Innovation Challenge

innovation challenge

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).

Orin Hoffman Orin Hoffman
Autonomy and Robotics HQE
Frank Kelley
Frank Kelley
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Unmanned Systems (DASN (UxS))
JC Lede
JC Ledé
Acting Deputy Director
Tactical Technology Office
Bob Sadowski Bob Sadowski
Chief Roboticist
U.S. Army

During the Innovation Challenge, on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, five finalists will pitch their technology to the USDPS audience and the esteemed Advisory Panel, featuring Orin Hoffman, Autonomy and Robotics HQE, DIUx, Bob Sadowski, Chief Roboticist, U.S. Army, Frank Kelley, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Unmanned Systems (DASN (UxS)), JC Ledé, Acting Deputy Director, Tactical Technology Office, DARPA, and other defense and government industry experts.

Each finalist will have six minutes to pitch their technology and four minutes to answer questions from the Innovation Challenge Advisory Panel. The panel will provide feedback and guidance, 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 and establish themselves as a premier innovator!

Application and Selection Process

Interested companies must complete the Innovation Challenge application by Wednesday, December 13, 2017. The fee to apply is $189 and includes an Exhibits Only–One Day Pass to access the USDPS Exhibit Hall on Wednesday, February 7, 2018. All applicants will receive an Exhibits Only–One Day Pass regardless of whether or not they’re selected to compete in the Innovation Challenge. Applicants may apply the $189 fee towards the purchase of a Full Conference Pass to attend the complete USDPS program.

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 Wednesday, January 3, 2018.

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:

  • One (1) Exhibits Only- One Day Pass
  • Recognition on the USDPS Innovation Challenge webpage
  • Recognition in the USDPS onsite program

Ready to get started? Submit your application HERE.

Please contact Katie Cooper with any questions or concerns.