Saturday, May 8, 2021


Skydiving Technology Advancement Roundup


In an effort to encourage technological innovation that advances our sport, USPA held a technology development contest in conjunction with its exhibit at the Parachute Industry Association Symposium in Dallas, Texas, February 4-8. USPA’s Skydiving Technology Advancement Roundup (STAR) competition, co-sponsored by Merit, is a collaborative effort to spotlight and support new software that benefits skydiving in some way. Finalists had the opportunity to demonstrate their products at USPA’s exhibit booth to compete for cash prizes and attention from potential investors. 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


The competition is open to anyone who manufactures, designs, engineers or promotes technology products in the skydiving field. The competition includes three categories and will award thousands of dollars in cash prizes:

  • Jumper Experience: technology that specifically serves the individual jumper
  • Drop Zone Tools: tool or service specifically designed to aid in the operation of drop zone facilities
  • Safety and Training: technology that improves the sport’s safety or individual safety

Additionally, Merit will name a winner for a solution that connects with Merit's data using their REST API, which defines a set of functions that developers can use to perform requests and receive responses. To get a key to connect to Merit's data, you must be a Merit Org and request access.


A judging panel will select three entries in each category as finalists. The finalists will publicly demonstrate their projects at the USPA exhibit booth during the week of the PIA Symposium in Dallas. Each day, three finalists will have 20 minutes to provide an overview demo and then explain their tool in detail. 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?
  • Completion/Functionality: Does the submission work as described? Is the product free of bugs with all parts complete?
  • Impact: Will this solution be widely usable/adoptable by the greater community?

The judges will announce the winner in each category at then end of each day, and the special awards on the final day of 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. Should a submission not qualify under these terms, the applicant will be notified within 30 days of the 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 the online submission process.
  • 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.
  • If improperly categorized, an entry may be moved to a different category based on the recommendation of the judging panel, without consent from the entrant.
  • 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.