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What is the Innovation Challenge?


The Innovation Challenge is an opportunity for small, start-up and early stage companies operating in the commercial, defense, and non-traditional unmanned systems or autonomous systems spheres to present their technology to government and industry representatives at Unmanned Systems— Defense. Protection. Security. (USDPS). During the Innovation Challenge, five finalists will pitch their technology to the USPDPS audience of industry leaders and government professionals on Tuesday, August 20.

Each finalist will have six minutes to pitch their technology and four minutes to answer questions from our panel of defense and government industry experts. The panel will advise and provide feedback, but the final choice will be left to the USDPS audience.

Competing in the Innovation Challenge offers startups the chance to present their ideas to the community, establish themselves as a premier innovator and win a prize package valued at more than $35,000!

Application and Selection Process

  • Interested companies must complete the Innovation Challenge application by Wednesday, July 10. There is no fee to enter.
  • Members of the USDPS Executive Committee will review applications and select five finalists to compete in the Innovation Challenge at USDPS.
  • All applicants will be notified of their selection status by late July.

Participant Criteria

Participants should meet the following criteria:

  • Companies must have generated less than $5 million in revenue
  • Technology must be relevant to unmanned systems

Finalist Perks

All finalists will receive the following:

  • An opportunity to present to the defense, protection and security community and be positioned as a leading innovator
  • Recognition on the USDPS Innovation Challenge webpage
  • Recognition in the USDPS onsite program

Grand Prize Package — $35,000+ value

The submission period has closed. Stay tuned for the announcement of finalists!