News, blogs, events

Sonoma State Alumni with CropMobster™ Finalists at 2ND Annual Statewide Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge

June 25, 2013 9:29 AM


Sonoma State Alumni with CropMobster™ Finalists at 2ND Annual Statewide
Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge

Rohnert Park, CA-, co-founded by Sonoma State University graduates Nick Papadopoulos and Joanna Cedar, has been selected to compete among 50 finalist companies from throughout California vying for a GLOBIE award as the 2013 Most Innovative New Product in non-metro California. 

The Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge is the only statewide "Most Innovative Product" competition focused principally on California businesses located outside of San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and San Diego.  A GLOBIE Award will be presented in each of five industry categories, including food and agriculture, web and information technology, clean-tech, manufacturing, and healthcare. 

CropMobster™ harnesses the power of social media and crowdsourcing to create business success for food and agriculture companies, while delivering hunger relief for those in need. "At Sonoma State University's School of Business and Economics, we teach our students that entrepreneurship is the result of innovation plus value. CropMobster™ exemplifies this equation," explained William Silver, dean of SSU's School of Business and Economics. 

"Nick, Joanna and other members of the founding team are entrepreneurs and visionaries who saw opportunity in two intractable problems, food waste and hunger," Silver stated.

According to Innovate North State Managing Director Jon Gregory, who serves as the Executive Producer of the event, "the Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge represents a once-a-year hotbed of the best innovation occurring in emerging markets of California." 

"We were impressed with CropMobster's™ game-changing innovation and are honored to have the company compete as one of the finalists based on their solution to leverage e-commerce, social media and crowdsourcing to address food waste and hunger while supporting local agricultural producers and food businesses at the same time," he continued.

"We are honored to have been selected for the Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge and are thankful for the encouragement and support provided by local county leaders and the faculty of Sonoma State.  The coaching, advice and support we have received is a major help as we strive to develop CropMobster™ into a national service to benefit local communities and agricultural economies," said Nick Papadopoulos, CropMobster™ co-founder and CEO.

Presented by Innovate North State, the Innovation Challenge is scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on June 27 at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's prestigious "Big Room" auditorium in Chico, CA. 


For more information, please contact:

Sonoma State University School of Business & Economics
Dr. William D. Silver, (707) 664-2220,

Innovate North State
Jon Gregory, Managing Director, 530-892-1707,

Nick Papadopoulos, CEO & Co-Founder, 707-332-9209

About Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics
Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics' vision is to be the educational nucleus of a thriving North Bay economy. Its mission is to create extraordinary learning experiences for our students and to advance best business practices in the North Bay and beyond.  Creating a vibrant community, developing a sustainable business model for entrepreneurship in higher education, and developing and delivering innovative programs and processes are express goals for its campus-wide, community-reaching entrepreneurship initiative. With undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs serving over 1500 students each year and concentrations in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Wine Business, and Economics, the School offers the most in-demand degree on the Sonoma State campus. The School of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), making it one of 15% of all business schools in the world to meet these standards of excellence. For more information, visit

About CropMoberster™
CropMobster™ ( mobilizes communities to eliminate food waste, relieve hunger and boost farm and food seller profitability. We leverage ecommerce, social media and crowdsourcing to help farms and food sellers issue urgent alerts on excess perishable food and other items. Motivated individuals and groups transform this excess into nutritional, community and economic value. Since our release less than 3 months ago we have transformed approximately 20 tons of food waste into over 100,000 new servings and generated thousands of new dollars for farmers and food sellers. We have received inquiries from every state and NPR's California Report and Larry King have featured CropMobster™.

About Innovate North State & the Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge
Innovate North State ( - a public/private partnership driven by CEOs of leading California North State businesses - was established in early 2012. Innovate North State's goal is to assist the region's most innovative companies who have the largest growth potential garner a larger share of their national and global markets resulting in a more vibrant regional economy. With the mantra of "connecting to compete" Innovate North State's strategy involves helping innovative companies connect with each other and also to vital resources located outside the region, making the North State the most economically competitive non-metropolitan region in the U.S. by 2017.  

During the Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge, each finalist is charged with demonstrating in a 6-minute presentation format how their new product will change the world, an industry, people's lives or the environment in a positive, meaningful way.  Over 70 industry experts from throughout California will be on-site serving as judges including CEOs, media representatives, angel investors, venture capitalists, university and government officials and corporate executives. 


Contact SBE
Contact SSU
Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics. Reach.
1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA, 94928 • 707-664-2377 14156