What is Business Capstone?
Every spring semester, seniors in Maranatha’s business programs take their Business Capstone class. In January, each student presents a service or product idea. After these presentations, the students vote on the best four or five ideas. They also vote on team leaders from among their peers. Once the teams are formed, the students use the rest of the semester to turn their business concept into a realistic business plan. At the end of the semester, the teams present their work and ideas to the business faculty. This year, four teams developed and presented their business concepts.
Team 1: Smart House
On Friday, April 13, the first Business Capstone team presented their semester’s work. The team included Tina Kolinska, Zachary Starnes, Garrett Fell, James Lockhart and Bethany Sherwood. Their project was Smart House, a consulting firm for people who want to implement smart house technology into their new homes. According to Tina Kolinski, the team leader, “at our core, Smart House believes in promoting economic saving, safety, security, and status in the lives of consumers.”
In order to help its consumers, Smart House provides consultation, education and installation services for homebuilders and homebuyers. The team’s market is homebuilders and homebuyers in southeastern Wisconsin. They plan to open in Johnson Creek because they have easy access to the I-94 corridor between Madison and Milwaukee.
Team 2: Café Cleaner
On Monday, April 16, 2018, the second Capstone team presented their business venture. The team included Hannah Flegal, Arthur Nutzhorn, Trevor Schmidtt, Jonathan Hadley, Abigail Jones and Alondra Spinner. The business startup was Quick Café. Hannah Flegal, the team leader and president of the company, presented the company’s goal to create products that support the lifestyle of fitness people and encourage people who want to start a fitness lifestyle. She summarized their mission into the words “Impact. Improve. Innovate.”
In fulfillment of their mission statement, the team developed the Café Cleaner. The Café Cleaner allows the customer to quickly wash and sanitize mugs, cups, and bottles. Available for $50, the Café Cleaner gives people an affordable method to upgrade their fitness lifestyle. The company plans to begin selling to the fitness communities in Madison and Milwaukee and expand to other fitness communities as they grow.
Team 3: Aftah Learn
On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, the third Capstone team presented their business venture. The team included Colton Lingle, Dan Davidson, Wira Wama, Philip Seest and Josh Kruit. Their business was Aftah Marketing, a service designed to help small businesses and entrepreneurs develop their marketing. Aftah Marketing specifically targets small businesses and entrepreneurs because they understand the lack of personnel and ability these people face.
Colton Lingle, the team leader, shared the team’s plans to provide customers with the marketing services and education they need to make their marketing techniques better. This education service is called Aftah Learn. Through this service they will instruct businesses on SEO, Google Analytics, social media marketing, as well as many other forms of marketing. The company plans to enter the market by offering marketing services to businesses in southeastern Wisconsin.
Team 5: Open Spaces
On Friday, April 20, 2018, the final Capstone team presented Open Spaces. The team included Devon Steurwald , Matthew Gill, Sadie Robbins, Ethan Hoffman and Jacob Bootsma. Open Spaces is a consulting service to help businesses create efficient, safe, aesthetic, and eco-friendly parking lots.
Devon Steuerwald, the team leader and company president, and Sadie Robbins, the communications coordinator and HR professional, shared the team’s plans and goals for the company. The team desires to help companies save money by providing parking lots that will attract more customers. In order to help the process go smoothly, Open Spaces plans the process and coordinates the contractors, staying involved until the job is done and all the bills have been paid. The company plans to begin in the Milwaukee area.
The Winning Team
On Thursday, April 26, the School of Business professors announced the winner of the Capstone class for the 2017-18 school year. In order to choose the winner, the professors evaluate the portfolio the teams put together, the team presentation, and the viability of the team’s business venture. Quick Café was chosen as the team that presented the best business venture.