The I&E Capstone class is utilizes lessons, concepts, and experiences from earlier in the I&E certificate into action in creating a venture. In our weekly discussion section, groups of students innovate together to build their own solution. Regardless of whether or not the company will come to fruition, given a semester is only 16 weeks, teams of students go through the process of creating a start up from the problem identification stage to a rough MVP.  In our large lecture section, we are lucky to hear from entrepreneurs in various industries with a variety of backgrounds.

I enjoyed learning about the intricacies of innovation through actually searching for important problems and crafting solutions myself. The project I spent the semester working on is one that is I have always found to be very important today: the impact of social media, specifically Instagram, on teens’ body dysmorphia. My group and I went through the process of deeply investigating the problem, through interviews, and then a generating many solutions, until we finally landed on one that we thought would be most impactful. That solution was to create a series on IGTV, paired with an Instagram account, of interviews with Instagram influencers and celebrities unveiling their posting and editing decisions. The goal of the series was to pull back the curtain on the “behind the scenes” of Instagram models’ posts: photos that often harm teens’ and young adults’ self esteem. Working with my group was an incredibly interesting process, from talking about assumptions we’ve made in regards to our product and to interviews with individuals who would potentially benefit from our product, getting my hands dirty in the start up process was incredibly enjoyable and deeply beneficial!

Below is an artifact from the class: our opportunity identification mid-term presentation.

I&E Capstone_ Opportunity Presentation