Innovative ideas and products that merge business and policy with social needs will be on display as Presidio Graduate School presents its Capstone Showcase and a Sustainable Products and Services Design Fair on Saturday, May 18, from 5 to 9 pm at the UCSF Mission Bay campus in San Francisco.

This is the 10th anniversary of the Capstone Showcase, which features business models and policy plans created by Presidio Graduate School students in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) Integrative Capstone courses. A panel of faculty experts selects the projects included in the event, whose attendees include potential investors in the student ventures. Past Capstone Showcase participants have gone on to win the Madrona League Business Plan Competition and sought to turn their projects into viable business ventures after graduation.

“The Capstone Program demonstrates Presidio’s mission-in-action,” says Presidio Graduate School President William Shutkin. “In the Capstone courses, our students are literally building the businesses and policy programs that will help change society for the better. Not tomorrow, but today.”

Among the MBA student ventures included in the May 18th Capstone Showcase are:

  • Creative Green Economies, a mission-focused marketplace that helps nonprofit organizations increase revenues through donations and retail sales
  • EnergICE, a residential cooling system that relies on ice to reduce both cost and energy use
  • Little Seed, an online book builder that makes it possible to insert children and their family and friends into imaginative children’s stories crowd-sourced from authors and illustrators around the world
  • Team Boomerang, a residency-based high school program for disadvantaged youths that combines counseling, small class size, job training and placement and community engagement
  • Small Batch Preserves, which helps farmers increase revenues and connect with their communities by providing convenient mobile commercial kitchens where they can turn surplus crops into value-added products
  • Thrive, a cloud-based platform connecting employee engagement analytics with financial and HR data to help companies support and retain workers

Students anticipate continuing several of these ventures beyond the Capstone Showcase. The teams behind EnergICE and Little Seed Stories are participating in the 2013 Madrona League Business Plan Competition, which promotes sustainable business plans that serve the public good. Team Boomerang has generated interest from a funder, Creative Green Economies is moving forward and Small Batch Preserves is another prospective business.

Presidio Graduate School MPA student projects and papers are also highlighted in the Capstone Showcase. The topics addressed include:

  • Policies that consider the motivations as well as systemic benefits involved in homeownership
  • Positive and long-term effects of yoga and mindfulness programs on juvenile offenders
  • Improving emergency planning through effective community-based information sharing policies

The Capstone Showcase is sponsored by the California law firm Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP and the financial and professional services firm Jones Lang LaSalle. It will be preceded by the Sustainable Products and Services Design Fair featuring presentations by Presidio Graduate School students in the Products & Services Development course. Their creations include a toy made of solar panels to teach children about renewable energy, a fully compostable toothbrush and a software tool that helps businesses reduce parking costs and constraints.