April 30 – May 3: Educational Program | May 1 - 3: Exhibits

Startup Showdown

What is the Startup Showdown?

The Startup Showdown is a must-attend event for investors, unmanned systems entrepreneurs and technology innovators. We are seeking early-stage, disruptive companies who are creating, innovating or enhancing unmanned systems technologies and applications.

Join us Wednesday, May 2 from 3:45 PM – 5:15 PM in the Starting Point Theater in the XPO Hall for the Startup Showdown!

During the Startup Showdown, five finalists will have six minutes each to pitch their business to the panel, and will then have a six-minute live question and answer session with the judges. All XPONENTIAL 2018 attendees and exhibitors are invited to attend.

AUVSI is pleased to introduce the five finalists!

Asylon is automating the back-end infrastructure of the UAS industry: power, payload, and data. Their drone agnostic, auto battery swap station, DroneHome, allows a drone to operate autonomously, 24/7. The station is cloud-enabled, giving customers a view of critical mission data and payload telemetry in real time from any location in the world. 

Copperstone Tech. offers Autonomous Amphibious Robots that can work in harsh terrains where it is dangerous, risky, and costly to send human workers (land and water). Applications: environmental monitoring, geotechnical investigations, bathymetric surveys, soil testing, tool deployment, and water and soil sampling. 

Iris Automation is a SF-based, Series-A venture backed company with a team from NASA, Boeing and PhDs in computer vision building an electro-optical Sense & Avoid system for industrial drones. Because of regulation and safety concerns, every UAS needs what we’re building to fly completely autonomously or Beyond-Line-of-Sight. We have paying customers, are actively involved in regulation, and have a massive amount of validation and training data that is growing every day. Here’s a public piece about a recent tech demo with the FAA:

Jetoptera is developing powerful UAVs and realistic flying cars to revolutionize transportation. Our distributed propulsion system and novel airframe create a lighter, more efficient, less complex aircraft than previous models. Our technology enables vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), high speeds, sizable payloads and range, and maneuverability.

Unifly’s Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) solutions connect authorities with pilots to safely integrate drones into the airspace. It also enables manufacturers, developers, and system integrators to easily access data to feed any application they create. Our long-term mission is to bridge the gap between manned and unmanned aviation.

Meet the Judges

Rick Clonan
Rick Clonan
CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity
Dylan Gale
Dylan Gale
Comcast Ventures
Mark Jacobsen
Lieutenant Colonel Mark Jacobsen
U.S. Air Force
Gareth Keane
Gareth Keane
Promus Ventures
Nir Tel-Oren
Nir Tel-oren
Israel Aerospace Industries

Thank you to our sponsors:


Finalist Perks

Finalists will receive the following:

  • One (1) XPO Hall Pass, in addition to the XPO Hall Pass granted to all applicants
  • Logo recognition on the XPONENTIAL Startup Showdown webpage
  • Logo recognition in the XPONENTIAL onsite guide adjacent to the StartUp Showdown program description

Grand Prize

The Startup Showdown winner will receive a grand prize worth $35,000 and includes:

Sponsored by: 

  • One year's Startup membership to AUVSI
  • One (1) 10’x10’ booth at a future AUVSI event of your choice
  • One (1) General Sponsorship at a future AUVSI event of your choice
  • Two (2) VIP or highest-level passes for a future AUVSI event of your choice
  • One (1) full-page ad in show guide for a future AUVSI event of choice
  • Two (2) full page ads in Unmanned Systems Magazine
  • Sponsorship of one (1) custom webinar
  • Two months of advertising on
  • One-year subscription to AUVSI's Unmanned Systems & Robotics Database