Public Announcement
Contact: Elizabeth Pearce                
               Vice President, Business Development                 

December 1, 2023
For Immediate Release

Athena Intelligence Consortium, Led by VegaMX, Recognized as a Top Contender in NASA SBIR Ignite! Program

SACRAMENTO, CA — December 1, 2023 — Athena Intelligence proudly announces its participation in a consortium, spearheaded by VegaMX, that has emerged as one of four runners-up from a pool of over 150 applicants for a prestigious grant from NASA under the SBIR Ignite! program. The consortium, driven by VegaMX's innovative use of satellite imagery, weather data, artificial intelligence, and machine language tools, aims to address the substantial costs associated with wildfires, estimated at $800 billion per year.

Vivek Mital, CEO of  VegaMX and leading the consortium, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "Athena's involvement in this consortium, led by VegaMX, marks a significant step towards leveraging cutting-edge technology for a critical cause. The SBIR Ignite! program provides an invaluable platform to contribute to the understanding of current and expected fire behavior, with the ultimate goal of improving wildfire risk assessment."

Athena's model, Voice of the Acre®, renowned for its accuracy, is currently utilized by various electric utilities across the western US. The collaboration seeks to enhance pre-fire research, enabling companies to identify high-risk areas based on factors such as fuel accumulation, weather patterns, and soil moisture.

Members of the consortium include Vivek Mital, Rabinder Koul PhD, Mikael Taveniku PhD, Subir Sachdev PhD (all from VegaMX), Randy Lyle of Wildfire Mitigation Strategies, David Sypnieski, CEO of Athena Intelligence, and John Metzger of AssetAssurance Monitoring, a Geomatics company.

Athena Intelligence combines extensive data from wildfire and environmental agencies, synthesizing disaggregated and unstructured information into a usable and computable format. This approach facilitates pre-wildfire assessments, providing valuable insights for resource managers in planning and mitigation efforts.

David Sypnieski, CEO of Athena Intelligence, expressed his satisfaction with the collaboration, stating, "VegaMX's academic prowess and extensive network make them an ideal partner. Although VegaMX has ties to CERES, MIT’s Julia Labs, Columbia, Washington University, NY Institute of Finance and Gateway Partners, they selected Athena’s profiling algorithm for this NASA grant application. We are thrilled that VegaMX recognizes the significance of Athena Intelligence's prefire risk products and their potential contribution to commercialization."

The NASA Earth Sciences and Applied Sciences group is interested in catalyzing the integration of pre and post-fire solutions, utilizing NASA data products and fostering market development, thereby creating high-paying jobs and benefiting taxpayers.

Athena International looks forward to the continued success of the consortium, contributing to advancements in wildfire risk assessment and mitigation.

About Athena Intelligence

Athena Intelligence, headquartered in Sacramento, is a data vendor with a proprietary, geospatial, conditional profiling tool that integrates vast amounts of disaggregated wildfire and environmental data. This tool generates spatial intelligence, providing a digital fingerprint of wildfire risk. The company's innovative solutions empower industries such as power, insurance, and financial services to make informed decisions in risk assessment, portfolio optimization, and loss cost probabilities. Learn more at

About VegaMX Inc.

VegaMX is a pioneering organization using satellite imagery, weather data, artificial intelligence, and machine language tools to address challenges such as wildfire risk. As a leader in the consortium, VegaMX hopes to play a crucial role in advancing research and solutions for the SBIR Ignite! program. Learn more at