With dance moves, Dhani Jones talks big ideas, fashion for a cause

You may recognize Dhani Jones from his college football career at the University of Michigan or the 11 seasons he spent playing in the NFL. He might look familiar from his appearances on TV shows like "Dhani Tackles the Globe" on Travel Channel or ESPN's "LiveBIG," but Jones also cares about making a difference through

You may recognize Dhani Jones from his college football career at the University of Michigan or the 11 seasons he spent playing in the NFL. He might look familiar from his appearances on TV shows like “Dhani Tackles the Globe” on Travel Channel or ESPN’s “LiveBIG,” but Jones also cares about making a difference through his organization, BowTie Cause.

The cause increases awareness and raises money through the sale of custom bowties for a variety of organizations, working with more than 100 since its founding, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research FoundationLeukemia and Lymphoma Society and 9/11 Memorial

Jones began his appearance at the first Big Kansas City with a bang by rousing the crowd to participate in a rendition of the “Harlem Shake,” the YouTube dance sensation that went viral seemingly overnight.

“We’re all creative individuals with big ideas,” he said as he organized the crowd before the dance. “This is somebody else’s big idea, and we’re going to pay homage because they’re not here right now.”

Jones then turned his focus to BowTie Cause, which he started more than 10 years ago after discovering a childhood friend had been diagnosed with stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He remembers his friend telling him, “If you want to be somebody, you’ve got to rock a bowtie.” Jones admitted that he was hesitant at first to get on board with the idea.

“Yogi Bear, Count Chocula, the Pringles guy, even the Mucinex guy, he rocks a bowtie,” Jones said. “Nobody wants to be like him.”

But after he started wearing a bowtie himself, Jones began to realize the movement was less about the accesory and more about what it symbolized. He challenged entrepreneurs to discover their own proverbial bowtie.

“What’s your bowtie?” Jones asked. “What’s your cause? How hard are you willing to work for those around you?”

While Jones stressed that finding a cause to be passionate about and dedicated to is important, he touched on the necessity of entrepreneurs working together to create a supportive community. 

“All of us are here as entrepreneurs,” Jones said. “We’re all creating our own special movement, but we’re making this movement and creating this movement together because we realized that we can’t do it by ourselves.”

Big Kansas City is a two-and-a-half-day event that aims to inspire, educate and celebrate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the heart of the Midwest. Produced by Silicon Prairie News, it’s part of the Big Series, the nation’s most ambitious events on innovation and entrepreneurship.

 

Credits: Video by Quadrant5. Snippet photo by Kenny Johnson Photography.


The Big Kansas City Video Series is presented by NIC, Inc.

NIC Inc. is the nation’s leading provider of official government portals, online services, and secure payment processing solutions. The company’s innovative eGovernment services help reduce costs and increase efficiencies for government agencies, citizens, and businesses across the country.

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