NFL, NBC & Mayo Clinic Announce 3rd Annual '1st and Future' Super Bowl Start-Up Competition

The National Football League (NFL), Comcast NBCUniversal and Mayo Clinic today opened the submission process for 1st and Future-the NFL's annual SUPER BOWL start-up competition designed to spur novel advancements in athlete safety and performance. 1st and Future will be held at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis on February 3, 2018, the day before SUPER BOWL LII.

Beginning today, entrepreneurs and innovators may submit entries in three categories-Advancements in Protective Equipment, Technology to Improve Athletic Performance, and New Therapies to Speed Recovery-for the chance to pitch their idea to a panel of judges and an exclusive audience including NFL team owners and executives, and representatives from the Minneapolis SUPER BOWL Host Committee, Comcast NBCUniversal and Mayo Clinic.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with Comcast NBCUniversal as well as Mayo Clinic to support innovators who are committed to advancing sports technology and athlete health and safety," said JEFF MILLER, NFL Executive Vice President of Health and Safety Initiatives.

Up to nine companies will be selected to compete in Minneapolis and one winner from each category will be selected awarded by a panel of judges comprising former NFL players, entrepreneurs and medical experts. In addition to the opportunity to present their innovations, the winning team from each category will receive a $50,000 check from the NFL and two tickets to SUPER BOWL LII.

Minneapolis-based SportsEngine Inc., a division of Comcast NBCUniversal's NBC Sports Group and the leading youth sports technology provider, will serve as a home base for the competing companies during the week prior to the 1st and Future competition. Together, NBC Sports Ventures, Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs for entrepreneurs and SportsEngine will administer the 1st and Future competition.

For more information on the submission process, selection criteria and official rules, visit https://www.sportsengine.com/1st-and-future. The deadline to submit applications is January 5, 2018.

"As the U.S. television home of SUPER BOWL LII, we're excited to partner with NFL and Mayo Clinic to support entrepreneurial efforts towards breakthroughs in athlete safety and performance," said ROB SIMMELKJAER, SVP, NBC Sports Ventures.

"As an organization that has been at the leading edge of medical innovation, we are excited to team with NFL and Comcast NBCUniversal to celebrate creativity and support new ideas that will transform athlete health and safety," said CLARK OTLEY, medical director of the Department of Business Development at Mayo Clinic.

Contestants will compete in the following three categories:

  • Advancements in Protective Equipment: Developments in football helmet technology designed to better protect athletes.
  • Technology to Improve Athletic Performance: New innovations that LEVERAGE the use of data or immersive technology designed to advance athlete health and performance.
  • New Therapies to Speed Recovery: New technologies designed to improve care and accelerate recovery.


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