The IDEA Challenge Competition is a cornerstone of GapSummit 2017 and is designed to provide a platform for aspiring leaders in biotechnology and life sciences worldwide to develop and implement breakthrough solutions to one of the 6 gaps in biotechnology.


20 teams were formed from the 100 Leaders of Tomorrow and were assigned to one of the 6 gaps to develop an innovative idea to help solve one of the challenges facing the global bioeconomy between now and 2050. Guided by mentors, the teams met and worked together virtually between March and May and developed a 2-page initial project proposal outlining their idea.




Ben Gruitt, MBA

Director, Sustainability & Advanced Bioproducts at Corn Refiners Association,

John Trainer, MBA

Current Position Vice President and Head, Partnering and Strategy (MedImmune)

Olivia Cheng

Vice Chairman & Founding Partner, BE Capital

Jeff Reid, MBA

Professor of the Practice, Entrepreneurship and Strategy (Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business)

Rosemarie Truman, BA, mini-MBA

Founder/CEO, The Center for Advancing Innovation Inc

Douglas Liu, MBA

Senior Vice President/Head, Global Operations (QIAGEN)

Prashant Girinath, JD, PhD

Associate Attorney (Patents and Innovation) , Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati