Nine companies to present game-changing technologies to prominent group of judges in live showdown
New York, January 25, 2018—The National Football League (NFL), Comcast NBCUniversal and Mayo Clinic today announced the finalists and judges for 1st and Future, the NFL’s annual Super Bowl start-up competition designed to spur novel advancements in athlete safety and performance.
The live event will take place at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis on February 3, 2018, the day before Super Bowl LII. During the program, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Chairman of NBC Broadcasting & Sports Mark Lazarus, Mayo Clinic President and CEO John H. Noseworthy, M.D. and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will participate in a panel discussion about the role of innovation in sports, moderated by Scott Hanson of NFL Network and host of NFL RedZone. Hanson will also emcee the pitch competition.
NBC Sports will livestream the full competition on Feb. 3 at
Entrepreneurs and innovators will compete in three categories—Advancements in Protective
Equipment, Technology to Improve Athletic Performance, and New Therapies to Speed
Recovery. One winner from each category will be selected by a panel of judges comprised of
former NFL players, entrepreneurs and medical experts.
The winning team from each category will receive a $50,000 check from the NFL and two tickets
to Super Bowl LII. The following companies have been named as finalists (with a summary of
each start-up’s product or service, as described by the company):
Advancements in Protective Equipment
New Therapies to Speed Recovery
Technology to Improve Athletic Performance
The companies will face off in front of 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.
The panel of judges will feature:
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 1st and Future, visit https://www.sportsengine.com/1st-andfuture.
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About the NFL’s Health and Safety Initiatives
The NFL is committed to advancing progress in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries. As part of the NFL’s ongoing health and safety efforts, in September 2016, Commissioner Goodell launched Play Smart. Play Safe.—a league-wide health and safety initiative. At the heart of the initiative is a pledge of $100 million in support for independent medical research and engineering advancements and a commitment to look at anything and everything to protect our players and make our game safer, including enhancements to medical protocols and improvements to how our game is taught and played.
For more information about the NFL’s health and safety efforts, please visit
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
Helping the world play smarter and live more, SportsEngine, Inc., an NBC Sports Group company, is the leading provider of Sport Life Management mobile applications for coaches, parents, and athletes and Sports Relationship Management tools for governing bodies, leagues, clubs, associations and events. SportsEngine, Inc. powers over 750,000 teams, leagues, and clubs, helping them manage, connect, and communicate with a diverse range of stakeholders, including athletes, parents, administrators, coaches, referees, scouts, volunteers, fans, journalists, and sponsors. Founded in 2008, SportsEngine, Inc. is based in Minneapolis, MN.
For more information, please visit www.sportsengine.com/solutions; like the company on
Facebook at Facebook.com/sportsengine; or follow SportsEngine on Twitter at @sportsengine.
About NBC Sports Ventures
NBC Sports Ventures is the business development and investment arm of NBC Sports Group, and works alongside Comcast Ventures and ComcastNBCULIFT.com to evaluate investment opportunities in venture stage sports, esports, and gaming-related businesses for NBC Sports, NBCSN and Golf Channel. Properties under the NBC Sports Ventures umbrella include the American Century Golf Championship, the Red Bull Signature Series, the Lucas Oil Motocross Championships, the National Dog Show, Reebok Spartan Race, Nitro Circus, and the Universal Open esports tournament.
About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, comprehensive care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.