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Up to nine startups will pitch game-changing technologies as they compete for $50,000 and two tickets to Super Bowl LII

New York, December 14, 2017—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 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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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 for more information.

About SportsEngine

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; like the company on Facebook at; 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 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 or