Photo Credit Jan Garrison
Helping people care for themselves
October 31, 2018

An attachment that would assist bed-ridden people in caring for themselves took first place in the “What’s Your Big Idea?” elevator competition hosted by The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur Sunday afternoon.

The competition is open to any Culver student and built on the concept that an average elevator ride is three minutes. Each competitor is given that amount of time to make their business pitch and judges are allowed to ask follow-up questions.

Twenty students submitted ideas for the competition and nine were selected to present before the judges. First place received a $1,000 Amazon gift card. Second place received a $500 gift card, and third received a $50 gift card.

Skarlette Dorris ’21 (DeMotte, Ind.) proposed AUX, an auxiliary elevated shelf that would help people who are required to stay flat in bed for medical reasons. The shelf could hold an iPad so the person can watch movies. There would also be a mirror available so the person could see what is on their plates and eat without assistance.

Dorris said she experienced these problems after being immobilized for an extended period. She couldn’t do anything without having someone assist her, requiring someone to be there nearly full-time. AUX would allow a bed-ridden person to perform some tasks without assistance.

AUX is short for auxiliary support, she explained. She knows there is a market for this type of device because 200,000 people are diagnosed with just her medical condition each year.

Participants with judge Brad Pick ’95. In front are winners (from left) Erin Anderson, Tom Ni, and Skarlette Dorris. Back row are participants (left) McLayne Houin, Ethan Lamstein, mario Rodriguez, Rose Hittle, Pick, Viktor Hatina, and Evan Severtson.

Second place went to Life Blanket by Tom Ni ’19 (Shanghai, China). Ni said the emergency blanket would have graphite ink circuits woven into it that could help keep the body warm or cool, based on the need. It could also be programed to provide a person’s vital signs such as blood pressure and body temperature. An electronic pad would be included which would provide the readouts so emergency personnel would know a person’s condition without any additional equipment.

Erin Anderson received third place for her Pure Sugar Patch and Gum, which would help people with diabetes regulate their blood sugar. The gum would be available in different doses which would be based on the person’s individual needs. Chewing the gum would provide the necessary release so a runner would be better able to regulate their blood glucose level while exercising.

Other students and their concepts included:

  • Ethan Lamstein ’22 (San Rafael, Calif.) and Community Central – a combined networking site and public marketplace where students and parents could gather to talk and exchange textbooks and other items needed for college or boarding school.
  • Evan Severtson ’20 (Lino Lakes, Minn.) and Tempa-Suit – clothing that could provide hot or cold compress based on what is needed to recover from sore muscles or injuries.
  • Mario Rodriguez ’20 (Chicago) and EVAGolf – a golf ball with a geo-location chip that would tell a golfer how far they are from the hole and help the golfer from losing balls during a round. The golfer would wear a watch with a monitor to track the ball.
  • McLayne Houin ’21 (Plymouth, Ind.) and Fit-Match – a program that would allow a person to see how clothing fits them before they order it online. It would run through the retailers’ websites.
  • Rose Hittle ’21 (Indianapolis) and Boarding Bond – a counseling application that would allow students to discuss such things as homesickness, athletic performance, academic pressures, and other things anonymously.
  • Viktor Hatina ’20 (Stupava, Slovakia) and Power Brace – a bracelet that would also serve as an auxiliary battery for a person’s smart phone. The bracelet would be charged up and include a small cord that could be plug into a phone for a temporary power supply.

Instructor Season Haseley organized the competition and Brad Pick ’95, of Vulcan IG, and The Rubin School director Alex Kurrelmeier ’83 served as judges. Kurrelmeier said the competitors selected concepts “that would solve real world problems.” The judges discussed such things as market viability and how easy it would be to bring the concept to market while making their decisions, he added.

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