Sunday, July 25, 2021


In an effort to encourage technological innovation that advances our sport, USPA is holding a technology development contest in conjunction with its exhibit at the Parachute Industry Association Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 30 - September 3. USPA's Skydiving Technology Advancement Roundup (STAR) competition, co-sponsored by Merit, is a collaborative effort to spotlight and support new technology that benefits skydiving in some way. Finalists will have the opportunity to demonstrate their products at USPA's exhibit booth to compete for a $1,000 cash prize and attention from potential investors. Entries must be submitted no later than August 1, 2021. The finalists will be selected by August 7 and notified of their opportunity to present. More information is available by emailing

The competition is open to anyone who manufactures, designs, engineers or promotes technology products in the skydiving field. This includes technology that specifically serves individual jumpers, tools or services specifically designed to aid in the operation of drop zone operations, or technology that improves safety or training.


A judging panel will select finalists to publicly demonstrate their projects at the USPA exhibit booth during the week of the PIA Symposium in Cincinnati. Each finalist will have 20 minutes to provide an in-person presentation or may prepare a recorded video presentation no longer than 10 minutes. Among the judging criteria are:

  • Innovation: How unique or new is the concept? Is this a new way to solve something or just another version of something that is already in the market?
  • Functionality: Does the submission work as described? Is the product free of bugs with all parts complete?
  • Usefulness: Does the innovation solve a practical problem experienced by a good number in the skydiving community?
  • Impact: Could this solution be widely usable/adoptable by the greater community?

The judges will announce the winner and special mentions at the end of the competition day in the exhibit hall.

Additional Rules and Details

  • Products that have been in market (generally available for sale or use) for more than six months are not eligible for submission. However, if significant improvements and/or enhancements that are truly unique and innovative have been made to the original product, then the new model will be eligible for submission.
  • At least two different product photographs must accompany each entry. Entries may include up to five photos. Photos must be submitted in a .jpg format and be less than 10MB. All photos must be submitted via a URL on the online submission form or in a followup email to
  • All entry forms are the property of USPA.
  • An entry is qualified for judging when all required sections of the online entry form are completed.
  • Incomplete entries will be disqualified. The competition is not responsible for follow-up of incomplete entries. If you are unsure if your entry is complete, email
  • To evaluate an entry, the judges may ask for additional information, including a request to provide a product sample.
  • The competition reserves the exclusive right to set, modify and interpret all conditions regarding this competition without claim for damage or recourse of any kind.
  • Each submission selected as a finalist grants USPA, Merit and their affiliates permission, without compensation, to use its name and photograph/likeness and/or entry in promoting this or similar awards programs in the future.
  • Materials must meet competition standards for appropriate product presentation and taste and may be disqualified at any time if they are deemed inappropriate. Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage the submission form or undermine the legitimate operation of the Call for Entries may be in violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, all entries submitted by such person will be disqualified. The competition reserves the right to seek damages from any such person fully permitted by law.
  • In the event a virus, unauthorized human intervention, tampering or other causes beyond the reasonable control of the competition corrupts or impairs the administration, security, fairness or proper operation of the competition, the competition reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the competition. Should the competition be terminated prior to the stated closing date, the competition reserves the right to announce finalists based on the nominations received before the termination date.
  • The competition reserves the right to rescind any awards granted to finalists or award winners who have misrepresented their product or entry in this competition.

Register an Entry

Entries must be submitted no later than August 1. The finalists will be selected and notified by August 7.

If selected as a finalist, how are you intending to present?



At the Symponsium in Dallas February 2019, USPA invited PIA attendees to come watch the presentations each afternoon, and finalists were interviewed by Skydive-TV. At the conclusion of each day's demo, the judges announced the *winner for that category. In addition, People's Choice and Sigma's Choice Awards were announced at the conclusion of Thursday's demos.

Drop Zone Tools

Tuesday, February 5, 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
*Big Picture, Spot Assist
Gearpro, Jody Moore, LLC, Merit's Choice
Revl X Video System, Revl

Jumper Experience

Wednesday, February 6, 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
*ColorAlti, Freefall Data Systems LLC
Skydiving 401 app, Rhythm Skydiving
Spacesuit Skydive, Earth and Space Exploration LLC, People's Choice

Safety and Training

Thursday, February 7, 4 p.m.-5 p.m.
*SkydiVR, Freefall Club
Online Training Program, AUV School of Skydiving and Bodyflight
SAS Situational Awareness System, TRIPLE-S