TechCrunch, NFL Partner on Super Bowl 50 Startup Competition

TechCrunch and the NFL announced today they will hold a startup competition in Silicon Valley the weekend of Super Bowl 50. 1st and Future will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2016 – the day before Super Bowl 50 – at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and focus on startups in sports, entertainment and technology.

NFLlogo1st and Future will feature three separate categories including The Future Stadium, Bringing Home the Game and Tomorrow’s Athlete. The NFL and TechCrunch will identify four companies to compete in each category and be judged by a panel of notable entrepreneurs, investors and TechCrunch editors.

“While we always have an eye out for innovative ideas to improve our fans’ experience, Super Bowl 50 gave us the chance to bring the leadership of Stanford University, TechCrunch’s top editors and the brightest new entrepreneurs together in Silicon Valley to look to the future,” said Perkins Miller NFL’s Chief Digital Officer and leader of the event.

Each company will make their pitch to the judges and an audience of NFL team owners and executives. The winner of each theme will receive a $50,000 check from the NFL’s Strategic Investment Fund, tickets to Super Bowl 50, and an invitation to visit league headquarters where they will have the opportunity to meet with top NFL executives.

“The NFL has always embraced technology as a way to improve our game and 1st and Future is an ideal opportunity to continue that,” said Michelle McKenna, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the NFL. “We look forward to hearing from the best and brightest in the startup community on ways to improve player safety and performance, the fan experience and the venues that these great athletes compete in.”

“Our TechCrunch team is delighted to work with the NFL and continue this mission of TechCrunch to recognize the most innovative and disruptive startups,” said Ned Desmond, COO of TechCrunch.  “Teaming up with the NFL is a clear indicator that technology and innovation can change the game in every industry and we applaud the NFL for being the first to bring this start up culture and brainpower onto the field.”

1st and Future will be livestreamed on and contestants will compete in the following three categories:

  • The Future Stadium: The judges will select as the winner the startup with the product most likely to be implemented and have the biggest impact on the experience of attendees at live, stadium sports events.
  • Bringing Home The Game: The judges will select as the winner the startup with the product most likely to see wide consumer adoption and alter in some fundamental way the enjoyment of live sports broadcasts in the home.
  • Tomorrow’s Athlete: The judges will select as the winner the startup with the product that would have biggest impact on athletes’ training, performance, and safety during practice and games.

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