Honors Program


Date of this Version

Spring 4-2021

Document Type



Butt, E. 2021 Entrepreneurship in Capstone Projects: The Experiences of One Self-sponsored Student Team. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska- Lincoln.


Copyright Ethan Butt 2021


Undergraduate students studying in all disciplines often struggle to connect their in-class learning with their roles in industry. This can become exceedingly apparent in Computer Science and Engineering, an industry that can change frequently and suddenly. To remedy this gap, the University of Nebraska — Lincoln has for many years offered a Senior Design Capstone course for Computer Science and Engineering students, allowing students to work with a team and industry sponsor to complete a real software project. This course offers students the opportunity to become familiar with popular industry practices and applications as a part of their undergraduate education.

In the fall of 2020, a new option for a “self-sponsored” project was offered to one Senior Capstone team. This is the first time such an option has been offered in Senior Design; this team’s work will set a precedent for the possibility of this option being offered again in the future. This paper will describe the motivation behind offering an option for a “self-sponsored” project, as well as some of the key differences between this option when compared to teams with outside sponsors. It will also outline the work done by the first self-sponsored team, share the initial results of this work, and offer some analysis of how effective the changes to the team’s scope affected their work. Finally, it will offer a defense of this new option for students and some possible improvements for future self-sponsored teams.