Sacramento Region Innovation Awards to Open 2018 Submission Period June 1

For the third consecutive year, Stoel Rives LLP, Moss Adams LLP and the Sacramento Business Journal will present awards program recognizing business innovations from emerging to established Capital Region entities.

The submission period for the third annual Sacramento Region Innovation Awards, presented by Stoel Rives LLP, Moss Adams LLP and the Sacramento Business Journal, will open June 1, 2018. The awards program recognizes recent business innovations in eight categories, honoring the people and organizations that bring new products, services and processes to the regional economy. Qualifying entries will be accepted via online submission through July 20, 2018.

A notable change is an expansion from six to eight categories, with the addition of Government and Civic and the separation of Medical and Health into MedTech and BioPharma categories.

“As home to the state capital, our region offers an ideal testing ground for innovations that streamline government processes and improve public accessibility to civic amenities,” said Chris Russell, Stoel Rives partner and Innovation Awards co-chair. “Adding the Government and Civic category to our program was a natural step, as Sacramento-area leaders embrace new thinking from this evolving sector.”

On the redefined Medical and Health submission areas, Matt Bethards, a patent attorney with Stoel Rives, suggested that “medical technologies and devices have very different paths to market compared to biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals.” He further stated the separate categories will “create more level playing fields for the applicants in each distinct group, considering the rigorous evaluation process used by our expert judges.”

The program will accept entries for recently developed business innovations that are established in the 9-county* Sacramento region. New technologies, as well as other products, services and processes, must fit within one of the eight program categories, including 1) Advanced Manufacturing; 2) Food and Agribusiness; 3) Government and Civic; 4) Hardware and Electronics; 5) Medical and Health – MedTech; 6) Medical and Health – BioPharma; 7) Software; and 8) Sustainability. Additional eligibility requirements are described on the program website.

Organizers also have highlighted an “Innovation of the Year” honoree as part of the yearly awards ceremony, choosing from candidates that are nominated by the program Selection Committee as having a widespread effect on the region. Thus far, 34 honorees have been named across all categories:

Innovation of the Year

  • UC Davis as “Champion” of innovation and entrepreneurship (2017)
  • Golden 1 Center, the world’s most technologically advanced sports and entertainment arena (2016)

Advanced Manufacturing

  • CNC Machining Processes & Educational Platform by Titans of CNC (2017 Winner)
  • Watercraft Manufacturing by Free Form Factory Inc. (2016 Winner, company merged with Nikola Powersports)
  • Laser Solution for Medical Device Manufacturing by Aduro Laser (2017 Finalist, company sold to Resonetics)
  • BOLT STAR by Construction Innovations LLC (2016 Finalist)

Food & Agribusiness

Hardware & Electronics

Medical & Health Technologies & Services


  • Government Fraud Detection as a Service (FDaaS) by Pondera Solutions (2017 Winner)
  • The Risk Number by Riskalyze (2016 Winner)
  • Denali Intelligence and Automation for and Microsoft by DialSource, Inc. (2016 & 2017 Finalist)
  • Digital Transaction Management for Real Estate by SkySlope (2017 Finalist)
  • Wyndow by Wyndow (2016 Finalist)


In each of the past two years, the Selection Committee reviewed more than 75 entries, which were judged on novelty, market need, economic impact and disruption. Upon conclusion of the final vote last September, members of the committee addressed the landscape of innovation in the region, applauding the competitiveness of the pool of finalists. The committee will announce 2018 finalists on September 20, with category winners to be revealed during the Awards Luncheon on November 1.

Presenting Sponsors: The Sacramento Region Innovation Awards program was founded by Stoel Rives LLP and is overseen by the firm’s attorneys and professional staff. Moss Adams LLP validates the voting process and the Sacramento Business Journal events division provides promotional and management services. Employees of sponsoring organizations are prohibited from casting votes.

Champion Sponsors: Five Star Bank and the Greater Sacramento Economic Council will jointly host a Nominees Reception, an invitation-only event designed to create additional touchpoints among select program participants, organizers, judges and sponsors. Scheduled for late August, the exclusive reception will take place at The Urban Hive Cannery, one of the region’s newest co-working and meeting spaces catering to the innovation ecosystem.

Supporting Sponsors: Organizations wishing to sponsor the program at the “Supporting” level will designate one of the eight program categories with an option to introduce the winner from the stage during the Awards Luncheon.

Learn more at and follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook at #SacInnov8Awards.

*The innovation must be created or a primary portion of the work on the innovation must have been performed by a Sacramento-region entity. Sacramento-region is defined as Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties.

 About the Innovation Awards: Stoel Rives has celebrated innovative companies and their accomplishments since hosting the first Innovation Awards in Salt Lake City in 2002. Each consecutive year, the law firm has honored groundbreaking advancements from emerging to established businesses. In its commitment to foster the innovation ecosystem across its footprint, Stoel Rives has since expanded its Innovation Awards program to Boise, Idaho (2006) and Sacramento, California (2016). In 2017, the firm partnered with the Puget Sound Business Journal as a presenting sponsor of the publication’s inaugural innovation awards program in Seattle, Washington. 

About Stoel Rives LLP: Stoel Rives is a leading U.S. corporate and litigation law firm. One of the largest national firms focused on energy, natural resources, climate change and the environment, Stoel Rives also serves the agribusiness, food and beverage, health care, life sciences, and technology industries. With more than 350 attorneys operating out of 10 offices in seven states and the District of Columbia, Stoel Rives is a leader in regulatory and compliance matters, and business, labor and employment, intellectual property, land use, and real estate development and construction law. 

About Moss Adams LLP: With more than 2,600 professionals across 20-plus locations in the West and beyond, Moss Adams and its affiliates provide insight and expertise with specialized accounting, consulting, and wealth management services to help organizations and individuals gain traction, manage risk, and seize opportunity.

About the Sacramento Business Journal: The Sacramento Business Journal provides coverage on the latest in Sacramento business news, digitally and in print, and is an industry leader in our region for delivering breaking news to the business community. In addition, the Business Journal hosts a number of events each year to provide content relating to current news in a variety of industries.

About Five Star Bank: Five Star Bank was founded in 1999 by a group of local entrepreneurs seeking specialized banking services with an emphasis on commercial real estate and small business. Today, Five Star Bank is among the top performing banks in the nation for banks of its size. With offices in Rocklin, Sacramento, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Chico and Redding, Five Star Bank is a deeply rooted steward of community and arbiter of economic development with a focus on reinvestment of capital in the Capital Region. Five Star Bank, a locally owned and based community bank, delivers expedient decision-making by professionals with regional expertise. 

About Greater Sacramento Economic Council: The Greater Sacramento Economic Council is a first of its kind organization in California, bringing together more than 35 corporate CEO’s and 19 communities in an economic partnership dedicated to building Sacramento and the Capital Region into California’s innovation corridor. Greater Sacramento represents a collaboration between local and state governments, market leaders, influencers and stakeholders, with the sole mission of driving economic growth