The 2018 Entry Period runs June 1 through July 20. 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 (opens June 1), 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 timeframe 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.

2018 Award Categories:

  • ADVANCED MANUFACTURING (utilizes advanced systems for information management, robotics, and workplace organization)
  • SOFTWARE (consumer/enterprise, social media, apps, gaming, cloud, big data)
  • SUSTAINABILITY (including clean technology, energy, water, climate change adaptation, green building)

2018 Selection Committee (subject to change)


Steve Mills, Partner, DCA Capital Partners
Tracy Saville, CEO, Herba, Inc.; CFO, Khemia Manufacturing
Gino DiCaro, VP of Communications, California Manufacturing & Technology Association (CMTA)
Tony Lopez, Vice President of Operations, Pride Industries
Mark Haney, Chief Dreaming Officer, HaneyBiz
John Krueger, Executive VP, Greater Sacramento Economic Council
Tom Henry & Carissa Beecham, Stoel Rives LLP  [non-voting liaisons]


Joe Schmidt, Senior VP Business Development & Strategy, BioConsortia, Inc.
Julie Morris, Academic Coordinator, Food & Agriculture Industry Immersion at UC Davis
Trish Kelley, Senior Vice President, Valley Vision
Helen Singmaster, General Counsel, Raley’s
Ryan Sharp, Associate Director, Venture Catalyst, UC Davis
Ashish Malik, CEO, Bee Vectoring Technologies International, Inc.
Parastoo Yaghmaee, Ph.D., VP of Process Solutions & Validations, Ziel Process Solutions, LLC
John Selep, President, AgStart
Melissa Jones, Office Managing Partner, Stoel Rives LLP Agribusiness [non-voting liaison]


Louis Stewart, Chief Innovation Officer, MOFIE, City of Sacramento
Maya Wallace, Code for Sac
Chris Russell, Partner, Stoel Rives LLP Emerging Companies [non-voting liaison]
Additional members TBD


Harry Laswell, CEO, Powerhouse Science Center
Amit Gattani, Senior Director of Segment Marketing, Embedded Solutions Group, Micron Technology, Inc.
Robb Moore, CEO, ioSafe
Tim Keller, Founder, Inventopia
Philip Wang, Stoel Rives LLP Litigation [non-voting liaison]

MEDICAL & HEALTH: Medtech & Biopharmasupported by MedStart

Cary Adams, JD, CEO, MedForce Accelerator / Almond Tree Capital
Warren Smith, Ph.D., Professor, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Department, California State University, Sacramento
Chris Wood, Senior Director, Mercy Neurological Institute, Dignity Health
Dushyant Pathak, Assoc. Vice Chancellor, Office of Research, ED Venture Catalyst, UC Davis
Meg Arnold, Managing Director, Valley Vision
Matt Phillips, Director of Business Development, StemExpress
Robert Groth, Head of Sales and BD, Twenty Billion Neurons GmbH
Tracy Shafizadeh, Ph.D., Director of Scientific Communications, Evolve BioSystems [2016 WINNER]
Matt Bethards, Bart Giddings, and Jon Miles, Stoel Rives LLP Tech & Life Sciences [non-voting liaisons]


Roger Akers, Managing Partner, Akers Capital LLC
Laura Good, Cofounder, StartupSac
Vaibhav Nadgauda, Partner, Moneta Ventures
Corley Phillips, Director, Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy
Kim Box, President & CEO at Gatekeeper Innovation, Inc.
John Peters, Angel Investor
Justin Boatman, VP of Marketing & Communications, Riskalyze [2016 WINNER]
Sylvia Arostegui & Eric Skanchy, Stoel Rives LLP Development [non-voting liaisons]


Gary Simon, Chairman, CleanStart, Inc.
Nicole England, Teichert Construction
Bill Boyce, SMUD
Aaron Anderson, Principal, Impact Venture Capital
Dave Sanders, WorldBridge Partners
Rob White, Chief Strategist, Sierra Energy [2016 WINNER]
Allison Smith, Partner, Stoel Rives LLP Energy & Natural Resources [non-voting liaison]


Draft Form