Over 5,000 former players have sued the league over the brain injuries suffered during their careers, and a slew of high-profile former NFL players and coaches have said they won’t let their children play the game.
One thing is clear: If football safety doesn’t change soon, America’s most popular sport will be in jeopardy. Ideas fill a whiteboard in Vicis’s Seattle office.
Enter Vicis, a Seattle startup whose self-appointed mission is to create a helmet that reduces the risk of concussions. The company’s first product, the Zero1, features a pliable outer layer and an impact-absorbing core layer that cushions the wearer’s head against violent collisions–all, for the most part, while maintaining the look and shape of a classic helmet. The company has received $10 million in funding, including a $500,000 grant from the NFL. The helmets will be available to NFL and college players this spring.