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Sonoma State Alums of CropMobster™ Win 2nd Annual Statewide "Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge"

June 28, 2013 10:41 AM


Sonoma State Alums of CropMobster™ Win 2nd Annual Statewide
"Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge"


Rohnert Park, CA- Sonoma State Alumni Nick Papadopoulos and Joanna Cedar of CropMobster™ took first prize in the 2nd annual Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge yesterday for their ground-breaking solution to a few of our world's biggest problems - hunger, food waste, and farm instability. 

"We are deeply honored. It takes a village raise a CropMobster™.  We've had the support of so many individuals and organizations and wanted to do a good job," said Papadopoulos. 

"Our team practiced hard to do what the judges asked which was to clearly and passionately explain how we are changing the world, an industry and people's lives," he continued, emphasizing the plan to focus on the day to day and stay the course to deliver results for communities  in need.

With big goals like those of, that's understandable and inspiring.   They want to: one - feed hungry people who are interested in agriculture and willing to work for it; two - support local farmers and prevent food waste; and three - increase the visibility and income of low-income local producers.  And they want to have fun and build local communities while they are at. 

"The best in business seize opportunity," said William Silver, dean of Sonoma State's School of Business and Economics. "The juxtaposition between 40% of our national produce going to waste and one in six people being hungry is just begging for a solution.  Nick and the team are harnessing the power of social media and crowdsourcing, and getting results." 

As if that wasn't enough, "Now their platform is spawning second-generation innovations that are also double- or triple-bottom line focused," Silver continued. 

cropmobster_awards_lowres_4.jpgThe 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. Presented by Innovate North State, the Innovation Challenge was held on June 27 at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's prestigious "Big Room" auditorium in Chico, CA. 


"This has been an awesome and fun experience. Now we're going to put the trophies on the shelf and get back to work to grow our model in support of communities and economies wherever there's need," concluded Papadopoulos.



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

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

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

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 platforms are the 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 CropMobster™
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 are 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 14161