February 9, 2018

Bright ideas surprise, impress judges at small-business bowl

By Karl Oestreich

Star Tribune
by Jeremy Olson

The Super Bowl of small-business competitions took place in Minneapolis Saturday as nine companies were each given five minutes to convince Star Tribune newspaper logoan NFL panel of judges that they had the best ideas to make football players play better, heal faster or stay safer…Judges this year included Minnesota Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman and Dr. Jonathan Finnoff, director of the sports medicine center for Mayo Clinic, which co-sponsored the event at the Guthrie Theater. Aired on NFL Network, the competition produced some made-for-TV moments.

Reach: The Star Tribune Sunday circulation is 518,745 copies and weekday circulation is 300,277. The Star Tribune is the state’s largest newspaper and ranks 16th nationally in circulation.

Additional coverage:

Star Tribune, 3 companies receive grants in NFL's startup competition — Three companies received $50,000 grants for winning the NFL's annual Super Bowl startup competition designed to spur novel advancements in athlete safety and performance. Denver-based Impressio, Inc., RecoverX of Mountain View, California, and Toronto-based Curv.ai won the grants Saturday in a competition run by the NFL, Comcast NBCUniversal and Mayo Clinic.

Pioneer Press, Welcome to Minnesota, the Startup Capital of the North by Frederick Melo — When NBC Sports announced it would web-stream a competition between startup ventures live from Minneapolis on Saturday, Minnesota companies were conspicuously absent from the line-up. Organizers behind the National Football League’s “First and Future” competition say the reasons vary — they excluded some companies with ties to the Rochester-based Mayo Clinic, for instance, because the judges include two prominent Mayo doctors. But make no mistake: Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, is home to just as many entrepreneurs and their daring ventures.

Context: Entrepreneurs and innovators competed in three categories—Advancements in Protective Equipment, Technology to Improve Athletic Performance, and New Therapies to Speed Recovery. One winner from each category will be selected by a panel of judges comprised of former NFL players, entrepreneurs and medical experts. More information on the competition can be found on Mayo Clinic News Network here and here.

Contact: Duska Anastasijevic

Tags: 1st and Future' Super Bowl start-up competition, Dr. Jonathan Finnoff, NFL, Star Tribune, Uncategorized

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