Imaging planets orbiting nearby stars requires a system for suppressing the host starlight by at least ten orders of magnitude. One such approach uses an external occulter, a satellite flying far from the telescope and employing a large screen, or starshade, to suppress the incoming starlight. This trades the added complexity of building the precisely shaped starshade and flying it in formation against simplifications in the telescope since extremely precise wavefront control is no longer necessary. Much progress has been made recently in designing, testing and manufacturing starshade technology. In this paper we describe the design of starshades and report on recent accomplishments in manufacturing and measuring a prototype occulter petal as part of NASA's first Technology Development for Exoplanet Missions (TDEM) program. We demonstrate that the as-built petal is consistent with a full-size occulter achieving better than 10-10 contrast. We also discuss laboratory testing at the Princeton Occulter Testbed. These experiments use sub-scale, long-distance beam propagation to verify the diffraction analysis associated with occulter starlight suppression. We demonstrate roughly 10-10 suppression in the laboratory and discuss the important challenges and limitations.