The MBET Experience

The University of Waterloo – Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Program

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MBET Practicum Projects

November 2nd, 2006 · 1 Comment

Earlier today, just after we finished writing our law exam (which I think went alright), our practicum project groups were posted. I don’t think I’ve talked about the practicum much yet. This is our major project for the year, the MBET equivalent of a thesis. The general idea is that we get involved in the commercialization of a new technology – developing business plans, performing market research, and creating implementation or go-to-market plans.

This year, a number of outside parties had approached CBET with projects for us to work on. In addition to these projects, a number of students pitched their own ideas as potential projects. I presented one of my ideas, but it did not get chosen. This was mainly due to the fact that it’s the kind thing I could start with little outside investment – I think they wanted projects that will involve funding and a more complex startup process, where we’ll really get to learn a lot. In the end, two out of ten projects presented by students were selected, to go along with seven projects brought to us by local comapnies or faculty members of the local universities.

In previous years, I think there has been more than a little bit of controversy over the formation of practicum teams. This year, it was decided that the faculty would select the final teams. Once the list of projects was nailed down a couple weeks ago, we received more detailed descriptions of each project, and were asked to submit our choices last Friday. Our rankings, combined with our background and experience, would be used by the project supervisors to put us into teams. That’s definitely not a task I would have wanted – you’re never going to make everyone happy!!

From talking with people in the class, I got the feeling that people were a little nervous about the whole process. This is going to be a big project, and people were rightfully concerned about who they’d be working with and what they’d be working on. Today our groups were finally announced. I got my second choice. I was a little disappointed in not getting my top pick, but the project I ended up with offers me a great chance to learn about an entirely new industy, which is why I’m here. I believe a lot of people had this one quite high on their lists, so I feel pretty lucky. I’m looking forward to getting into it!

I know there were some disappointed people, but overall, I think the process for putting us into teams was fair. Over half the class got their top choice, and over 3/4 got one of their top two choices. Having the supervisors select the teams also helped ensure that there was some balance between technical and non-technical people on each project. I am part of a team of four, and we seem to have a good mix of talents.

I’ve started a new category for the practicum project, so follow along as we work on them throughout the year!

PS – I have been deliberately vague on what we are working on, because all these projects are new technologies being commercialized. I’m sure I would be violating our group NDA policy by describing the projects in detail on this blog!

PPS – If anyone from the class reading this thinks I’ve come anywhere close to breaking our NDA, please let me know and I will remove this!

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Koush // Nov 3, 2006 at 12:59 am

    Hello Dan,

    I think that the comments posted on your blog are in total violation of the non disclosure agreement. Please delete this section of your blog immediately!


    Ps. Much agreed on the crazy busy times we’ve had thus far. I’m in the same position as you and I think that if we can get over past this month, we will be fine!