Aperiomics, Health and Life Sciences Innovator of the Year Nominee
Crystal R Icenhour, PhD
1. In your opinion, what makes a company innovative?
Innovation is the act of creating a product or service (or improving on one) that will enhance the lives of others. Innovation in a company can come about in many ways– through technology, through procedure, through culture. The most innovative companies instill this spirit in every aspect of the organization. The world changes and evolves through innovation.
2. What makes your company/organization innovative?
Aperiomics strives to ingrain innovation in all aspects of the company, in everything from technology to culture. As a startup company, we have a unique ability to think outside of typical company norms and to adapt rapidly as needed. Our technology is at the cutting edge and will transform the way infections are identified. Our culture is dynamic and small, yet flexible. As a young company, we have the ability to offer exceptional opportunities for staff to try on many different roles. Having limited resources (space, talent, funding), we are constantly challenging the way things are accomplished.
3. What or who are some innovative companies or people that inspire you and your team?
Aperiomics is inspired by the countless people suffering from undiagnosed infections. Every day we hear stories from patients or physicians of those that are enduring puzzling or chronic infections and don’t know where to turn to because traditional medicine has failed them. We sleep well at night because we know our solution will help identify what pathogens are in their DNA so physicians can know exactly what to do and eliminate the guesswork in diagnosing.
4. What about Greater Washington has positioned us as an innovative region?
Greater Washington has always been a transient area. With a large presence of government, military and IT professionals in and out of the most important city on earth… we reap the benefits of having a large, diverse population that brings ideas from many backgrounds and cultures.
5. What advice would you give to up-and- coming leaders striving to be innovative in today’s business environment?
Come up with an idea that nobody else is doing (or doing well) and work backwards in terms of complexity and detail to turn that idea into a solution. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”… so reverse engineering a solution into small chunks make the overwhelming task of turning an idea into a reality a little more palatable. I would also ask a lot of questions! Even if you can’t find everything you want on the Internet, social media is a great place to crowd-source questions.