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Titan Up

JA is whipping our youngsters into entrpreneurial shape.

Do you have what it takes to guide your company to the top of the competitive CyberPen industry? That's the question posed to students 13 and older by the JA Titan interactive business simulation. A partnership between nonprofit economic educational organization Junior Achievement and Web media company Lycos has brought JA Titan online for all comers at www.jatitan.lycos.com.

This isn't a run-of-the-mill Internet game. Young entrepreneurs-to-be head up their own fictional CyberPen company. There are company and industry reports to pore over, executives to consult and production analyses and sales graphs to look at. JA Titan consultant Andrew Bernstein boils down the program he helped launch: "You, a kid, are a CEO and run your own virtual company and act as if it's on a quarterly basis. You make decisions as if it were a publicly traded company."

Launched in February, JA Titan already boasts tens of thousands of participants, students and adults alike. "It captivates [them]," Bernstein says, "They come up with strategies and send messages to each other saying, 'I can't believe you lost,' and 'Here's my performance index.' It increases the competitive side."

Competition among peers for prizes is only open to students, but that doesn't stop grown-up entrepreneurs from trying their hands at becoming titans of industry. Ask any JA Titan participant, no matter what age, about the program's tagline-"Who wants to be the big cheese?"-and you'll hear a resounding "I do!"

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This article was originally published in the November 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Titan Up.

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