From Food and Beverage to Fintech and Social Impact, Capstone MAP Sends Michigan Ross Students Out to Consult on Real Business Issues

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As part of the Capstone MAP program this semester, 111 BBA seniors and 15 Master of Management students at the Ross School of Business are embedding themselves within companies to help them tackle real-life business challenges.

Capstone MAP pairs student teams with sponsoring organizations - from small nonprofits to Fortune 500 corporations - to work on a predefined business objective, such as developing a new business model or strategic marketing plan.

Throughout the MAP experience, students apply academic concepts, problem-solving skills, and creativity to frame and resolve the challenge set by their sponsoring organization. At the end of the course, teams deliver analysis and thorough, data-driven recommendations to the sponsor and Michigan Ross faculty in a formal presentation and written report.

There are 26 Capstone MAP projects this winter, spanning a wide variety of industries and business functions, but projects with food and beverage organizations received the most student interest this year with 8 related projects. As always, there are many other interesting projects in other industries, such as fintech and social impact, too.

Food and Beverage 

Argus Farm Stop

Started by Ross alumni, Argus Farm Stop is a every-day, year-round Farmers Market located just steps from the University of Michigan. Students will develop an operations model that allows other communities to establish new “farm stop” stores, which could involve adopting a franchise approach to a mission-driven business model. 

Coffee Beanery

Coffee Beanery is a family-owned, Michigan-based chain of coffee shops. Students will develop and market an artisan coffee subscription program for a new business offshoot, called Pierson Place Roasting company. 

Eastern Market Brewing Co. 

Detroit-based Eastern Market Brewing Co. serves housemade craft beer in an industrial setting with frequent live music. Students will provide an overall strategy for increasing delivery capacity and efficiency at the brewery without sacrificing the current level of customer service. 

Slows Bar BQ 

Slows Bar BQ is a popular eatery in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. Students will develop a strategy and business model for "Slows at Home," a new lineup of food products designed for retail and direct-to-consumer sales.

Other Interesting Projects

Michigan Athletics 

Michigan has a storied athletics tradition that dates back to 1865. Students will analyze existing customer data, segmentation and profiling strategies to generate new insights and recommendations around Michigan Football's customer retention and acquisition strategies.  

PEAK6 

PEAK6 is a private investment and technology firm, and founding partner of the Michigan Ross FinTech Initiative. Students will provide recommendations to increase operating efficiencies within the investment team's diligence process. 

The Empowerment Plan

The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit nonprofit that makes sleeping bag jackets for the homeless, while also helping homeless women gain employment and skills. Students will develop a marketing and recruitment strategy for college campus fundraising initiatives.

Quicken Loans

Detroit-based Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, enables the American Dream of homeownership and financial freedom through an obsession with client experience and digital-first technology.  Students will provide strategies to improve the on-the-job experience for the company’s Mortgage Bankers.

Learn more about Capstone MAP