Newswise — PHILADELPHIA, April 11, 2017 — As teams ponder the next generation of talent in the upcoming NFL Draft, students from Temple University will bring attention to the most-critical issue facing football: concussion prevention. 


Temple University is collaborating with sport innovation enterprise HYPE Foundation to host two on-campus events geared toward football player safety and sport innovation. (And all ideas are welcome — whether a sure touchdown, or just a Hail Mary concept.)


All Temple students are eligible to participate in an all-day Hackathon Tuesday, April 25. The event will challenge students from all academic disciplines to create new ideas to enhance the safety of football players. Students can compete for cash prizes and access to potential investors. (Jurists include Dan Klecko, Temple alumnus and former Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman; Temple alumnus Cosmo DeNicola, co-owner of the Philadelphia Soul; and Ryan Tierney, Temple associate professor of kinesiology.)


The next day, Wednesday, April 26, a Worldwide Pitch Competition welcomes 10 finalists to present their football safety ideas to sport organizations and leading investors from around the world. Also, the top-three finalists from the previous day’s Hackathon will have an opportunity to expose their ideas to investors. (Judges include Ben Alamar, ESPN’s Director of Sports Analytics; Rod Nenner, Washington Redskins’ Vice President of Sports Marketing; and Dr. JoAnne Epps, Temple University provost.)


“Temple University and innovation go hand-in-hand,” said Alan Kerzner, assistant professor and director of Temple’s Entrepreneurship Academy. “Our Entrepreneurship programs are nationally ranked, and our students have built a reputation for turning their ideas into thriving businesses. That’s why we are proud to align with HYPE Foundation to provide this unique opportunity for our students.”


The Temple-HYPE collaborative events will take place days before the eyes of football fans globally will turn to Philadelphia for the 2017 NFL Draft, a three-day event taking place outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art beginning April 27.


These events demonstrate Temple’s strength in research, innovation, and sport. The university houses undergraduate- and graduate-level Entrepreneurship programs that are ranked top-10 nationally by The Princeton Review. Temple also is home to the renowned Sport Industry Research Center (SIRC), which provides marketing strategies to enhance the economic, social, and environmental stability of sporting events. The NFL and NCAA are among SIRC’s notable research partners.


Additionally, Temple faculty are leading the way in brain-injury research. In November, an interdisciplinary team of Temple researchers received a $20 million award for greater brain-injury research. And a Fox School of Business professor authored an academic text on head trauma from a legal and insurance perspective.


WHAT: Sport-innovation events, sponsored by Temple University and HYPE Foundation

DETAILS: Tuesday, April 25 — Hackathon (Media: 5:30-7 p.m.)

Alter Hall first-floor commons (1801 Liacouras Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19122)

Wednesday, April 26 — Worldwide Pitch Competition (Media: 5:30-7 p.m.)

Liacouras Center main lobby (1776 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122)

RSVP: Christopher A. Vito ([email protected], 215-204-4115)