Vicis (VYE-sis), a Seattle, WA-based developer of a football helmet, closed its $8m seed financing round.
Backers included more than 140 investors. Among them, Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, biotech venture capitalist Robert Nelsen and current and former NFL players and coaches, and spine surgeons and neurosurgeons.
The company intends to use the funds to commercialize its helmet.
Co-founded in 2013 by Per Reinhall, PhD, Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering at UW; Samuel Browd, MD, PhD, Pediatric Neurosurgeon and Medical Director of the Sports Concussion Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital; and Dave Marver, CEO and veteran of the medical technology industry, Vicis has developed the ZERO1™ football helmet, a product resulting from more than two years of development during which the company worked closely with elite equipment managers and athletic trainers. The helmet, which will be available to select NFL and NCAA football teams this spring, and will be worn in competition during the 2016/17 season, features multiple layers designed to work together to provide improved impact absorption and an anatomically-optimized fit.
After launching to NFL teams and NCAA football programs, Vicis plans to expand into the high school and youth categories, and eventually into other sports.