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Prelios Start Me Up: working in a startup becomes a game

Organization and culture

Real Estate




To spread the Business Design and Lean Startup methodologies into the company through the design of a startup.


Through the simulation of the dynamics that characterize a startup, participants were divided into teams committed to confronting different challenges to acquire principles and tools of an innovative organization.


198 active participants, 29 teams, of which 25 have finished the program. The 80% of the people involved expressed a score between 8 and 10 in terms of educational and entertainment quality.


An ongoing program to accelerate innovation

To increase the value of Prelios Group’s path towards innovation, we design an articulated innovation program, based on three streams of work:


  • setup: to understand the context and set up the program;
  • mobilize: to mobilize and actively involve people inside the organization;
  • execute: to accelerate the implementation of initiatives identified and developed by employees.


To achieve a high quality flow of ideas, we proposed Start Me Up: an atypical and widespread training activity to learn how to design and launch a startup, thanks to the acquisition of new methodologies coming from an innovative approach.

A realistic storytelling and simulation dynamics as the key ingredients to live the experience of a startup.

Together with Prelios we created the identity of an imaginary startup, defining a real business model as well as a precise brand identity, creating a website and a team of professionals lead by Ludovica, the founder — a character that has a face, a personality and a “real” story to tell.


A narrative framework firmly embedded in real dynamics is one of the main features of the Alternate Reality Game (ARG), a highly engaging game format in which we have gained a decade of experience thanks to numerous corporate training sessions.


Throughout the experience, Ludovica, represented by a professional actress, support the participants in their innovative journey. She was the one who launched the challenges with a video message and then communicated the results, again on video. In case of doubts, the participants took Ludovica as a reference, contacting her on Teams or via email.


An alternation between reality and fiction that makes the ARGs a distinctive mean to train and develop new skills and practices, as it introduces a playful element that easily transforms participants into real startuppers on the hunt for investments. In this context, the desire to experiment and collaborate is encouraged by the fact that people can act and experiment firsthand in a safe space, without fear of making mistakes.


The narrative framework of Start Me Up included four challenges that were the object of the simulation experienced by the participants. The top six finalist teams were invited to a real meeting with investors and top management to present the startup as their own. The group that won the largest (fictitious) investment was declared the winner.

“Start Me Up allowed me to meet new people and appreciate the way they work, having the opportunity to express myself freely in each challenge. I think the initiative was original because, through the various challenges, it gave the opportunity to range over various economic topics and to learn about a completely original and unexplored business, which challenged the creativity of many.”

Prelios Group Employee

From the survey to the participants

The Start Me Up project developed in 5 weeks and involved 198 people, divided into 29 teams. The level of engagement was high and consistent: the final satisfaction survey showed that 84+% of participants rated the experience higher than 7.


The development of an effective innovation path

The taste for play and competition, as well as the narrative element, combine to make the Start Me Up experience unique and attractive, motivating people throughout the innovation path.


Prelios Group has chosen — with successful results – an unusual training path for its employees, demonstrating that innovation is not only identified with the evolution of processes, but also with the experimentation of new activation methods.

“Start Me Up allowed participants to understand what it takes to initiate the development of an idea, in a protected, yet complex and competitive environment. Adopting the techniques and tools used during Start Me Up will allow colleagues to be even more prepared and faster in the development of the ideas that are part of the innovation program.”

Fabio Oberto Tarena Head of Innovation and Data Management Prelios Group
Innovation excerpt

Thanks to our strong experience in business game projects and the deep commitment of Prelios’ top management to promote an innovation culture, we were able to create a successful training journey that stimulates and engages the majority of the corporate population to acquire the Business Design methodology pillars, necessary to evaluate and develop new innovative ideas.


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