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Finalists, judges announced for NFL 1st and Future competition

The NFL, in conjunction with Comcast NBC Universal and the Mayo Clinic, announced the finalists and judges Thursday for 1st and Future, an annual competition designed to spur advancements in athlete safety and performance.

The winner of the competition will be revealed at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis a day before Super Bowl LII on Feb. 3. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports Mark Lazarus, Mayo Clinic President and CEO John H. Noseworthy and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will participate in a panel discussion about the role of innovation in sports. NFL Network's Scott Hanson will moderate the discussion.

Entrepreneurs and innovators will compete 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.

The winning team from each category will receive a $50,000 check from the NFL and two tickets to Super Bowl LII. Go here for more information about the competition.

Here are the finalists for each category:

Advancements in Protective Equipment

-- Exero Labs -- Chagrin Falls, Ohio

-- Impressio, Inc. -- Denver, Colorado

-- VyaTek Sports, Inc. -- Cave Creek, Arizona

New Therapies to Speed Recovery

-- Cartilage Repair Systems LLC -- New York

-- EyeGuide, Inc. -- Philadelphia, Lubbock, Texas

-- RecoverX -- Mountain View, California

Technology to Improve Athletic Performance

-- Aladdin Dreamer, Inc. -- Paradise Valley, Arizona

-- -- Toronto, Ontario

-- Xensr, Inc. -- Green Bay, Wisconsin

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