By Ryan Velez
Black Enterprise reports that season two of CNBC’s Adventure Capitalists premiered on October 10th, with the novel concept of three all-star athletes facing extreme conditions while testing innovative outdoor products. Featured on the show is former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones. Joining Jones will be world champion skier Jeremy Bloom and Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson East.
“In each one-hour episode, four separate entrepreneurs showcase products designed for outdoor adventure,” reads the show description for “Adventure Capitalists” from CNBC.
“These cutting-edge products and inventions run the gamut; from outerwear that can insulate against freezing temperatures (even when wet), to a robotic fishing lure that brings dead bait back to life and a full suspension mountain bike that can trek over any terrain. The adventure capitalists then put these innovations to the test, often in harsh conditions, to determine which are actually worthy of an investment.”
Among the products tested last season were an acoustic shark repellent, a collapsible loo for camping, and a three-wheel, all-terrain electric bike. Jones told Black Enterprise to expect a “bigger [and] better” season this go around. “You’ll see a dynamic and entertaining aspect of how people get their ideas, products, and businesses funded.”
Jones, who is now the Chairman of private equity firm Qey Capital, says that there has always been a connection between the business world and professional sports. “When you play football or when you play any sport,” he says, “you understand what it takes [to succeed.] You understand the hard work, the time, the determination, you understand the challenges, you understand the weaknesses, the ups and downs…and it’s the same thing in the startup world.” He adds that newcomers to both areas need to find people to invest in them in order to prosper.
What type of products does Jones favor? The former New York Giant says that he likes entrepreneurs with dedication and passion to their product. “I look for entrepreneurs who “are an inch wide and a mile deep. I think it’s important for them to have a clear path, an understanding of the business that they’re working in, and a passion for it,” he says.
“The dynamic nature of the show will take you through [the process of] how each entrepreneur works with each investor, and how each investor works and starts to understand each and every product.”