Yang wins 2015 Elevator Competition


Culver Military Academy third-classman Phillip Yang remembers the day his grandmother suffered a stroke in Indianapolis. From Granger, Ind., Yang’s family experienced problems trying to get updated information on her condition and initial treatment.

That frightening episode served as the inspiration behind his cloud-based medical information program, Med Web. His initial concept was strong enough to take first place in the seventh annual Elevator Competition: What’s Your Big Idea?

The annual competition is sponsored by the Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur and is open to all students at Culver Academies. The winning entry received a Microsoft Surface tablet. The runner-up received an iPad Air.

Yang told judges Leanne Hoagland-Smith and Joe McInerney that his program would consolidate a person’s medical records from physicians and medical facilities and be available for family or emergency personnel no matter where the patient was located. The app would also automatically update as new information was added or changed.

CGA senior Katrina Willis with Hoagland and McInerney.

CGA senior Katrina Willis with Hoagland and McInerney.

A person would have to register for the program and grant permission to have their information released to Med Web. It would remain private and only the patient or family would have access to it, Yang explained in his three-minute conversation with Hoagland and McInerney.

Since it would be cloud-based, the information would be available at any location and on any device in the case of an emergency. The automatic updates would save valuable treatment time in an emergency by letting the family and treating physicians know the latest information. This is especially needed with most people seeing more than one doctor, he said.

Hoagland-Smith, an author, consultant, and entrepreneur from Valparaiso, Ind., and McInerney, an investor and entrepreneur in Chicago, chose Yang as the winner. The runner-up was CGA senior Katrina Willis (Rolling Prairie, Ind.), who proposed a smartphone application that would allow drivers to control various automobile electronic operations with voice commands. Drivers would be able to start their car, set the cruise control, speed up, slow down, use their GPS maps, and control their music options without taking their eyes off the road, she said.

Eight finalists were selected from 20 submissions. Each finalist was given up to three minutes – the average length of an elevator ride – to pitch their concepts to Hoagland-Smith and McInerney. They were not allowed to use any supporting materials or visuals. The two judges could ask questions of each student to check the depth of his or her background knowledge.