Sometimes being famous for one thing is not enough. Sometimes you want people to see how brilliant you and your ideas are, so what do you do? You start a company.
This is a story of these celebrities – Actors, musicians, comedians, hosts, basketball players, or just… I don’t know, famous for something.
They had an idea, they had the ambition, and sure they had the money and they decided to open their own startup company. Make it big. Become the next Facebook.
Some of them failed, some of them succeeded, and one of them became mega-rich after his startup was sold to Apple.
So, let’s start with the obvious one (and most famous one) hinted above:
Edward Norton – CrowdRise
CrowdRise, co-founded in 2010 by the actor Edward Norton (American History X, Fight Club, etc) and his wife Shauna Robertson along with the entrepreneur Robert Wolfe is one of those startups mainly based on their founders’ wealth to do good, very much like Thorn. CrowdRise is a crowdfunding platform for raising money for charity, good causes, and making the world a better place. Anyone who joins CrowdRise can create a fundraiser for any non-selfish cause, and it was used for getting donating to the Boston Marathon, New York City Marathon, American Cancer Society, UNICEF, and more. Simply last week Edward Norton himself promoted a fundraiser for the people in Aleppo, Syria.
Since it launched, CrowdRise raised from its 1 million users, over $500 million for nonprofit organizations and charities and it was named one of the “Top 25 Best Global Philanthropists” by Barron’s. With all the success, simply a week ago CrowdRise was acquired by its rival GoFundMe, and together they’ll keep raising money.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – hitRECord
I like Joseph Gorden-Levitt (JGL from now on), he had amazing appearances on 500 Days of Summer, Brick, Looper, The Dark Knight Rises, and plenty of others, and he gives you another good reason to like him with the startup hitRECord he founded without help from anyone else in 2004. HitRecord is an open-collaborative production company where anyone can contribute to productions his own skill set whether it’s screenwriting, acting, graphic design, photography, animation, editing, and more. Afterward, when the product is made and makes money, the contributor gets paid. It’s like a crowdfunding platform where you pay with your talent instead of your money, and it’s a great idea. Among their projects, you can find hitRECord’s Program with the same name that lasted 2 seasons between 2014-2015 and even won an Emmy for it.
Also, if you like JGL, you’d be happy to know that he’s starring in all the tutorial videos on the website. Check it out.
Neil Young – Ponomusic
Although Neil Young recently celebrated 71, seems like he’s not going to rest (However I would rather keep my mouth shut about the losses of 2016). After releasing dozens of albums since its first one in 1969, he hasn’t stopped making music, and in 2014 he founded his own music-related company. PonoMusic sells audio players and recordings for people who love listening to music in high quality, very much like in the recording studio. Trust Neil Young about it, he has 50 years of experience. So, They launched a music service that streams music in its highest quality, FLAC, and a compatible portable media player called Pono that can play it in the highest quality, and it was all crowdfunded with Kickstarter in 2014. They got $6.2 million from backers and they officially launched in 2015. In July, PonoMusic had to close down their service temporarily because their content partner Omnifone was acquired by another company, yet as Neil Young once sang, “Hey, my, Rock N Roll can never die”.
Andy Samberg – Canary Hop
The actor and comedian Andy Samberg well known for his appearances on SNL, Brooklyn 99 and The Lonely Island trio also tried his karma back in 2012 when he co-founded (Or just join in) the travel startup Canary Hop. It was a marketplace for activities, tours, lessons, and experiences, not something that we’ve never seen before, however, it made a lot of buzz since Andy Samberg was a part of it. Hell, he even released a cool video ad (That’s what he’s good at) to promote his company. Well, that didn’t go well. Canary Hop managed to raise only $600,000 and had to close down in 2014.
John Legend – Bungalow Clothing
Correct, that’s another clothing company, yet with an interesting twist. Bungalow Clothing was co-founded by the R&B singer-songwriter and nine-times Grammy award winner John Legend (“All of Me”) and others: Jon Snyder, Sergey Sundukovskiy, and Meital Bronstein. The company, founded in 2013, is a web platform dedicated to women who dig fashion and offers them online personal styling services. Bungalow Clothing’s idea is simple – Choose your style, wait for your curated dressing room to show up at your doorstep, and keep only the clothes you loved. They are working with many fashion designers to give you versatile and stylish results. Until now, Bungalow Clothing raised over $1 million in 3 rounds from many investors, yet their idea might make a lot of money in the future.
Well, very much like in the real startup world, not everything is glamorous, and most of startups fail, even if you are a celebrity.