A company that is trying to develop a safer helmet for football and other sports took top honors at a pitch competition Thursday at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium in Madison.

Whitcomb Technologies LLC won first place and the “people’s choice” award at the competition, called the Elevator Pitch Olympics. The start-up, founded by John Whitcomb, a medical doctor, is developing a patented prototype for a helmet that uses air cells to reduce impact force and the potential for concussions.

The pitch contest capped off the Wisconsin Technology Council‘s two-day conference, which drew about 575 attendees. Also at the conference, Jeff Rusinow was inducted into the Investor Hall of Fame, and Thomas “Rock” Mackie received the 2015 Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education Award. Mackie, a professor emeritus of medical physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, co-founded Healthmyne and TomoTherapy Inc.

Read this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story here.