13 Entertainers and Celebrities Who Are Also Tech Entrepreneurs

by Jason Krugger 923 views0

You’ve watched and admired them on the big screenbut did you know that some of the biggest names in Hollywood are also high-flying tech startup entrepreneurs? The following are the 13 of the top celebrities and entertainers who also happen to be successful tech entrepreneurs.

13. Ashton Kutcher

Source: TechCrunch / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: TechCrunch / Flickr Creative Commons.

Ashton may be well known for his role as Walden on Two and a Half Men, but rest assured he’s not betting the entire bank on his acting chops. Back in 2009 Kutcher decided to invest in Skype, cashing out a couple years later when it was acquired by Microsoft. He’s also believed to have invested in a couple of undisclosed startups to which he continues to have a stake.

12. Justin Bieber

Source: Lwp Kommunikáció / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Lwp Kommunikáció / Flickr Creative Commons.

Don’t let Justin Bieber’s string of worldwide club bangers and public antics fool you into thinking others: the man has a firm grasp on his finances and investments. The pop icon has a significant ownership stake in group video messaging startup Tinychat and popular online streaming platform Spotify.

11. Leonardo DiCaprio

Source: Karen Borter / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Karen Borter / Flickr Creative Commons.

Recent first-time Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio needs no introduction, but most are unaware that he’s an equity holder in Mobli, a popular competitor to Instagram.

10. Bono

Source: Y2kcrazyjoker4 / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Y2kcrazyjoker4 / Flickr Creative Commons.

U2’s Bono is a music celebrity with quite an extensive portfolio of tech startup and media-related investments. Perhaps his most lucrative venture to date is an early investment in Facebook back in 2010, which netted him almost $10 million after selling post-IPO.

9. Jared Leto

Source: Stab At Sleep / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Stab At Sleep / Flickr Creative Commons.

Jared Leto is on the up-and-up. After winning an Oscar for his role in 2013 Dallas Buyer’s Club, he went on to secure the coveted role of The Joker in upcoming DC superhero flick Suicide Squad. He’s got a lot of other moneymakers on the wing: Leto has equity in both Meerkat and Zenefits and has also invested in Nest Labs (acquired by Google in 2013).

8. Magic Johnson

Source: Neon Tommy / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Neon Tommy / Flickr Creative Commons.

Life after the NBA hasn’t been bad for the Basketball Hall of Famermovie theaters, gyms, and fast-food joints were some of the sports mogul’s initial post-NBA ventures. Magic also had a stake in LA Lakers before selling his shares and joining Detroit Venture Partners as an investor/partner.

7. Ellen Degeneres

Source: ronpaulrevolt2008.
Source: ronpaulrevolt2008 / Flickr Creative Commons

Comedic powerhouse Ellen Degeneres is mostly known for her skills as a celebrity host and master of ceremonies, but she’s also a savvy tech investor: her investment in tracking app Stamped paid off when the startup was acquired by Yahoo for $10 million. She also created her own iOS/Android game based on the HeadsUp game from the Ellen show.

6. Ryan Seacrest

Source: Jyle Dupuis / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Jyle Dupuis / Flickr Creative Commons.

If you’re a fan of American Idol then you probably know who Ryan Seacrest is. He’s also one of Hollywood’s most prolific producers and businessmen with investments to include tech ventures like the Typo Bluetooth iOS keyboard.

5. Nas

Source: villunderlondon / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: villunderlondon / Flickr Creative Commons.

East Coast Rap legend Nas is also a tech entrepreneur who has invested in numerous startups like Rap Genius and Coinbase, among others.

4. Zooey Deschanel

Source: Kou Art / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Kou Art / Flickr Creative Commons.

The actress and singer-songwriter is one of the co-founders of HelloGiggle, an online platform that enables people to share different topics and discussions over the internet. It was acquired by Time, Inc. in 2015.

3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Source: Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons.

Even with blockbusters like Inception and The Dark Knight Rises, Gordon-Levitt manages to find time to run his own tech startup called HitRecord. Founded in 2007 by the A-lister and his brother, the company is a platform for crowdsourcing independent films and other media projects.

2. Snoop Dogg

Source: MPM *** Música Para Marzianos / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: MPM *** Música Para Marzianos / Flickr Creative Commons.

Multi-Grammy Award nominee Snoop Dogg is not only an iconic rapper and businessmanhe’s also a savvy technologist and gamer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of his tech startup investments–like online medical marijuana delivery service Eazeare cannabis or cannabis-industry related. He is also an early investor in RobinHood, an app for buying and selling stocks without commission fees

1. Oprah Winfrey

1024px-Oprah_Winfrey_in_Strøget,_Denmark_on_30_September_2009

Oprah’s business acumen and prowess with all things entertainment related is legendary among her Hollywood peers. After a wildly successful run with her eponymous talk show, she co-founded Oxygen Media and currently runs OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), her own television channel/network. Her tech ventures include countless websites and apps, including the Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience app and Oprah Mobile, among others.

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