The Goal of the Capstone is to provide Computer Science students with the tools to be successful technical co-founders of their own startups. We will explore the initial stages of founding a startup, including team formation, idea validation, pivoting and pitching, while employing an iterative methodology. Student teams will develop a minimum viable product, pitch their final startup concept, and be evaluated on product/market fit.
Out of a total of twenty teams competing within the IT track semi-finals and finals, four of our teams placed in the NVC and were awarded $5,000 to use to further their companies.
Some companies were focused on non-revenue generating ideas, while others made money. One company created in the Capstone brought in over $2,000 in revenue.
Within the first few weeks of class, students pitch ideas to each other and with the goal of forming teams. Some students come to class with multiple ideas, while others come with just one. Students self select there teams, however students may switch of leave teams throughout the year.
Once students form teams, they are taught to go out and validate there ideas. Students are encouraged not to build products or MVPs. Students go through the steps of learning how to validate not only idea/market fit, but founder/market fit. The thought of idea validation is present through the Capstone.
Now that students have validated there ideas, they are encouraged to create MVPs to test the assumptions that they have made about their business. They also learn and practice how to present there business to others. At the end of the first semester they present to a group of industry professionals from all across Boulder.
Students spend the seconds semester building out their products. To assist in this numerous industry professionals are brought in to teach about marketing, tax law, intellectual property, scaling, hiring, and more. Throughout the semester students practice their pitches in preparation of the CU NVC.
Associate Professor - Department of Computer Science
VP of Education - Techstars