• Innovation Awards Team

ALUMNI UPDATES: Athena Intelligence

The SACRAMENTO REGION INNOVATION AWARDS aims to shine a light on the area’s vibrant innovation community. Athena Intelligence was a 2017 FINALIST in the FOOD & AGRIBUSINESS category, recognized for its IoE (Internet of Earth) Platform.

In May of 2018, we asked for an update and received the following from Founder and CEO, David Sypnieski.

Remind us, what was the big idea behind your innovation? Athena Intelligence is the Internet of Earth, connecting Land, Food, Water & Energy data. We connect people to the voice of every acre.

What’s new since your Innovation Awards recognition in 2017? We’ve brought on another major customer (part of another large Food Company), released the first version of our MVP, and was selected as 1 of 12 from a national pool of applicants to participate in Village Capital’s 2018 Food & Ag accelerator program.

Any new innovations on the horizon, that you can share? Something very exciting as a collaboration with a global tech and data leader. Have to keep it confidential for now, but there will be a demonstration scheduled for mid-July in Davis, CA. It pertains to literally bringing the voice of an acre to life.

What piece of advice would you give to an entrepreneur starting their first business? Take the time to understand the problem you are solving from the perspective of 1) the user and 2) the marketplace in general.

What’s your “one thing” that most drives your professional success? Grit. You never have time, money, people to do what needs to get done. Grit is the force that fills the gaps.

What’s great about doing business here? Sacramento is positioned to become a leader in tech-based solutions that have a meaningful impact on some of the greatest challenges that face the world (food, health, water and energy, policy, etc).

Athena has a unique combination of a very experienced leadership team, demonstrable traction, and an approach to the market driven by proprietary tech that overcomes many of the obstacles that historically produce friction to adoption.

Athena Intelligence, Inc., is based in Sacramento, CA. @athenaintel

Take a look back to the 2017 FINALISTS for Food & Agribusiness Innovation of the Year:

Video credit: Dynasty Video Productions

Sacramento Region Innovation Awards 2018: Call for Entries June 1 to July 20

The 3rd Annual SACRAMENTO REGION INNOVATION AWARDS will recognize the area’s vibrant innovation community — from startups to established companies — and their breakthrough creations. Apply yourself or submit a nomination between June 1 and July 20. Eligible entries will undergo a strict evaluation process by peers and leaders from the Capital Region’s business, civic and academic communities. Pioneering innovations will be judged on novelty, market need, economic impact and disruption.

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 at

In celebrating regional innovation, the awards aim to strengthen the Sacramento story, build the local economy, and stimulate the creative minds fueling our innovation ecosystem. Founded in 2016 by business law firm Stoel Rives LLP, the program is made possible with support from Moss Adams LLP, the Sacramento Business Journal, Five Star Bank, and the Greater Sacramento Economic Council — not to mention dozens of community partner organizations and the esteemed Selection Committee. The program is one of many corporate, civic and grassroots cohorts working to make Sacramento a recognized hub of innovation within the Northern California megaregion. Join the effort  — nominate or apply before July 20, 2018! Finalists will be announced on September 19 and Winners named at the Awards Luncheon on November 1, 2018.

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