Students in the Professional Science Master’s program end their journey by completing a capstone project. In this project, students choose a science-derived intellectual property (IP) and develop a business plan to take this IP to market. The capstone serves as a reflection of the MBS degree, requiring students to use both the science and business skills that they have learned throughout the course of the program. Students also learn how to commercialize successfully and manage the development of science-intensive enterprises.
In the course Science and Technology Management Capstone, led by Dr. Tom Bryant, students chose IPs that they believe can be commercialized successfully while meeting a current need. After advocating for these IPs, students ranked their top five choices and were clustered into teams. Through this system, teams were interdisciplinary, and members shared a common passion for the improvement of the world. Each team then presented their plan to a panel of investors in a "Venture Forum."
On May 2nd and May 3rd, 27 teams presented with Dr. Bryant serving as moderator. Teams gave a 10-minute pitch to the investment panel, and judges had five minutes to ask incisive questions, give compliments, and provide advice. The investment panel was made up of experienced judges from diverse backgrounds, including individuals who had created their own startups.
This year, “startup companies” created products benefiting the environment, the workforce, health and well-being, and more. Teams presented the challenge that needs solving, an examination of the market, a business timeline, targeted consumer demographics, marketing strategy, and investment request.
Science and Technology Management Capstone trains students to be not only advocates, but investors themselves as well. Students learned how to pitch to investors as well as which of their classmates’ projects to back, crafting their own philosophy and criteria as an investor.
At the end of the presentations, each judge gave their overall impression of the presentations. Judges agreed that presentations were engaging and well-designed with solid business opportunities. Judges also provided more tips on how to improve and provided pearls of wisdom.
Congratulations to all MBS students who presented!