The Capstone Experience
The capstone is a requirement of the Master of Science in Technology Management program. All students must complete this requirement to graduate. The course is non-credit, but has expectations and built in assessments for high quality work. Students work in teams of diverse skill sets and industry backgrounds. The capstone builds on course work and other learning experiences throughout the program to culminate in a final product that adds value to the learning experience. Students take pride in this accomplishment and the capstone has become a hallmark of the program.
Students use their creativity and problem-solving skills to develop a technology innovation that may address a solution to a business problem or other creative need. This business plan is presented to a capstone board consisting of a panel of technology executives who serve as judges in the evaluation of each plan based on a set of criteria for both the written document and presentation. Many past capstone projects have resulted in funding and/or successful business opportunities.
The capstone is broken into three main phases:
- Phase 1: Students form project teams and begin the process of identifying an innovation idea. The initial proposal consists of the idea, market justification, some preliminary financial justification, and the basic technology solution. This proposal is approved by a faculty panel of entrepreneurs and technology experts.
- Phase 2: The second phase involves working more intensely on the details of the project. A marketing plan, operational plan, technology solution, risk assessment, and financial justification are worked out to support the technology innovation business plan. A first draft is presented to the internal team of faculty for feedback and suggestions.
- Phase 3: The final phase involves polishing the written document and revising any parts that still need work. Students practice their presentation skills as they work through several rounds of feedback and revision. The final written document is sent to the capstone board (panel of technology experts) two weeks prior to the final presentation. Students present their final projects on the last day of the program.