Win a student group subscription in our quarterly competition

04 May 2017

Most economic principles can be demonstrated with only a few elements, well within the ten-evaluator limit of our free demo.

Now that our fully-functional STEM demo system for small projects is available free of charge, we anticipate significant interest from students of business economics or engineering finance who will find STEM a very helpful platform for running simulations of relevant topics from their courses. Teaching staff may see this as a good opportunity to include a specific thread around business modelling in their courses and to use the software themselves to develop their own programmes of tailored exercises.

This foundation activity may stimulate interest in more ambitious modelling objectives; e.g., as a final-year project, or even to support master’s or doctoral research. We are unable to extend free access to the fully-fledged Conventional STEM (C-STEM) platform, even for students, but we are now offering an affordable package for educational groups which teaching staff may regard as a compelling opportunity to connect their students with the issues of scale and complexity that they will surely face in real life.

In this article we outline the terms of this offer, and introduce a regular competition to win such a package for your institution for the most interesting modelling proposal received in the three months, May–July 2017, in the first instance.

1. An affordable subscription package for educational groups

Suppose you wanted to explore a novel business model for delivering 5G services, or demonstrate the implications of current SDN/NFV approaches compared to a total re-write of communications service-provider architecture, or better still model something completely different which we have never considered before! Your concept development and research could be supported by a detailed business model which would explore commercial and technical alternatives and compare a range of strategic outcomes.

A model with multiple customer and service types covering an assortment of different costs and drivers will soon exhaust the scope of the free STEM demo system, but we don’t want the thinkers of the future to turn away from the fully-fledged version simply for lack of funds. So we have designed an educational group licence with this in mind.

For an annual subscription fee of GBP 500, we will provide access to the C-STEM system with credentials for up to 25 students in the same educational establishment. The subscription must be in the name of an education professional (doctor/professor or equivalent) who will vouch for the identity and reasonable use of the nominated users, all of whom must have an email address with a common, organisation-specific domain.

While impractical to provide support to every individual within the group, we will provide initial support to one nominated user (the academic staff may not have time), and our online help and public support-forum resources will be more than satisfactory for the others. The student user should learn fast, particularly with the kind of group participation that this package will foster.

2. Annual subscription prize for the best idea received each quarter

In order to stimulate more widespread interest in this opportunity, we are going to run a competition every quarter (between newsletters). We invite proposals for interesting or novel applications of the STEM modelling process which should include a problem statement, model outline (key elements and drivers), principal scenarios and intended outputs. We welcome business model canvas diagrams1 which, it may be observed, bear an uncanny resemblance to the high-level structure of a STEM model.

The metric of interest will be judged at our sole discretion (at least in the first instance), on the basis of how effectively we see that the proposal could expand market perception of the range of applications and sectors for our software and associated services.

By submitting a proposal you confirm that the ideas are not legally privileged in any way (i.e., they must be in the public domain), and agree that we may circulate them (together with the name of your institution) and any derivative concepts in our quarterly newsletter, regardless of whether your entry is successful in the competition.

This competition is open to individually-registered users of the STEM demo system who will be in full-time education for at least six months from the closing date. You can apply by email via the panel to the right of this article. The closing date is Monday 17 July 2017.

The prize of a one-off annual subscription for your institution will only be awarded if there are credible entries from at least five separate institutions. The winning candidate must be able (upon request) to provide suitable evidence of enrolment or endorsement from your supervisor in order to claim the prize.

We plan to repeat this competition on a quarterly basis (between newsletters) if there is sufficient, ongoing interest. We will consider inviting a new, external judge or committee for each quarter, once the format has been established, and we might even consider inviting past winners into this role. The initial assessments will be made by the core team at Implied Logic and members of our advisory board.

We hope that this regular competition will develop into a very exciting forum with the potential to significantly push the boundaries of our collective imagination!

1The concept of a business model canvas is described in the popular handbook Business Model Generation, © 2010 by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, Wiley Press

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