Education. Business. Entrepreneurship.

The capstone is the culminating project wherein students identify a new opportunity, either for an existing entity or for the creation of a new venture, and implement the necessary skills they have built in the program to launch their own education program, service, or product. For their final product, students build a business case, executing experiments which validate or invalidate key hypotheses governing the opportunity. The capstone culminates with a demo day celebration where students pitch their ventures to a distinguished panel of judges.

Students outline capstone project ideas in the personal interest statement of the program application. The exploratory work begins on site on day one, with discovery-driven planning, ideation, and pitch practice. The second stage includes design thinking, market research, and rapid validation testing using lean methods. Designing learning environments, building venture financial models, and developing marketing plans are key elements in the third stage. In the final stage, students build integrated businesses cases for their education ventures, including financial models and pitch decks. Throughout the 13-month project, students pitch, test, iterate, pivot, and refine venture ideas through meetings with a team of mentors – including ed tech and school entrepreneurs, education intrapreneurs, business leaders, researchers, practitioners, and investors.

Project Components

  • Pitch deck presentation
  • Financial model
  • 25-page paper

Common Topic Areas:

  • New school designs and programs
  • Ed tech teaching and learning solutions
  • Curriculum innovations
  • New communities of practice
  • Ed products and marketplaces

Sample Projects

This list includes new ventures(*) and existing entities that students strengthened through their programmatic work as both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership

Prepares students to change the world through an entrepreneurial mindset—a mindset of curiosity and courageous creativity.

College Writing Buddies *

Digitally unites university and low-income students in the fight to bridge the writing achievement gap.

Forward Justice

Serves as a Southern and Washington D.C. based think tank and resource hub for human rights movements working to create a more just, equitable, and free South.


Demystifies the process of creating student-centered, active learning environments for academically rigorous high school classrooms.

Nomad Minds *

Creates experiences which promote dialogue, understanding and appreciation among globally interconnected local cultures.

Expands access to higher education, especially among low-income and first generation students, so that every student has a shot at the American Dream.

TheVentureSchool *

Provides opportunities to unleash student entrepreneurial potential while receiving a world-class education.