Lyfebulb and Arena Pharmaceuticals Present: Imagining Life Without Limits – An Inflammatory Bowel Disease Innovation Challenge

Virtual Summit
September 9-10, 2021


April 8, 2021
Applications Open
May 28, 2021
Submission Deadline
June 29, 2021
Finalist Announcement
September 9-10, 2021
Innovation Challenge
September 10, 2021
Winner Announcement


Dr. Atray Dixit co-founded Coral Genomics after finishing his graduate work in 2018 with the mission of understanding and reducing variability in therapeutic response for all patients. In this role, he works with a diverse team and key external stakeholders in the healthcare system. In Aviv Regev’s lab at the Broad Institute, he focused on developing novel methods for high throughput genetic screening. In 2016, he led a team to develop Perturb-seq, a technology which allows genetically encoded perturbations (like CRISPR edits) to be screened using single-cell RNA-seq. Atray also developed new methods to enable large combinatorial screens such as Shuffle-seq. He translated the big data skills he learned through these projects during a brief externship at Apple’s Applied Machine Learning division. Atray received his BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 2012 and his PhD through MIT’s Health Sciences and Technology program.

Atray Dixit, PhD
Co-Founder & CEO


Asaf Kraus, Dieta’s Co-Founder and CEO, is an IBS patient and an experienced data scientist. The combination of his professional experience as a data scientist and his personal struggle with digestive disease drives his passion for Dieta Health’s mission to improve digestive health using data and AI. With eight years of professional experience as a data scientist, Asaf used data to uncover valuable insights for innovative technology companies such as Uber, Accenture, and Trulia. He was afflicted with severe IBS in 2017, which changed the course of his life. While spending months consulting various GI clinicians and experimenting with dozens of complicated treatment options, Asaf observed the lack of data and personalization in modern gastroenterology. And during that journey, he began to envision an AI-driven future of gastroenterology care, which Dieta Health is now building.

Asaf Kraus
Co-Founder & CEO


Rooted in Lyfebulb and Arena’s shared commitment to continuous innovation in patient care, the Imagining Life Without Limits – An Inflammatory Bowel Disease Innovation Challenge seeks to source innovative solutions to better equip inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, support partners, and all those affected by the disease with the tools to help manage disease, navigate daily life, and improve overall quality of life.

The Innovation Challenge, sponsored by Arena, will take place virtually in September 2021 and is currently accepting applications from innovators through May 28, 2021 to participate in the Challenge. Entrepreneurs personally affected by IBD – as a patient or as a support partner for a loved one – developing solutions to an unmet need identified in their disease journey are especially encouraged to apply.

Selected applicants will receive an invitation to pitch their ideas and solutions to an expert panel of judges comprised of healthcare industry, medical, and patient leaders over the course of the two-day summit in September. One winner will be selected to receive a $25,000 monetary award to further the development of their solution. Competing finalists may be considered by Arena for possible partnerships or investment opportunities beyond the Challenge.

In addition to presenting their innovative ventures, the finalists will have the opportunity to exchange ideas on how to further advance patient innovation in IBD and engage with Lyfebulb founders, Arena leadership, representatives from the IBD patient community, key opinion leaders, and potential investors.




Gerard Honig, PhD

Director of Research Innovation at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

Folasade (Fola) May, MD, PhD, MPhil

Assistant Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine and Associate Director at the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity

Tina Aswani Omprakash

Lyfebulb Patient Ambassador, Health and Disability Advocate, Founder at Own Your Crohn’s, and Co-Founder at IBDesis

Jeiran Otmishi

Co-Founder at Rumi Edge (Life Sciences Consultancy)

Brad Vale, PhD, DVM

Founder and General Partner at Treo Ventures


The judging panel will assess the following:


  • What is the strategic basis for the identified problem/gap (e.g., research conducted)?
  • How is the problem/gap being specifically addressed?


  • Does the innovation have the potential to improve the lives of people affected by IBD?
  • How great of an impact (market impact and patient impact) will the innovation make and how will it be measured?


  • How is the product or service unique to the market?
  • What is the feasibility of development and implementation into the marketplace (e.g., funding, regulations, requirements for testing)?


Lyfebulb and Arena are seeking a wide range of solutions to improve outcomes and experiences for all those affected by IBD. Applying companies must be registered in the United States.

Solutions may include, but are not limited to, the following criteria:


  • Directly aid better management of IBD
  • Support physical well-being, mental health, or co-morbidities
  • Generate disease awareness


  • Devices
  • Healthcare IT
  • Consumer products


  • Ideas stage
  • Early development
  • Mature development




Applications open on Thursday, April 8, 2021



Applications close on Friday, May 28, 2021, at 11:59 PM EDT



The virtual Challenge will take place September 9-10, 2021



One entrepreneur will be awarded the 2021 Lyfebulb Innovation Award, sponsored by Arena, which includes $25,000