FIRST Announces Qualcomm’s Return as Presenting Sponsor for 2017 FIRST Championship Events in Houston and St. Louis

Global Leaders Unite to Support and Celebrate Innovation, Creativity, and Workforce Development at Life-Changing Championship Events

MANCHESTER, N.H., April 10, 2017FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international not-for-profit K-12 organization founded to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, today announced that Qualcomm Incorporated  will return as Presenting Sponsor for the 2017 FIRST Championship, happening in Houston (April 19-22, 2017) and St. Louis (April 26-29, 2017).

“Qualcomm’s dedication to building future innovators is demonstrated, year after year, through their continued commitment to FIRST,” said Donald E. Bossi, President, FIRST. “Qualcomm knows that to succeed in an industry like theirs, individuals need to test the limits of what is possible and learn how to be creative problem-solvers. Through their support of FIRST and the FIRST Championship, Qualcomm is helping give FIRST participants rich engineering experiences that will set them on pathways to successful futures in their chosen fields.”

This year, more than 30,000 students will participate at FIRST Championship events in Houston and St. Louis. With the support of FIRST Sponsors, it promises participating teams and spectators alike an exciting, action-packed, once-in-a-lifetime experience that has all the heart-pounding thrills and team spirit of a professional sporting event.

“The skills that FIRST participants learn are a great foundation for their future careers, and are critical to succeed in industries like ours, where brilliant minds need to constantly push the boundaries of what’s possible,” said Matt Grob, executive vice president of technology for Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “That’s why Qualcomm has supported FIRST and their programs for more than a decade, and we are excited to be a Presenting Sponsor of both FIRST Championships again this year.”

2017 FIRST Championship Program Sponsors include: The Abbott Fund; Bechtel Corporation; Belden, Inc.; FedEx Corporation; Google; Monsanto; Nokia Bell Labs; NRG Energy; NVIDIA Corporation; Twitch; U.S. Air Force.

Other 2017 FIRST Championship Sponsors include: BAE Systems; The Boeing Company; Booz Allen Hamilton; Bosch; The Coca-Cola Company; The Dow Chemical Company; Edward Jones; Hilton; Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark; IBM Corporation; Mouser Electronics; Nidec Motor Corporation; Phillips 66; Picatinny STEM; PwC US; Southwest Airlines; St. Louis Regional Chamber; St. Louis Union Station Hotel; TE Connectivity; Texas Instruments; Uber; ViaSat; Vulcan Spring & Mfg. Co.; Walt Disney Imagineering.

The FIRST Championship events in Houston and St. Louis, which are projected to collectively bring in more than 65,000 spectators and students, has an estimated collective economic impact of $30 million to each of the 2017 host cities. St. Louis has hosted the Championship since 2011, and 2017 marks the first year Houston will host the event. The international event showcases student teams from FIRST Robotics Competition for students in grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for grades K-3.

Save the date! The FIRST Championship will be held in:

Houston April 18-21, 2018 and Detroit April 25-28, 2018

About FIRST® 
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $50 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-4. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to