Semester Capstone Winners!
Shout Out to Winter Semester’s Capstone Project Winners, Roaring Budz, and Great Lakes Growers!
“I was so proud to be part of the winning cohort, Roaring Budz,” said Leah, Oaksterdam University Alumni 2020 and Business of Cannabis capstone winner. “Working on the project with strangers from around the world was an amazing experience. I was able to build relationships with my group members and work on my collaboration skills. While I am currently a Biology major, I made the logo and brand identity for a really elevated consumer experience, and Oaksterdam University gave me the confidence to keep using my skills and pursuing my dreams of leading in the cannabis industry.”
In addition to weekly interactive lectures, students have the opportunity to participate in a capstone project, which is a multifaceted body of work that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students. The Oaksterdam Capstone Project is an entrepreneurial assignment working with peers to conceive and develop a fictitious business. Each small team receives guidance from an experienced industry mentor. By the end of the semester, in addition to the academic coursework, students have built a business plan “lite” and the opportunity to pitch their unique cannabis entity to a panel of industry professionals for immediate feedback.
A business plan “lite” is a shortened version of the traditional business plan most companies draft to secure funding from investors. A “lite” business plan encapsulates the significant concepts of a business in a few short pages that look at the fundamental components that make a viable business, including its services/goods, operating model, competitive advantage, leadership team, and market opportunity.
The pitch includes a deck and a short (5 minute) presentation by the fictitious company to a potential investor. A pitch deck should present a “problem” that the company’s particular service or product is the “solution”. A pitch should illustrate the primary concepts of your business in a concise, engaging narrative.
The judging panel for end semester presentations are pillars in cannabis and related industries. Presentations are judged on the business case and group pitch. All pitches are graded based on storytelling, effectiveness, presentation design, verbal and non-verbal communication, and idea originality. Business students cover their business’ vision and mission, pricing strategy, objectives, action plans, advertising, and promotion. Horticulture students give a business description and describe the floor plan, cultivation methodology, growing requirements, budget, security plan, and compliance.
Roaring Budz presented an elegant and up-market dispensary that offers a unique consumption experience modeled after a 1920s prohibition-era speakeasy based in the Chicago area. They were also committed to hiring more than 50% of their employees from those who have faced injustice for cannabis offenses. Below are samples of the presentation slide deck.
Great Lakes Growers presented themselves as passionate cannabis activists who are concerned with the carbon footprint associated with cannabis cultivation. They proposed to limit the power and water consumption in a hybridized indoor/outdoor cultivation facility. They employ multiple growing modalities, including an indoor, recycle and reuse, hydroponic grow method.