The NFL’s fourth annual 1st and Future competition, presented by Arrow Electronics and hosted at Georgia Tech, will take place in Atlanta the day before Super Bowl LIII. The event is designed to spur innovation in athlete safety and performance.

This year's event features two categories of competition. The first category, the NFL Punt Analytics Competition, is new and will give applicants access to exclusive NFL data sets to come up with creative submissions for rule changes to reduce player injury during punt plays. This challenge will use the crowdsourced data science platform Kaggle. Up to four of the best submissions will be awarded $20,000 each. The winning teams will be invited to present their submission in Atlanta and compete to win Super Bowl tickets.

"Leveraging available data to analyze the game is an increasingly essential way to improve our rules and look to make the game safer," said Jeff Miller, NFL Executive Vice President of Health and Safety Initiatives. "This is a groundbreaking new effort to ask the public to analyze our rules and make recommendations. We are excited to tap into the innovative thinking of data scientists and entrepreneurs."

The second category, Innovations to Advance Athlete Health and Safety Competition, is an open call for innovative concepts that could improve player health and safety. Up to five start-ups will be chosen to present their innovations on stage in Atlanta. One grand prize winner will be awarded $50,000 and two Super Bowl LIII tickets. The second-place winner will receive $20,000 and two Super Bowl LIII tickets.

Finalists for both categories will present to a panel of judges and an exclusive audience including NFL team owners and executives, and representatives from the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee, Arrow Electronics and Georgia Tech.

"We are seeing technology reach a threshold that opens up a whole new class of opportunities to improve the health and performance of athletes," said Victor Gao, Chief Marketing Officer of Arrow Electronics. "Innovation begins with a single idea, and we are proud to support 1st and Future that draws upon the ingenuity of entrepreneurs to enhance the quality of life for not only professionals in the stadium but also aspiring young athletes at home."

"Georgia Tech is proud to host the NFL's 1st and Future start-up competition," said Georgia Tech President G.P. "Bud" Peterson. "This event will tap into the robust start-up culture and entrepreneurial spirit for which the Institute is well known. An embodiment of those traits, our Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), is located on campus in Tech Square, one of the nation's most exciting entrepreneurial ecosystems. Yellow Jacket fans love our sports teams, and the opportunity to partner with the NFL to advance collaborative innovation in athletics, particularly around safety and performance, is one we wholeheartedly endorse." 

The application deadline is Jan. 9, 2019. Visit for information on the submission process, selection criteria and official rules.