Urgent - Looking for Mentors for the Business English course!

I know this is short notice, but is there anyone out there that would like to be a mentor for one of the groups of students in the Business English course?

DAY : Tuesday 17th November
TIME: 21.30-22.30 GMT (part of this time period - probably 30-40 minutes)

REQUIREMENTS: To listen to the group's business ideas and to suggest i) things that need to be developed / changed ii) further action required iii) the best way to present these ideas to the 'dragons' (i.e. the people responsible for deciding who gets investment)

Thanks in advance for any help you can give us!

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I just came across this interesting discussion on what kind of businesses are successful in Second Life and thought I would like to share this.


If you are not a LinkedIn member you might not be able to see the original discussion.

So, allow me to paste this information here.

Andrew Lauman
Founder and Owner of Gateways International Services

What have been some of the more successful businesses in the Second Life?

I am thinking of opening a business in SL and would like to know people who have and what their experience has been.


Posted 6 days ago | Reply Privately
Comments (5)

Catherine Johnson
Simply Great Designs

Second Life offers loads of opportunity for building a successful business, however, what you really need to succeed is a fresh, new idea - something imaginitive and eye catching, and also the ability to invest the same amount of time and capital as you would in a real business!

It's all about making your products or ideas look great - create a brand for your business bearing in mind the SL social scenery - The Nekos, Goths, Barbie-esque Fashionistas, Glamourous Jazz scene and period roleplay groups give you a big wide selection of brand designs to go for.

Just make sure that whatever you choose to do, you do it in style, and make it relevant to the SL market of your choice. Remember that real life brands, products and ideas rarely make it big in the Virtual World.

Also, from personal experience, I would say that advertising and marketing in second life are HARDER than doing the same on the web or in RL. A lot depends on who and what you know, so get advice from a professional marketing expert in SL, and start making some influential contacts.

Good Luck and happy new year!

Posted 5 days ago | Reply Privately
Andrew Lauman
It's so cheap to rent a space though.

What are some of the more hidden costs?

Posted 1 day ago | Reply Privately
Elisabeth Jacobsen Marrapodi
I've owned several businesses in the past 3 years in SL. While creatively rewarding, none were financially rewarding. I've tried high traffic sims and niche market sims that I hoped would appeal to people traveling to there but alas I am not one of the SL success stories. As of February 1 I will be closing my last shop. While space is cheap to rent, premium space is not and without return it was self-indulgent to continue. I would have been content to have made enough to cover rent, never mind turn a profit.

One hidden expense is time. I put in many many hours creating my wares and marketing with events, submitting ads, sponsoring clubs and standing greeting potential customers with mania board announcements.

However, all that being said, I became quite successful in a way I could not have foreseen. Although I didn't sell enough of my art to be finanically successful, I have enjoyed many invitations by galleries to showcase my work. Sometimes "success" can't be measured by Lindens, but it certainly is nice to have a healthy Linden bank account.

If anyone would like to visit my store before it ceases to exist, it's house at The Covenant Realm sim and is called Onderstroom Fantasy Art. Landmarks default you to the main gateway but look for the huge Emerald Viewer display and its next to it.

Posted 11 hours ago | Reply Privately
Nancy Crowe
I have worked for several fashion designers in SL and the #1 thing that consistently comes up is how to market products to realize revenue. I use all the experience I have in RL marketing for consumer products and find that for the most part, the mix of elements used work fabulously in SL.

The 1 thing I would stress is that you must have a calendar of activities for the customer to come back often -- freebies and new releases were the 2 top reasons for visiting a store when I did some research. And you must build a customer list and give them goodies all the time.

If I can be of assistance to you, feel free to contact me directly.

Good Luck.

Posted 9 hours ago | Reply Privately
Roland Wampers

The truly successful -less prone to high risk- businesses in Second Life are reserved for exceptionally talented business oriented designers, mastering the combination of 3D mesh and graphic design, and launching game art products that people might need to decorate their sims, their avatars and/or their own creations. A second line of highly successful businesses is te be found in the motion captured animations domain, flanked by professional scripters to smoothly glue the game play.
Except for the thriving, so called skill play, gambling industry in Second Life, the game within the game business development has by far not reached its potential. A few concepts creating a recurrent need, such as the vampire blood lines, role play huds, Tiny Empires, have proven to be quite a succes in various degrees.
Realty as a pure speculation business, once a bull market, has proven to be painfully realistic to those who thought that virtual land is worth a dime, when secondlife clowns opened the gates of naivity. However, when focussed on content -which is fantasy in all its forms- and user experience, land investment is an instrument that serves your bonding business well. For Second Life is all about its community that dwells there, in many cases with several avatars, in search to fulfill their fantasies. The services industry is coping, but not thriving, since it has to rely on gifts rather than rates and therefore have to be highly inventive to prevail.

Howerver talented, you also need to be highly flexible to adapt and eventually reinvent your business when the "rules of the game" abrubtly change, which they do about every 6 months, either due to Linden Lab rulings, technology changes or new market circumstances, such as people deciding to open source scripts, mesh files or layered photoshop files.

Endorsing the forementioned comments and looking at your line of interest, SL might be the platform of choice for you. It has proven to be well suited for educational services and there is room, interest and the public for it. You might first want to have a talk with the founders of NCI, TUI, both of which are established SL training organizations, and Texas University, since they decided to deploy Second Life training in all their programs starting in 2010.

I run a few day1 profitable businesses on Second Life and I am happy to provide more in-context input and/or introduce you to business owners in your domain of interest.
Thanks, Heike - this is very interesting and will be useful when we run the BE course again


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