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NFL Player Jaylon Smith Is Set To Open First Jinya Ramen Bar On His Former College Campus

It was always bigger than football for Jaylon Smith. Raised in a town like Fort Wayne, IN, Smith connected with his purpose early on, describing himself as a natural-born visionary. By age 11, he developed aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur, following in the footsteps of his mother, who ran a daycare business for 13 years, he told AFROTECH™ in an interview. Yet, that was not his only early-seeded vision. He also hoped to play in the NFL when he was 7, but he knew his calling would extend beyond the field. “I never wanted to be remembered as just being a great athlete,” Smith told AFROTECH™. Sports agent Eugene Parker, who worked with football greats including Deion Sanders, guided Smith and taught him valuable lessons. The two connected through Smith’s grandmother, Parker’s aunt. “I had to take a lot of principles of what I learned from him and just from observing him,” Smith said. “He had a huge impact on a lot of Hall of Famers, a lot of the greats that played the game. So,...

Mar 12, 2024

NFL Linebacker Jaylon Smith Takes Elevated Eyewear Brand To New Heights In Partnership With Zyloware

Sometimes you’ve got to just see life with a clear eye view — literally. NFL player and entrepreneur Jaylon Smith has always approached life with a “clear eye view” mentality. As a native of Fort Wayne, IN Smith has always had big dreams. Yet, with achieving those dreams, he knew that he had to share the wealth with his community no matter where life takes him. That journey led to him partnering with fellow Fort Wayne, IN native, Jamal Robinson, to launch CEV Collection, an elevated eyewear brand that adds our sauce to the spectacles or shades that we sport. Courtesy of CEV Collection “Having a focused vision or determined belief in [my] dreams has guided me to where I am today and has allowed me to operate throughout my entire life and live for the man above,” Smith said in an exclusive interview with AfroTech. For Smith, it was about being a part of something different when it came to determining the best business venture to step into. He wanted to create something that was both...

Jan 28, 2022

Dallas Cowboys' Jaylon Smith To Host $200K Annual Pitch Competition For Minority Entrepreneurs

For the past three years, Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowler Jaylon Smith and his agency — the Jaylon Smith Minority Entrepreneurship Institute (MEI) — have supported eight early-stage ventures led by Black founders and invested over $800,000 in capital across marketplaces in Texas and Indiana — all of which have presented $13 million in investable opportunities. This week, his agency announced the third annual MEI Florida Showcase and Pitch Competition in Tampa, which will hone in on business ideas from Black, Latinx and women entrepreneurs. The annual competition is supported by a plethora of dedicated companies and individuals who all believe in closing the racial wealth gap for minorities in America. “I am so excited for our third annual MEI Showcase,” Smith shared in a statement. “The entrepreneurs from Indiana and Texas were outstanding and I am looking forward to supporting minority-owned businesses in Florida!” According to a press release shared with AfroTech, Crunchbase reported...

Apr 22, 2021