Innovation Awards


East Bay innovators have transcended their industries and have built iconic global brands.


The East Bay is a world-class leader when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship. Presented by the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, the East Bay Innovation Awards celebrates and honors the extraordinary companies and organizations that contribute to the East Bay’s legacy of innovation. The annual awards ceremony showcases outstanding organizations that embrace innovation in their manufacturing, products, services, design and information. The celebration also provides attention to outstanding innovative companies and organizations to increase their market strength and position them for investment and partnerships.

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Nomination Areas

Advanced Manufacturing

Companies utilizing innovative technologies to improve products or processes in the manufacturing of physical products.

Arts & Culture

Individuals and organizations promoting the region’s vibrant arts and culture. Includes but is not limited to, visual, performing, written/spoken word, and media arts.

Built Environment

Companies utilizing exceptional and innovative approaches, technologies, and strategies to shape the built environment. Includes but not limited to architecture, planning, development and construction.

Community Impact

Individuals or organizations (entrepreneurs, change makers and social innovators) advancing creative and equitable solutions to tackle social challenges.


Organizations pioneering innovative programs and initiatives to build a strong talent pipeline for a 21st century workforce.

Engineering & Design

Companies using engineering and design to achieve innovation in the development of tangible products.


Companies advancing innovation in the design, production and distribution of food and/or beverage products.

Life Sciences

Companies engaged in accelerating innovation in health and life sciences.


Companies and organizations dedicated to advancing environmental sustainability in their products and business footprint (i.e., reducing the environmental impact in their supply chain, business practices, etc.).


Companies leveraging the use of technology to transform their industry, including its business processes and products.



East Bay EDA is looking for judges for the 2020 East Bay Innovation Awards. If you are interested in participating as a judge, please fill out this online form. The deadline to respond is Friday, October 11, 2019.


Our judging committees are composed of industry leaders, experts, and influencers in their respective fields. Each submittal is judged by these committees using both their own knowledge and information submitted on the nomination forms.


Judging Considerations:

  • What is the size and complexity of the challenge that the innovation addresses?

  • What is the impact of the solution for the industry, and other industries?

  • How much is this innovation contributing to the culture of innovation in the East Bay?

  • How is the company or individual a leader within the industry or the region?

  • What is the company’s growth trajectory?

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Nomination Process

Q: What are criteria to qualify as a nominee?
A: In order to be eligible for award consideration, nominees must:

  • Be a company or organization with headquarters or operations in Alameda or Contra Costa counties

  • Have achieved an innovation in their manufacturing, products, services, design, systems or methods

  • Be present at the Innovation Awards event on March 26, 2020 to accept their award on-stage

Q: How was my company/organization nominated?
A: The public nomination process is conducted each year from mid-August to October. East Bay EDA relies on its member network and its partnership with the San Francisco Business Times to publicize the opportunity. You might’ve been nominated because someone who knows about your innovative activity wants you to be recognized for it!

Q: Does it cost money to nominate?
A: No. The purpose of this award is to highlight the East Bay’s competitive advantages that attract innovative businesses to locate and grow in the East Bay.

Q: Why do I have to answer questions about my work?

A: Your responses assist the independent panel of experts to gain a clear understanding of your organization, its activities, and its impact on the region and the industry.

Q: Do I have to tell you about my revenue/earnings?
A: We understand that some information is proprietary. If you feel more comfortable providing a range, that will be helpful. Alternatively, you could say “above” or “below” an amount you feel comfortable disclosing. None of this information will be made public without your approval.

Judging Process

Q: What happens after I nominate?
A: Independent panels of experts will evaluate each nomination in a particular nomination area. They will select an awardee and a finalist who will be notified in December 2019 and be recognized at the Innovation Awards on March 26, 2020.

Q: Who are the judges?
A: The panels we have assembled are known experts in their field, have built companies/brands, and recognize the importance of celebrating the significant contributors to the East Bay’s unique culture of innovation.

Q: Will my company information remain confidential?
A: All nominations are 100% confidential. Neither the nomination nor any of its content will be shared with anyone other than our staff and judges. Each judge must review and sign a Confidentiality Agreement.

Q: When do I learn if I win?
A: East Bay EDA will notify finalists in December as well as issue a media press release. Awardees will be announced at the Innovation Awards on March 26, 2020 at the Fox Theater in Oakland.

Awardees and finalists

Q: What will the awardees and finalists receive?
A: Awardees will receive a beautiful Innovation Awards trophy (custom-made in Oakland) at our awards ceremony. Awardees and finalists will have a half-page feature in the San Francisco Business Times’ 2020 East Bay Innovation Awards supplement, which will be published in print and digitally on March 27, 2020 and featured on East Bay EDA’s website for a year. Your organization will be recognized in 2 media press releases (in December 2019 after judging deliberation and in March 2020 to promote the event). Awardees and finalists will also receive an official East Bay Innovation Awards logo for use online and in print, one-year paid East Bay EDA membership, and serious bragging rights!

Q: Is there a cash prize?
A: No.  East Bay EDA is a non-profit organization which supports efforts to sustain a thriving regional environment.  East Bay EDA’s event sponsors provide gifts to the awardees with a cash value of over $500.

Q: Am I required to attend the Innovation Awards?
A: Yes, the company’s executive leadership must accept the award on stage on March 26, 2020 at the Fox Theater in Oakland.