The event marked the launch of the president's $50 million Social Innovation Fund to help non-profits find new ways to make a difference.
Among those recognized on Tuesday was Pat Christen of Hope Lab in Redwood City.
The non-profit is working to improve the health and quality of life of young people. The Hope Lab developed a device designed to motivate kids to be more active.
"It's a small device kids wear that tracks and saves information about how much they're moving around. Kids upload their activity to the g-ditty website, and earn points that can be redeemed for awards," said Christen.
Also honored was Gary Maxworthy, who created the San Francisco Food Bank's Farm to Family Program. It connects California food growers and packers to local food banks.