Nick Cannon: The host of “America’s Got Talent” moonlights as chief creative officer at RadioShack. His NCredible Entertainment brand features headphones from Monster, a talent search app intent on uncovering new celebrities, and accessories such as gear backpacks and even rocket copters. He was recently named a brand ambassador for bBooth, a push-to-screen messaging and communications provider.
Lady Gaga: The pop star backed start-up Backplane, a social-media platform born from her own website, Little- Monsters, when she couldn’t find a digital medium to suit her needs. She currently has an ongoing relationship with Intel (her Bowie tribute at the Grammys was a spotlight for Intel’s imaging technology) and in the past has designed cameras for Polaroid and headphones for Monster.
Jessica Alba: She founded The Honest Company, an online shopping site that Forbes recently valued at a $1 billion, which sends parents monthly deliveries of eco-friendly baby products. “I felt like my needs weren’t being met as a modern person,” Alba, mom to daughters Honor and Haven, told Forbes. Curating health-focused, nontoxic baby products proved to be a winning business model.
Kim Kardashian: Her free iOS mobile app game, “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” brought in north of $100 million since it launched in 2014, when Adweek selected it as the year’s Hottest Mobile Game in its annual Hot List. In addition to being a gaming mogul, Kardashian launched Shoedazzle, a subscription online site for shoe shopping (of course ...) that has rung up more than 10 million members since its inception.
Ashton Kutcher: Actor, tech investor and producer Kutcher created a venture fund, A-Grade Investments, that has invested in multiple start-up tech companies, including Spotify, Airbnb, Foursquare, Fab, Uber, Dwolla and Path. Kutcher is also co-founder of Katalyst, a media company creating original content for digital media, television and film. Kutcher was the first Twitter user to obtain 1 million followers, beating out CNN in a highly publicized race.
Leonardo DiCaprio: DiCaprio has invested in numerous tech start-ups including Galaxia, a social-media app; Zuli, a marketer of energy-saving smart plugs; and Qloo, a platform that markets consumer preference data for major brands like Twitter and Pepsi. His Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation funds various tech-driven environmental initiatives including Digital Democracy, which supports communities in Peru, Guyana, Ecuador and Mexico in utilizing tools for the conservation of bio-diverse hot spots affected by climate change.
Blake Lively: The “Gossip Girl” star and wife of Ryan Reynolds launched Preserve, an e-commerce site devoted to “the stories and creations of artisans” (with consistently high-end prices.) Lively has been impressed by the support she has received from her tech peers. “People who could be competitors are actually saying to me, ‘This is a mistake I made and this is how you can do it better. Meet my technology officer who can teach you how to build your technology platform.’ ”
Will.i.am: The Black Eyed Peas front man began his foray into the tech world after he attended and performed at a FIRST robotics competition at the Southern New Hampshire University. In recent years he was named head of creative innovation at Intel, and he has advised them on laptop and tablet designs. On his own, he has launched a voice-activated smart watch named Dial that runs on an operating system called AneedA.
Dr. Dre: The first rapper billionaire didn’t make his fortune on his rhymes. His company, Beats By Dre, founded with music producer Jimmy Iovine, caused a high-end headphones revolution. Within four years of launching its first product, the company had captured more than 60 percent of the $100-plus headphones market. In 2014 Apple paid a cool $3 billion to acquire it.
Bono: The Irish rock icon co-founded Elevation Partners, an investment agency that has invested in Yelp, Facebook and Dropbox. While its portfolio has been extremely successful, making millions, Bono has had a close relationship with the founders of Dropbox, having met them when they were working on a music app for Facebook. As a philanthropist, Bono has extolled the virtues of technology in the battle to end poverty.