NFL kicks off search for startups to join pitch competition

The NFL is looking for sports startups for its second annual 1st & Future competition to be held during Super Bowl week in Houston.

Terry Collins Staff Reporter, CNET News
Terry writes about social networking giants and legal issues in Silicon Valley for CNET News. He joined CNET News from the Associated Press, where he spent the six years covering major breaking news in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before the AP, Terry worked at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Kansas City Star. Terry's a native of Chicago.
Terry Collins

Innovative sports-related startups once again will have a chance to woo the NFL to win some cash and go to the Super Bowl.

Startups can apply for the NFL's second annual 1st & Future startup pitch competition on Feb. 4 in Houston. The NFL is teaming up with the Texas Medical Center to find up to nine companies at all stages focusing on player health and safety.

They will compete in three categories: Communicating with the Athlete, Training the Athlete and Materials to Protect the Athlete.

Besides pitching in front of NFL team owners, execs and the TMC, the three winning startups will each receive a $50,000 check from the NFL's Strategic Investment Fund, two tickets to attend Super Bowl LI at Reliant Stadium on Feb. 5 and entry into TMC's Accelerator, TMCx.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 20.

Earlier this month, the NFL players' union said it's launching a business accelerator dubbed OneTeam Collective for sports-focused technology companies with a possible pitch day held during Super Bowl week.

Prior to Super Bowl 50 last season, about a dozen startups made pitches during the inaugural 1st & Future at Stanford University before a team of judges including former US Secretary of State and big-time football fan Condoleezza Rice, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam and Nike CEO Mark Parker.

The big game was held at the high-tech Levi's Stadium in nearby Santa Clara, California.