ESPN Analyst, Former NFL player, Entrepreneur, & Angel Investor
Jonathan Vilma is an entrepreneur, investor and former NFL linebacker. He played for 10 seasons in the National Football League for the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets. The three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker was the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2004 as the Jets’ first-round draft pick. He was an integral part of the Saints organization where, as Team Captain, he led the defense to their first Super Bowl Championship in 2009, and he was recently elected into the Saints Hall of Fame. A college standout at the University of Miami both academically and athletically, he was part of the Hurricanes National Championship football team in 2001 and was inducted into the UM Hall of Fame in 2015.
Following his retirement from the NFL, Jonathan began his second career in the entrepreneurial and media sectors. He is currently a college football commentator with ESPN and also served as a football analyst on NBC’s ProFootballTalk with Mike Florio as well as a pre-game and halftime analyst for NBC’s coverage of Notre Dame Football prior to joining ESPN in 2016.
Jonathan has been pursuing his entrepreneurial endeavors as an investor and operator before the end of his football career, which prepared him well for becoming an operator full time in the fast casual food franchise sector. He was a Master Franchisee for two popular food concepts in the South Florida area – Pincho Factory and Brother Jimmy’s. Jonathan opened Brother Jimmy’s, the popular chain of barbecue restaurants in Miami and New York, in the Southeast generating sales of $10mm systemwide before selling his equity back to the Franchisor. Jonathan’s Pincho Factory restaurant, an award winning fast casual burger and kebab restaurant in the South Florida area, was the highest grossing store in the system from 2017-2018. Jonathan looks forward to growing both brands and taking on new concepts as he continues to grow his franchising enterprise.
Recently, Jonathan has co-founded the Miami based Real Estate company Urbin, LLC, a co-work and co-live brand with over $20mm in assets to date. The goal being to provide affordable living and workspace within the affluent cities throughout America. Jonathan helped secure 3 properties in Miami totaling over 300,000 sq ft of living and work space.
Jonathan lives in Miami, Florida and has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Miami, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees and Chairman of Student Affairs.