NBCUNIVERSAL, MAYO CLINIC ANNOUNCE WINNERS FOR “1ST AND FUTURE” SUPER
BOWL START-UP COMPETITION
Three companies each win
$50,000 in live sports-technology start-up showdown
3, 2018—The National Football League (NFL), Comcast NBCUniversal and Mayo
Clinic today announced the three winners of 1st and Future, the NFL’s annual
Super Bowl start-up competition designed to spur novel advancements in athlete
safety and performance. Three companies—Impressio,
Inc. of Denver, Colorado, RecoverX
of Mountain View, California and Curv.ai
of Toronto, Ontario—each received $50,000 to further develop their innovations.
Each company also won two tickets to Super Bowl LII on February 4.
live pitch competition took place at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, where
nine finalists competed in three categories—Advancements in Protective Equipment, New Therapies to Speed Recovery, and Technology to Improve Athletic Performance. Scott Hanson of the NFL
Network and host of NFL RedZone emceed as the companies pitched their
game-changing technologies to an exclusive audience comprised of NFL team
owners and executives, medical experts and representatives and guests of the
Minneapolis Super Bowl Host Committee and Mayo Clinic.
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 participated in a panel
discussion about the role of innovation in sports.
faced off in front of a team of judges that included:
· Amy Banse, Managing Director and Head of Funds for
· Jonathan Finnoff, D.O., Medical Director of Mayo Clinic Square,
Sports Medicine Center in Minneapolis
· Courtney Hall, Managing Director, Hillcrest Venture Partners,
former NFL player
· Justin Kaufenberg, Co-Founder and CEO, SportsEngine
· Laurie Locascio, Ph.D., Vice President for Research, University
· Eric Sugarman, MS, ATC, Director of Sports Medicine and Head
Athletic Trainer, Minnesota Vikings
· Jennifer Wethe, Ph.D., Neuropsychologist for Mayo Clinic
Arizona Sports Neurology and Concussion Program
included the following start-up companies (with a summary of each start-up’s
product or service, as described by them):
· Impressio, Inc.—Denver, CO (http://impressio.tech)
Impressio utilizes liquid-crystal elastomers (LCEs) to
create novel dissipative liner materials for protective equipment designed to
overcome the existing challenges of energy absorption in current helmet foams.
· Exero Labs—Chagrin Falls, OH (http://exerolabs.com)
Exero Labs has developed a patent-pending concept for a
leaf spring device that attaches to the front of football helmets and deforms
on impact to help absorb and diffuse impact forces.
· VyaTek Sports, Inc.—Cave Creek, AZ (http://www.vyatek.com)
VyaTek is developing a new system called ZORBZ™—a series of
replaceable, highly-efficient, energy-absorbing modules fitted to the exterior
of a helmet.
New Therapies to Speed
· RecoverX—Mountain View, CA (http://www.recoverx.io)
Element is a connected device that can achieve the optimum
cold or hot therapy temperatures without any ice or water, designed to allow users
more freedom for their therapy.
· Cartilage Repair Systems LLC—New York, NY
CartiONE aims to advance the treatment of cartilage
injuries using a patented process to create new cartilage from a patient's own
cartilage and bone marrow cells in a single surgery with the goal to shorten
· EyeGuide, Inc.—Philadelphia, PA (https://eye.guide/)
EyeGuide Focus—a proprietary hardware & software
eye-tracking platform—is designed to allow professionals to easily administer a
simple, 10-second test to check for potential neurological impairment.
Technology to Improve
· Curv.ai—Toronto, Ontario (http://curv.ai)
Curv is an athlete development platform that leverages
patent-pending computer vision and augmented reality to transform the camera on
any mobile device into a versatile tool that captures human motion, measures
athletic abilities and evaluates injury risk.
· Aladdin Dreamer, Inc.—Paradise Valley, AZ (http://www.aladdindreamer.com)
Aladdin's patented wearable is designed to improve athlete
recovery and performance through biometric tracking and sleep enhancement.
Inc.—Green Bay, WI (http://xensr.com/)
Xensr’s Konect Sports technology is an
end-to-end 3D-motion tracking, training and quantification system designed to
provide real-time athlete performance data and train athletes to have faster
SportsEngine Inc., a division of Comcast NBCUniversal’s NBC Sports Group and
the leading youth sports technology provider, served 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 administered the competition.
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 www.PlaySmartPlaySafe.com.
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
About Mayo Clinic
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
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.
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.
Palatini, NBC Sports Group
Duska Anastasijevic, Mayo Clinic