An expert panel of judges from top investment firms has made the first cut. Of the 65 drone startups who submitted their applications to The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) to compete in the Startup Showdown at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL 2017 conference, the list has been winnowed to 16 semi-finalists.
The 65 applicant companies covered a huge variety of drone related technologies and applications: ranging from innovative imagery payloads to alternative power solutions. The 16 semi-finalists also cover a lot of ground. Companies manufacturing heavy cargo drones will compete against startups offering STEM-based educational robotics kits; there are marine drones, hybrid fuel drones, and surveillance drones. There are manufacturers of tiny sensors, new imaging solutions, and AI products.
“Advances in technology and regulatory changes have ushered in an era of seemingly limitless opportunity for unmanned systems,” said Brian Wynne, AUVSI president and CEO. “More than 65 companies from six different countries submitted some of the most interesting and innovative applications for our industry, highlighting the future of innovation across the unmanned systems and robotics ecosystem.”
The winner of the Startup Showdown takes a $15,000 cash prize, a pass to AUVSI’s Startup Connection,
one on one consulting time with the judges – who come from Qualcomm Ventures and Westbury Group – and, perhaps most importantly, recognition and exposure at one of the industry’s largest trade shows.
While drone technology can be complicated to explain even in an hour long presentation, the Startup Showdown requires competitors to pare their pitches to the essentials. “16 semi-finalists will compete in a closed, knockout round at XPONENTIAL, with three finalists emerging to compete in the live Startup Showdown,” says AUVSI. “Each finalist will have six minutes to make their final presentation, followed by an additional six minutes of Q&A.” Attendees of the show are invited to attend the live Startup Showdown.
AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2017 will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas from May 8 to 11, 2017.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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