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Capstone Project Guidelines

on Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:02 pm
Written Report:

Capstone Projects should be between 12,500 and 15,000 words. (25-30 pages with the addition of select and relevant appendices only).  We expect readable font type (12pt) and
single spaced text.

Presentation:

The presentation will be held during the final module as a realistic exercise in front of a Capstone Project Board, consisting of members of the TRIUM Academic Board, guest executives and experts.  Consistent with the scope of your project, the board will act as a firm’s or NGO’s board of directors, a pool of investors or a financial sponsor.

The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session with the Capstone Project Board and a shorter Q&A with the class.

Timelines:

1. Module 1: Kick off during
2. Module 2: Idea sharing/pitching during
3. Module 3: Project selection and team constitution during
4. Module 4: Presentation of project overview, progress and work plan during
5. Module 5: First presentation live test during
6. Module 6: Final presentation to the Capstone Board during

In addition, there are several critical milestones which occur between modules:

• Submission of an official project prospectus one month after the end of Module 3 followed by a formal validation by the Capstone Project Directors
• Submission of an updated version of the Module 4 presentation six weeks after Module 4
• Submission of a formal written Capstone Outline by the end of Module 5
• Submission of the written Capstone Project Report Pre-Module 6 by 4 January 2019

Required Reading:

• Osterwalder, A. & Pigneur, Y. (2010), Business Model Generation. (This was provided in your
• Module 0 pack)
• Rose, D.S. & Hoffman, R. (2014), Angel Investing

MODULE 3

We strongly encourage students to work on developing their projects and forming their teams prior to Module 3, in order to come to Paris prepared and as part of a team. This will allow for increased time during the module to develop the final project description. Once again we will have teams present to each other, but this time, as teams, with an idea and with timelines. By 1 April 2018, two weeks before Module 3, students should post on Moodle their Capstone Project proposal details and existing team members.

By 15 April 2018 (the start of Module 3), both the composition of the teams and the proposed topic should be settled and reported (via Moodle) to the TRIUM Capstone Project Directors (CPDs). The team’s composition cannot be changed once you have submitted the list of team members, except with the explicit approval of the Capstone Project Directors, and in full consent with the respective Capstone Teams involved.

By 27 May 2018 (one month after the end of Module 3) each team must submit an official project prospectus on Moodle. This document should give a concise description of the project and the dimensions identified as critical for its success, as well as a future work schedule and agenda (maximum of 1,500 words or max ten slides – examples are available on Moodle from past years).  

The teams will also submit a concise Code of Business Conduct that will govern their team dynamics over the next nine months.  This is a mandatory part of the Capstone process component.  By 15 June 2018 the team will receive feedback on their prospectus and will be informed of one of three decisions:

1) The team may proceed as planned – the CPDs are happy with the concept and progress to date.
2) The team may proceed with conditions – the CPDs are generally happy with the concept and progress, but require the team to address certain points prior to final approval.
3) The team must come up with another project – in the rare event that the CPDs believe the project not to be capable of fulfilling the requirements of a Capstone Project, the team will need to come up with a different prospectus by the start of Module 4.   While variations and adjustments are to be expected after the submission of the prospectus, the overall topic of the Capstone Project cannot be changed.

MODULE 4

During the second week of the module, each Capstone Project team will make a brief 10-15 minute presentation to the CPDs and executives associated with TRIUM (under non-disclosure agreements).
The presentation should give a concise overview of the project, a summary of progress to date, the planning schedule and a brief discussion of potential challenges and proposed solutions.

At this stage of the Capstone Learning Journey, it is expected that the teams clarify their business model, describe their target customers and value proposition, identify the key options to deliver it, and finally, start exploring their go-to-market strategy. Although all market and financial data are generally, not available at this stage, teams are expected to describe how they plan to collect and utilize them.  

Other members of your class will not attend. The presentations will need to be posted on Moodle no later than noon on the Sunday before Week 2, so we can ensure all workshop participants can be prepared to give valuable feedback.

Pending their availability in the first week, the Capstone Project Directors may be available on the NYU campus for preliminary advisory sessions. By 28 August 2018 the teams are required to upload to Moodle an expanded version of the Module 4 presentation, incorporating suggestions/ideas/revisions from the  New York  module,  and possibly additional work done since.   We expect this document to be a key progression from the presentation given at the end of Module 4. Your team may also be asked to produce additional documents to the CPDs on or before this date. You will know the type and due date of any additional requirement by the end of Module 4.

Secondly, you will submit the first of two peer-to-peer reviews.  The second one will be submitted after Module 6.  This is another critical self-evaluation that is a part of the Capstone process grade component.  Like the earlier Code of Conduct, experience has shown this helps the team to transparently progress on team dynamics, addressing any issues openly and early in the process.  

There will be an ad hoc (on demand) round of conference calls between Modules 4 and 5 (most likely mid-September / early October). The calls will allow the CPDs to give feedback on the updated version of the Capstone Project presentation and follow up on any substantive questions from the team. This will also provide an opportunity for the CPDs to answer any last-minute questions about the Module 5 presentations and the formal written business plan.

You will also have an opportunity during Module 5 in Shanghai to consider how China may influence your Capstone Project in direct or indirect ways. A day will be set aside during this module for Capstone teams to conduct a minimum of two company visits in Shanghai – set up by the teams in advance. This exercise will encourage you to “flip your thinking” and look at your project through a Chinese lens. Further details of this component will be provided as part of the Module 5 module pack in early September 2018.

MODULE 5

During Module 5 you will:

• Conduct the local meetings as noted above.  
• Discuss the latest version of your project planning schedule and any remaining issues during a meeting with the CPDs.
• Make a formal presentation of your work to TRIUM faculty and some of your classmates and receive feedback.  

This presentation should be seen as a test run of the presentation to be made to the Capstone Project Board in Module 6. Consider this a SAFE dry run. Experiment with storytelling and presentation techniques. This will give your peers the opportunity to provide you with valuable feedback and advice 7 heading into the final stages of your Capstone Project. Module 5 should mostly be about refining and integrating work that has already been completed. In cases where the CPDs believe the team is in danger of failing the project (based on the quality of work produced up to that point in the process), teams may receive formal notification of this.

Pending their availability in the first week, Capstone Directors may be available for advisory sessions on a planned and ad-hoc basis. More details on availability will be released closer to Module 5. By 19 November 2018 your team is to upload the formal written Capstone Outline to Moodle.

MODULE 6

By 4 January 2019 submit the Capstone Project Report.

Your team will be informed by 15 January 2019 of one of two decisions:

1) Green light: Your Capstone project has been approved for presentation.  Your written report have already been graded (not on the process component yet – that comes after Module 6 along with the final score).  You also will receive guidance and feedback that might help you in preparation of your final presentation in 1 February 2019.

2)  Red light: In this (hopefully unlikely) event, your team needs to meet or schedule a call with the TRIUM CPDs and/or Academic Dean. The project is not (yet) approved for presentation. Such a decision may include grade penalties on the written and process components depending on the specific situation of each project.   Whether the team ultimately is allowed to present in February or at a later stage also depends on the specific situation of the project. Importantly, progression to the final presentation is necessary for a passing mark on the Capstone Project, but presentation alone is not sufficient to receive a passing grade.  However, a team must present their project in order to pass the Capstone course.  

On the final days of Module 6 the presentations will be made to the Capstone Project Board. There will be two simultaneous presentation sessions (Board A and B).    At the end of the
presentations, students will vote for the best, most convincing presentation in each Board. We will provide guidelines to help score. After a small break, the winners of both Boards will present to the full student audience, after which students can vote  again  for  the  ultimate  “Best  Capstone Presentation, Class of 2019”.
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