The NFL has announced that it will hold its fourth annual startup pitch competition, set to coincide with Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The “1st and Future” pitch event is being held in conjunction with Georgia Tech and the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), the state of Georgia’s startup incubator.
Also sponsored by electronics provider Arrow Electronics, 1st and Future is designed to find innovative technologies and products in the areas of player health, safety and performance. Startups from anywhere in the country can apply to compete in two different categories.
The first category, NFL Punt Analytics, will give applicants access to NFL data to find new solutions to reduce player injury during punt plays. Up to four finalists in this category will win $20,000 and get the chance to pitch on-stage for the grand prize of two Super Bowl tickets.
The second challenge, Innovations to Advance Athlete Health and Safety Competition, focuses specifically on player safety. These can include anything from protective equipment, medical devices, sensors or training tools. This challenge will be managed specifically by ATDC.
Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson says the University is “proud” to host the competition. “This event will tap into the robust start-up culture and entrepreneurial spirit for which the Institute is well known… Yellow Jacket fans love our sports teams, and the opportunity to partner with the NFL to advance collaborative innovation in athletics, particularly around safety and performance, is one we wholeheartedly endorse.”
In the health and safety competition, up to five finalists will present their pitch. The winner of this competition will receive $50,000, while second place will receive $20,000. Both winners will get the chance to attend Super Bowl LIII with two tickets to the game.
Kirk Barnes, Health Tech Catalyst at ATDC, will be helping organize the health and safety challenge.
“ATDC is very excited to work with healthcare related startups across the country,” Barnes tells Hypepotamus. “Hosting the Super Bowl in Atlanta already a special event. Being able to host the the nation’s startups geared towards the health of players both on and off the field is a rare opportunity. It is fortuitous that the ATDC and the ATDC Healthcare Vertical is well positioned to help make this event a success.”
Barnes says the ideal teams for the competition are beyond the idea stage and already have a product with users.
The audience judging the pitches will include NFL team owners and executives, Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee members, Arrow Electronics and Georgia Tech representatives. The pitch will take place on February 2nd, the day before the big game, at the Ferst Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta. A full list of rules can be found here and applications are due January 9.
Featured photo via NFL’s 1st and Future