Winners Announced For NFL/ Texas Medical Center 1st & Future Startup Contest
While the Falcons and the Patriots are still battling it out, a winner for this weekend has already emerged. Earlier this week we reported on 1st & Future, the NFL sanctioned startup competition as part of the Super Bowl. The contest is in it’s second year. The NFL teamed with the Texas Medical Center Accelerator for a morning of entrepreneurship, great pitches and a fireside chat with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The startup contest focused on sports related startups with a special focus on safety, communication and training.
Communicating With The Athlete
Rochester Minnesota based GoRout was the winner in the communication category. They’ve created an on field communications platform for coaches to send plays to players on the field.
Training The Athlete
A company that’s created robotic dummies to practice with won Training the Athlete category. Mobile Virtual Player is based in New Hampshire. Their robots simulate size, weight and agility of an athlete. The robots are self correcting and controlled on field by a coach. This makes a safer training experience.
Materials To Protect The Athlete
Windpact, based in Virginia took home the win in this category. Their flagship product is called Cloud Crash. The product into sports helmets and increases the level of impact perfection without sacrificing the helmet’s ability to perform, degree of comfort or sense of style.
The winner’s of this years event took home $50,000 to work on their technology. They also received two tickets to the Super Bowl to see the Atlanta Falcons take on the New England Patriots. Each winning team was also accepted into the Texas Medical Center Accelerator where they will receive mentorship and training to bring their startup to market. The Texas Medical Center Accelerator has a vast network of mentors and investors that are connected to the program.
Ed Egan, director of the McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Rice University; Rich Ellenbogen, chairman of the department of neurological surgery at the University of Washington Medical Center and co-chairman of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee; Bernard Harris, CEO and managing partner of Vesalius Ventures; Mae Jemison, principal of 100 Year Starship; Chad Pennington, former NFL quarterback; Sue Siegel, CEO of GE Ventures and healthymagination; and John Urschel, Baltimore Ravens guard and center were the judges for the event.