7 of the Most Famous Celebrities Who Are Also Tech Entrepreneurs

Here are 7 celebrities you may or may not know that have also founded tech startups.
Christopher McFadden

Did you know there are quite a few celebrities who have also been very successful entrepreneurs out of the limelight? Here are 7 examples you may or may not know about. 


Who is a famous celebrity entrepreneur?

It would be nye-on impossible to single out one individual celebrity as the "most famous," but here are some very notable examples (courtesy of careeraddict.com): 

  • Magic Johnson
  • Jay–Z
  • Paul Newman
  • Beyonce Knowles
  • David Beckham
  • Robert De Niro
  • Tyra Banks
  • Gwen Stefani

What does entrepreneurship mean?

The term "entrepreneur" has become something of a buzzword of late, but what does it actually mean? 

"An entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business/or procedures." - Investopedia

These rare individuals are vital to any economy and, if successful, can become very wealthy indeed. Of course, there is also a high risk that their investment of time and money can go down in flames.

Sometimes confused with "capitalists" or "investors," entrepreneurs tend to be the individual (s) who require investments from the former to get their business ideas off the ground.

Many successful and/or serial entrepreneurs will also commonly invest in other new startups, too.

However, it should be noted that most "entrepreneurs" never actually think of themselves as such. It is a title that is often attributed to them by third-parties. 

"An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. Like my dad, many small business owners don't embrace their identity as 'entrepreneurs'" - Shopify.

What are the 7 characteristics of entrepreneurs?

There are hundreds of thousands of books on just this subject, but some of the most common features of entrepreneurs are as follows: 

  • They are highly self-motivated. 
  • They understand deeply what they have to offer.
  • They are not scared to take risks. 
  • They know how to network effectively.
  • They have a high financial IQ. In other words, the understand the rules of the money game. But that doesn't mean they do what they do for money or wealth. 
  • They show a high degree of flexibility. 
  • Most importantly, they tend to very passionate about what they do.

7 celebrities that also happen to be tech entrepreneurs

So, without further ado, here are 7 celebrities who also happen to be tech entrepreneurs. Please note this list is far from exhaustive and in no particular order.

1. Jessica Alba is a tech entrepreneur

celebrity tech entrepreneurs jessica alba
Source: TechCrunch/Flickr

You might know Jessica Alba for her starring roles in "Idle Hands" and "Sin City", but there is another side to her. Did you also know that she is a pretty successful tech entrepreneur?

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She helped co-found The Honest Company back in 2012. This e-commerce company flogs baby care products, shampoos, conditioners, makeup, and household cleaners to millions of customers all around the world.

Alba founded the company with Brian Lee, and it has since taken the world by storm. It recently also raised around $75 million during its Series E of public funding. 

Not too shabby Alba!

2. Rainn Wilson has done alright with his tech startup

Rainn Wilson is another celebrity who has ventured into the tech startup business. Best known for his role in the American version of "The Office," Rainn also helped found the company SoulPancake.

"We create content, across various platforms, that explores life’s big questions, celebrates humanity, and champions creativity. and we do it with integrity, heart, and humor." - SoulPancake.

This LA-based media company has grown significantly in recent years and now boasts no less than 3 million subscribers on YouTube alone. The company also featured in the 2015 Fast Company's  “10 Most Innovative Companies in Video."

It also managed to follow that up by coming in at number 114 on Inc’s 5000. Pretty good going.

3. Will.i.am is also a tech entrepreneur

celebrity tech entrepreneurs will.i,am
Source: Bob Bekian/Flickr

Will.i.am, otherwise known as William Adam is probably best known for his role in The Black Eyed Peas. But he also has a lesser-known role as the founder of his tech company i.am+.

He founded the company back in 2012 as an e-commerce business but it has since pivoted into becoming a profitable B2B tech startup. It specializes in creating AI-powered chatbots to help provide customer services for their many diverse clients.

The company has been able to raise $117 million of which $89 million was collected in a recent round of public funding.  

4. Shawn Green is also making waves in the tech industry

Shawn Green, a Major League baseball player, is yet another celebrity with tech-entrepreneurship under his belt. Green helped found the company Greenfly which is a Santa Monica-based tech company. 

"Greenfly was founded in 2014 with a simple mission—to transform the way brands tell stories through their communities. Our leadership’s diverse pedigree spans professional sports, entertainment, technology, and global Fortune 500 companies." - Greenfly

They help develop and distribute a SaaS platform that helps their clients developed and share content.

5. Reese Witherspoon has also dabbled with buildings a business

celebrity entrepreneurs witherspoon
Source: Tatiana T/Flickr

Reese Witherspoon is another celebrity who has turned her hand to at starting a business. Best known for her role in "Legally Blonde", Witherspoon is also pretty talented off-screen.

Her company, Hello Sunshine, is helping to empower female authors to make a success of themselves. Witherspoon's company offers a new storytelling platform, including traditional media outlets, as well as books, social content, and audio.

"Founded by Reese Witherspoon, Hello Sunshine is a media company that puts women at the center of every story we create, celebrate and discover. We tell stories we love–from big to small, funny to complex–all shining a light on where women are now and helping them chart a new path forward." - Hello Sunshine.

6. Everything Jared Leto touches appears to turn to gold

celebrity tech entrepreneurs jared leto
Source: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Jared Leto might just be the present-day incarnation of King Midas. Best known for his acting and musical career as the lead singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars, he never seems to take a break. 

Leto helped found the LA-based company VyRT which provides an online streaming platform that also features social media networking and e-commerce. He also happens to one of a number of celebrity tech investors with investments including other LA companies like Headspace and Surf Air. 

7. How could we forget Dr. Dre?

And last, but by no means least, we really need to talk about Dr. Dre. After leading a highly successful rapping career during the 1990s, Dr. Dre, or Andre Romelle Young, co-founded the highly successful earphone manufacturer Beats by Dr. Dre.

These superficially goofy looking headphones really took off making Dr. Dre's startup very successful. By 2011, Beats became a monster in the market with somewhere in the region of 64% of the high-end headphone market. 

An absolutely incredible journey. 

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