Startup Showdown

The Startup Showdown + Happy Hour is a must-attend event for investors, unmanned systems entrepreneurs and technology innovators, where three lucky companies will compete for a $15,000 grand prize.

Join us Wednesday, May 10 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Ballroom C1/C2 for the Startup Showdown + Happy Hour! Doors will open at 4:15 p.m. and all XPONENTIAL attendees are invited to get a drink from the bar before the competition.


Each of the three finalists will have six minutes to pitch their companies to the judges, followed by six minutes of questions. By the end of the session a Startup Showdown Grand Prize Winner will emerge!

Finalists will be announced Tuesday, May 9 following the closed door Knockout Round.

The Startup Showdown Grand Prize Winner will receive:

  • $15,000 cash prize
  • One complimentary pass to AUVSI's Novus Unmanned
  • One on one consulting time with the judges
  • Recognition and exposure at the event

The Startup Showdown + Happy Hour is sponsored by:

IAI North America
Genius NY

AUVSI is pleased to announce the sixteen Startup Showdown Semi-finalists:

Advanced Aircraft Company

Advanced Aircraft Company

Advanced Aircraft Company (AAC) is an aeronautical engineering and manufacturing company that will produce VTOL UAS that incorporate hybrid electric propulsion and current NASA research and development. Our aircraft will be marketed to companies offering UAS services. Our first UAS will achieve up to 45% reduction in cost per acre for the operator.



DRONAMICS is building a next-generation cargo airplane - "The Black Swan" - small (770 lbs payload), with medium-range (1,500 miles), unmanned, and extremely fuel-efficient, in order to lower the cost of air cargo and make same-day international delivery possible. Winners of Pioneers Festival (1,600 startups / 98 countries), and a Kairos 50 Global Company.



Gamma 2 Robotics (G2R) Inc. (Lakewood, Colorado) was founded about seven years ago to explore the use of artificial intelligence as applied to mobile robots. Its first commercial product is RAMSEE, a robot security guard designed for indoor environments. RAMSEE was created by direct involvement of experts in the security business, and is specifically designed for patrolling warehouses, museums, retail stores, and data centers during the overnight shift.


Inertial Sense LLC – Finalist

Inertial Sense designs and sells the world’s smallest GPS-INS module for drones, payloads, and other unmanned systems. Weighing less than 2 grams, our low cost calibrated systems intelligently fuse GPS, MEMs IMU, magnetometer, and barometer sensors. If you need to get your product to market quickly, call us!


Iridium Dynamics Pty Ltd

Combining efficient forward-flight with efficient hover, enabling extended hover duration for previously impossible flight profiles. Unlike VTOL airplanes using propellers to directly generate hovering thrust, our surveillance and inspection UAV uses the same wings to generate aerodynamic lift in rotary hovering flight as it does in forward flight.


Kinaptic, LLC

Kinaptic elevates remote human/robot interaction. Haptic feedback conveys remote onboard and ambient conditions, detected muscle signals generate intuitive remote control signals. The operator sees, hears and feels the synchronized sensory cues that put him in the skin of the robot. The operator doesn’t just control the robot, he “is” the robot.


Planck Aerosystems

Planck Aero’s Shearwater™ drone technology is built for maritime professionals. Our proprietary guidance, navigation, and control software enables autonomous operation from moving vessels, including takeoff and landing, as well as automatic object detection and tracking to make maritime operations more efficient. We envision a drone on every boat.


Quaternium Technologies

Quaternium is a pioneer drone manufacturer. With its latest innovation: HYBRiX.20, the first hybrid fuel-electric multirotor RPAS, this European company has solved one of the biggest limitations in the market, achieving up to 4hr. continued flight time.

Ross Robotics

Ross Robotics

Ross Robotics offers an adaptable, practical and cost-effective robot platform based on a unique form of modularity. The robots and payloads can be reconfigured for size, form and function. Once configured, the robots can be kept operational 24/7 by substitution of modules. Mobility is provided by biomimetic traction.


Skylift Global, Inc

Skylift Global manufactures and provides heavy-lift UAVs to safely and efficiently deliver shipments of all types that weigh several hundred pounds. Skylift’s UAVs are preferred options for transport situations in which the use of helicopters is deemed too expensive and/or dangerous and the use of consumer drones is deemed too weak and unreliable.



Automating local logistics with self-driving on-demand couriers. Self-driving “trunks” are ordered through smartphones to pick-up goods and to run errands. TeleRetail fulfills the rapidly growing need for cost and energy efficient, environmentally friendly urban and industrial transportation. Saving millions of users billions of hours.


uAvionix Corporation – Winner

uAvionix makes the world’s smallest ADS-B receivers, transceivers, Mode A/C/S transponders, and high integrity TSO certified GPS receivers for UAS tracking, surveillance, and autopilot solutions. With products ranging from 5-70 grams, uAvionix solutions are small enough for installation on consumer and professional sUAS.


Viooa Imaging Technology

Viooa is the next generation solid-state 360° autonomous vehicle camera system that provides unparalleled imaging and sensing capabilities. Using a proprietary technology, Viooa allows to capture professional, high quality immersive footage like never seen before. Combined with advanced image processing and deep learning abilities, Viooa adds a layer of intelligence to unmanned platforms making it the smartest camera around.


WiBotic, Inc – Finalist

WiBotic’s wireless power solutions enable fast, autonomous charging for robots. Wireless charging hardware simplifies the charging experience and permits charging in any environment. Embedded power management software maximizes the safety and lifespan of every battery while providing visibility and control for optimizing entire robot fleets.


Z-senz, LLC

Z-senz is commercializing a class of novel lightweight high-performance LIDAR sensors. Z-senz’s launch product, the SKY1 sensor, is ideal for integration in small UAV with limited payload capacity. The SKY1 sensor provides end users with a high-accuracy distance measurement tool useful for UAV surveying applications.

Startup Showdown Judges

Gareth Keane

Gareth Keane, Investment Manager

Qualcomm Ventures

Jonathan Rubin

Jonathan Rubin, Partner

Westbury Group

John Kolaczynski

John Kolaczynski, Head of Corporate Development

Airware's Commercial Drone Fund

Nir-Tel Oren

Nir Tel-Oren, UAS R&D Manager, Israel Aerospace Industries

Rick Clonan

Rick Clonan, Vice President, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, CenterState CEO