited Partners (LPs) and General Partners (GP) work side-by-side, building shared deeper understanding of the many, many complexities of running a fund was truly unique and a clear highlight of 2023.


Scale Up!

WHO: Katapult Ocean Accelerator (2 cohorts, +25 Startups) 

WHERE: Global. 100% online over 3 days, 3.5 hrs each


In Q3 2023, Katapult Accelerator collaborated with Strategy Tools for a 30-day Investor Readiness Module in the Climate and Ocean accelerator programs. Central to this module was the Scale Up! Simulation, enhanced to reflect current market realities.

This year, we upgraded the simulation to focus more on revenue, ARR, MRR, and efficient fund usage. It simulated demanding investor scenarios, offering startups a taste of real-world pressures.

These changes provided startups with a more realistic experience, helping them refine strategies, optimize resource utilization, and create more compelling pitches for investors. The 2023 Scale Up! Simulation served as a practical training ground, equipping startups to navigate the ever-evolving challenges of the business world.


With a founder completing Scale Up! for the 3rd time and affirming, “Now, I truly understand the journey ahead of me,” our conviction in its effectiveness solidifies.

The drill-down into Exit and future scenarios made a profound impact, as participants universally echoed that Exit Paths and Outcome analysis is indispensable for every founder.

The resounding feedback emphasizes its role in empowering founders to master the funding journey and comprehend the intricacies of business exits.


We are now witnessing the long-term impact of Katapult’s Investor Readiness module and the ScaleUp! Simulation combined: more fundraising and a greater impact. 

Guiding over 25 startups through a condensed yet comprehensive 3-day Scale Up! Simulation, encompassing the entire journey from idea to eventual exit, including navigating multiple funding rounds and deciphering intricate, demanding term sheets, mirrors the whirlwind of real-life startup growth. 

The consistent confirmation from Katapult of the mentioned value has elevated this engagement to the pinnacle of the SIMs’ top list.


IE Business School Madrid

WHO:  IE Business School Global Advanced Management Program

WHERE: Madrid, Spain, over 8 weeks


Working with the forward-thinking Peter Fisk, Faculty Director of the IE AMP – Advanced Management Program in Madrid, has allowed us to develop a unique online- and in-person format for Transform!

With a 2-day, in-person, followed by two more online sessions, and another 1-day, in-person, we design Transform! To serve as a backbone of the AMP.

Taking on the role of a new management team in the automotive industry, the participants need to lead a multi-year transformation journey, and reach a market cap north of 100BN. Not an easy task in the best of markets, and made even more challenging in the Transform! Simulation.


The number one feedback centers on the challenges of leading a large-scale transformation, with board dynamics, unions, competitors, activist investors, capital markets and innovation strategies. In the final day reflection session, many of the participants reflect on how they have all seen ‘bits and pieces’ of this, but never experienced a full transformation journey. Staying in touch over the following years, we often hear how people, one and two years later, apply the learnings from Transform! In their own, often new C-level position. Nothing makes us happier to hear.


The participants at IE’s AMP program, all senior and C-level, are some of the hardest-working, smartest people we meet with in a year. Taking them through the Transform! Experience is a pleasure far beyond regular classroom teaching.


Entrepreneurs Organization Dubai
Scale Up!


WHERE: Dubai, 1 day


What does a successful hotel owner, ed.tech founder and business coach have in common? Well, in Dubai they are all members of EO – Entrepreneurs Organization. All members of EO has built successful companies with revenue, customers and operations, now sharing their experiences and learning with other founders in the same situation.

In May 2023, Strategy Tools was invited to Dubai to run a 1-day executive level Masterclass on scaling up to exit. The Scale Up! Simulation was the perfect tool for the job.


We covered a record-amount of content and canvases in this action-packed 1-day Masterclass. The early parts flew by very quickly, allowing more time for deep dives into strategic partnerships, outcome scenarios, exit strategies and exit transactions. Many participants rated this as “best training program ever”, and notably appreciated the chance to work on exits, as a natural part of a founder’s journey.


EO brings a vast network of highly capable and successful founders. Yet, building towards large fundraises and exit transactions was a brand new concept to most. A very diverse and interesting group to work with, many with future exit transactions ahead of them.


Boston Scientific
Transform! Sim

WHO:  Boston Scientific

WHERE: San José, Costa Rica (Hybrid: In-person ran in a digital environment)

DURATION: 2 days


With more than 8,000 employees the manufacturing, R&D, innovation and corporate services site in Costa Rica is one of the largest Boston Scientific operations in the world. Developing new strategic and leadership at the highest level is paramount to successfully drive growth and transformation. Run by Engage // Innovate LATAM´s team, the Boston Scientific Costa Rican leadership team was challenged to lead the transformation of companies with legacy-businesses within the mobility space. The team tested their ability to collaborate, trust each other and adapt the company’s culture to successfully drive transformation.


During the two half-days sessions participants were flooded with strategic dilemmas and strategy challenges in a high-speed changing environment (by design, the speed of change was extremely high). Culture-related challenges and a pressing need to accelerate their digital transformation efforts to maximize short-term profits, accelerate mid-term growth and drive long-term innovation, demanded high collaboration and trust-based leadership skills. By the end of the simulation, the participants recognized several leadership and management blind spots that need to be addressed, and realized that further developing a trust-based leadership style is a key building block for performing, as a team, at the highest level.


This simulation is a good example of Transform!´s versatility and flexibility. As facilitators, we approached this session with a Lego mentality. By rearranging Transform!´s building blocks in a different way, we were able to adapt the sim to a very specific need. By working in-person but in a digital environment we got the best of both worlds.

Honorable Mention


Duke University
Transform! Sim

WHO:  Duke University

WHERE: Global, online

DURATION: 2 days, weekend


Transform! Is now a backbone of the Competitive Strategy program at Duke. Now, run in its 4th year, the experience known as ‘the highlight’ of the year to the students.

Run by a global team of experienced facilitators from Strategy Tools, this years’ facilitators hailed from Malaysia, Panama, Mexico, Israel, Belgium, Canada and more, both the facilitators and students get to interact and learn together over a highly packed weekend.


Transform! highlights and reinforces all key learning points students at the Master level should learn in Corporate Strategy. More importantly, thanks to the competitive design of the simulation, the students get to work hard, work fast and try to outcompete, outwin and outwin the rest of the class. What’s not to like?


We love the experience of working with the smart, dedicated and incredibly competitive students at Duke. Thank you!

Interested in learning more about how you can work with these simulations in your context?

Join our upcoming webinar on Jan 15, 2024 to learn about the latest and greatest on all of our strategy simulations.

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