If you've ever wanted to be a venture capitalist betting on whether a technical innovation will succeed, Fluid Innovation will let you do so virtually. At DEMOfall 07 the company debuted Virtual Ventures, a fantasy VC game that applies crowd sourcing and prediction markets to determine the viability of technologies that are not fantasy.
Companies such as Microsoft and Lockheed Martin have worked Fluid Innovation to sell their intellectual property, mostly software, to third-parties. With Virtual Ventures, the company offers a way for its paying clients to gather more data points from the community of users to help forecast potential outcomes for a particular technology they are selling.
Each week, Virtual Ventures will add five new items contributed by its roster of clients for players to research, debate and make predictions. The resulting data generated by fantasy players is accessible to real world buyers.
As the technology goes through the commercialization process, Virtual Venture tracks the winning virtual investors. It's not clear what kind of reward fantasy players receive for aiding Fluid Innovation's sales efforts, which I would predict have increased odds of successful transactions with Virtual Venture.
The VirtualVentures.com site is currently in private beta, but it will be open to anyone, the company said.