Technology Commercialization Capstone event

Aaron Lykken, Manager – Academic Services & Technologies

Students from the graduating class (TMMBA Class 9) this spring participated in the TMMBA capstone presentation on 6/5 as both their final deliverable for their Technology Commercialization course and more importantly, for the program.  The objectives of the Capstone project are (1) to provide students with an “end-of-program” team-based project to reinforce TMMBA course learnings, and (2) to provide the students with an opportunity to internalize the value that they have gained from their overall TMMBA experience by applying the concepts and theories to an actual commercialization of technology project.  Student teams were given a long leash to explore project ideas, from project options within the University of Washington’s Center for Commercialization as well as those within their own companies or elsewhere such as a local venture.

The day started bright and early for staff as I arrived at William H. Gates Hall at 7:00 AM to setup for the event.  After planning all of the details in the months prior to the event, it was a relief to finally see the day arrive and the finished product.  Overall, a fairly simple day once put into action, as the student teams arrive at various times throughout the day according to the time slot they were given.  There were four different presentation rooms, each with a judge panel consisting of a TMMBA alumni winner from last year, faculty, and a member of the business community.  Each team was allowed 30 minutes total for their pitch, which is no small task, but forced the teams to get to the point quickly and filter out irrelevant details.  At the end of the afternoon each of the four panels decided on a presentation that stood out above the rest and those teams were honored at the graduation banquet later that evening.

After an entire quarter of researching, analyzing, planning, and integrating into a concise 30-minute presentation, the effort behind these presentations and final output was nothing short of impressive.  This was the 3rd year for this event and consistent quality was at the forefront of  each observer’s thoughts as I chatted with judges, project sponsors, and guests.  I hear repeatedly from students and alumni that this is an extremely useful and practical learning activity in which our students need to apply numerous parts of their MBA skill-sets to create a complete project.
Hats off to our Class 9 graduates for all of their hard work!