How UC capstones drive value for businesses

Corporate businesses hire capstone students for solutions

At the University of Cincinnati, capstones have the potential to turn theory into action, transforming business problems into solutions. Through these and other academic initiatives, corporate partners in UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub connect with students and recruit top graduates. 

Accessing talent 

UC Capstone projects allow undergraduate seniors to apply classroom learning to practical problems. Last summer, 80 students from UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) industrial design class showcased their capstone projects in the 1819 Innovation Hub.

The event was sponsored by CincyTech Students and coordinated by the 1819 Partner Success team. Each project included a mission statement, mind map and visualizations for solving real-world problems. Students pitched their projects to executives from the following organizations:

  • Kroger + 84.51
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • FIS
  • Kao
  • P&G
  • Altafiber

“The event was a great networking opportunity for on-the-spot feedback and meeting future employers,” said UC DAAP student Anastacia Dwyer, who was recruited for an internship after the event.

“I got to work for the Kroger Company, which gave me the opportunity to learn about so much more than groceries,” she said. “I have been able to explore many facets of design while working as an intern in addition to upskilling my own work. Above all else, UC and Kroger have given me an amazing mentorship and support network to encourage me to grow.”

While Dwyer worked individually, capstone project requirements also can be met by working in groups.

Rajput Dwarkesh, Leonardo Lozano and Pava Kunchala collaborated on a project to enhance the customer journey for Tiger Analytics, an advanced analytics and artificial intelligence consulting services company.

“The key focus area was on understanding the impact created by relaunch of new features to boost new customer sign-ups,” the team wrote in their summary. “This was achieved by comparing the sign-up rate captured within the first month of feature launch with the relaunch sign-up rate. As more customers sign up, it becomes important to develop a better understanding of the growing user base. This is accomplished using demographic, behavioral and business-metric based data generated over user interactions with the system.”

Benefits to corporate partners

Problems in the working world are complex. Corporations and non-profits that partner with the 1819 Innovation Hub can gain valuable insights and advance innovation through student help with:

  • Exploratory research and discovery projects
  • Early-stage applications, software models and prototypes
  • Special projects

“A key component of innovation is the diversity of thought,” said Dan Whitacre, senior director of Kroger Labs and Transformation. “Partnering with UC in this welcoming ecosystem enables us to attract and work with an array of student interns and faculty with various backgrounds and experiences.”

Exposure to future leaders

Corporate partners are invited to sponsor and connect with a capstone class, where they can mentor students and discuss company opportunities. Contact Drew Boyd, associate professor of marketing and innovation, Department of Marketing.

Students or employers can learn more about the Undergraduate Entrepreneurial Co-op Program or access a list of UC capstone projects by year.

Featured photo at top: University of Cincinnati students present capstone poster projects. Photo courtesy of Josh Gold Photography

Impact Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is leading public urban universities into a new era of innovation and impact. Our faculty, staff and students are saving lives, changing outcomes and bending the future in our city's direction. Next Lives Here.

Related Stories


UC startup aims to reinvent physical therapy

August 16, 2022

A University of Cincinnati Venture Lab-backed startup is looking to reinvent the physical therapy market with a new approach that offers hope for a more effective and more convenient way to provide treatment.

Debug Query for this