The SACRAMENTO REGION INNOVATION AWARDS program recognizes the area’s vibrant innovation community — from startups to established companies — and their breakthrough creations. Submissions undergo a strict evaluation process by peers and leaders from the Capital Region's business, civic and academic communities. Pioneering innovations — products, services and processes nurtured within the 9-county region — are judged on novelty, market need, economic impact and disruption.

In celebrating successful innovations from startups and veterans alike, the awards program aims to strengthen the Sacramento story, build the regional economy, and stimulate the creative minds fueling our innovation ecosystem. Founded in 2016 by business law firm Stoel Rives LLP, the Awards are modeled after similar efforts nurtured by the firm in Utah and Idaho over the past 15 years. The Sacramento Business Journal is the media partner and Moss Adams LLP oversees the voting process. 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. 


The nomination form is available on the Sacramento Business Journal website.


The 2019 Entry Period runs from June 3 to July 26, 2019. While self-nominations by innovators (companies, entities, individuals) are preferred, third-party nominations are most welcome. Eligible entries will be judged on novelty, market need, economic impact and disruption.

Entries must be submitted via the ONLINE ENTRY FORM, hosted by the Sacramento Business Journal, and must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • 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.

  • The innovation must have been recently developed. Because many innovations do not have a clear-cut beginning or end in its evolution, the organizers have chosen not to set a definitive time frame on the entry’s creation.

  • Innovations from academic entities must be in/near the commercialization stage.

  • Innovation must fit appropriately into one of the eight entry categories below.

  • Submissions must include company/entity logo and a photo of the innovation or innovating team. Supplemental materials are encouraged and welcomed, such as marketing brochures, news articles, videos, diagrams, and client testimonials.

2019 Award Categories:

  1. ADVANCED MANUFACTURING (utilizes advanced systems for information management, robotics, and workplace organization)






  7. SOFTWARE (consumer/enterprise, social media, apps, gaming, cloud, big data)

  8. SUSTAINABILITY (including clean technology, energy, water, climate change adaptation, green building)

2019 Selection Committee (subject to change)



Bryan Hawkins, Subcommittee Liaison – Partner (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP
Sarah Taylor, Subcommittee Liaison – Attorney (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP

Jason Goff, Broker, CRBE
Mark Haney, Chief Dreaming Officer, The Mark Haney Show / Haney Business Ventures
John Krueger, Founder/CEO, National Real Estate Market Advisors
Tony Lopez, VP of Operations, Pride Industries
Jasleen Mann, Senior Manager (non-voting), Moss Adams LLP
Steve Mills, Partner, DCA Capital Partners
Chuck Novack, CFO, ConQuip Inc.


Melissa Jones**, Lead Subcommittee Liaison – Partner (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP
Jon Miles, Subcommittee Liaison – Attorney (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP
Trish Kelly, Senior VP, Valley Vision
Ashish Malik, CEO, Bee Vectoring Technologies International, Inc.
Jeremy McInturf, Senior Manager (non-voting), Moss Adams LLP
Julie Morris, Academic Coordinator, Food & Agriculture Industry Immersion, UC Davis – GSM
John Selep, President, AgStart
Ryan Sharp, Associate Director, Venture Catalyst, UC Davis
Parastoo Yaghmaee, PhD, VP of Process Solutions & Validations, Ziel Process Solutions, LLC. (2016 Winner)


Vida Thomas Subcommittee Liaison – Partner (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP

Tim Taylor, Subcommittee Liaison – Partner (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP
Aaron Anderson, Principal, Impact Venture Capital
Amanda Blackwood, President & CEO, Sacramento Metro Chamber
Stuart Drown, Deputy Secretary for Innovation & Accountability, California Government Operations Agency
Khaim Morton, VP Public Policy & Economic Development, Sacramento Metro Chamber
Diane Parro, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Davis
Louis Stewart**, Mayor’s Office for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, City of Sacramento
Maya Wallace, Co-Captain, Code for Sacramento
Etty Goldstein, Senior Manager (non-voting), Moss Adams LLP
Bay Miry, , Miry Development
Brandon Weber, CEO, I/O Labs


Missy Foster, Subcommittee Liaison – Partner (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP

Corey Day, Subcommittee Liaison – Attorney (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP
Kristie Amanna, Senior Engineer, Intel Corporation
Katherine Cota, Executive Director, Carlsen Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Mang Fang, Senior Manager (non-voting), Moss Adams LLP”
Amit Gattani, Senior Director of Segment Marketing, Embedded Solutions Group, Micron Technology, Inc.
Tim Keller, Founder & CEO, Inventopia
Harry Laswell, CEO, Powerhouse Science Center
Mike Rizzo, Chief Banking Officer, Capital Region, Five Star Bank

MEDICAL & HEALTH: BioPharma – supported by MedStart

Chris Russell, Subcommittee Liaison – Partner (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP
Dan Quinley, Subcommittee Liaison – Attorney (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP
Judith Kjelstrom, PhD, Director Emerita, UC Davis Biotechnology Program
Dushyant Pathak**, Associate Vice Chancellor, Office of Research, Executive Director Venture Catalyst, UC Davis
Matt Phillips, Director, Business Development, StemExpress
Tracy Shafizadeh, Ph.D., Director, Scientific Communications, Evolve BioSystems (2016 Winner)
Jennie Ly, Manager , Moss Adams LLP
Zane Starkewolfe, Associate Director , UC Davis, Venture Catalyst

MEDICAL & HEALTH: MedTech – supported by MedStart

Matt Bethards**, Lead Subcommittee Liaison – Partner (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP
Tom Woods, Subcommittee Liaison – Partner (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP

Sunny Sarkis, Subcommittee Liaison - Attorney (non-voting, Stoel Rives LLP
Cary Adams, CEO, MedForce Accelerator / Almond Tree Capital
Meg Arnold**, Managing Director, Valley Vision
Barry Curtis , Associate Director, Strategic Technology Marketing, Office of Research, UC Davis
Andrew Le, Manager (non-voting), Moss Adams LLP
Robert Groth, Head of Sales and BD, Twenty Billion Neurons GmbH
Yasmin Seyal, CFO and BD Consultant
Warren Smith, Ph.D., Professor, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Department, California State University, Sacramento
Chris Wood, Senior Director, Mercy Neurological Institute , Dignity Health



Sylvia Arostegui, Subcommittee Liaison – Partner (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP
Henry Chu, Subcommittee Liaison – Attorney (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP
Roger Akers, Managing Partner, Akers Capital LLC
Kim Box, President/CEO, Gatekeeper Innovation Inc.
Laura Good**, Cofounder, StartupSac
Jon Gregory, Venture Banking Manager & VP, Five Star Bank
Mark Harrison, Partner (non-voting), Moss Adams LLP
Vaibhav Nadgauda, Partner, Moneta Ventures
John Peters, Chairman, Sacramento Angels
Corley Phillips, Director, Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy
Scot Sutherland, Director of Research & Development, Pondera Solutions (2017 Winner)



Sarah Kozal, Subcommittee Liaison – Attorney (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP
Allison Smith**, Lead Subcommittee Liaison – Partner (non-voting), Stoel Rives LLP
Angela DePaoli, President / CEO, Bargas Environmental Consulting
Nicole England, Project Manager, Teichert Construction
Mark Humbert, Senior Manager (non-voting), Moss Adams LLP
Dave Sanders, Managing Partner, WorldBridge Partners
Gary Simon, Chairman, CleanStart, Inc.
Terrence McNamara, Directory of Technology, Teichert Construction

*Steering Committee Member

Conflicts of Interest Policy: In the event that a Selection Committee member has a “tie” or connection with a nomination, they will be asked to disclose the relationship to program organizers and abstain from voting on the category in which the related nomination is being judged. All Selection Committee members shall be objective and unbiased in group discussions and evaluations.

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