9 Celebrities Who Are Making Their Mark On The Tech Industry

You'd be surprised who's behind your favorite app.

One great idea can change the world, but sometimes the funding and resources to bring that idea to life are hard to come by. Luckily, some startups are able to grow their business with the help from the rich and powerful. Celebrity investors have changed the startup game — especially where tech is concerned. 

While celebrity-endorsed brands come a dime a dozen, celebrity investments are a bit more interesting. It's not just fashion brands and fitness teas, some of your famous favs are actually really into what's happening in the tech world. You'd be surprised at the number of celebrity tech geeks out there. With so many apps and digital platforms popping up everywhere, it's hard to tell which ones will last. Celebrity technology investors not only use their financial backing to sustain the goal of a startup but also their influence. Celebrity tech entrepreneurs don't limit their interests to investing. Some even come up with their own creations. Celebrity apps such as Kim Kardashian's Hollywood-inspired game and Jay-Z's streaming service Tidal, are just a few of the many celebrity-founded tech businesses out there. 

Whether the tech startups are created to empower, make life a bit easier, or just offer a new form of entertainment, there's a little something for everyone. Since the digital world is such an intangible space, the possibilities are literally endless. Read on to learn how celebrity technology entrepreneurs are making moves in the tech industry right now.  

Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams is pretty vocal when it comes to politics and social issues, so it's no surprise he took his activism into the tech space. The Grey's Anatomy star has spoken out about the severe lack of diversity in Silicon Valley — much of the industry is saturated with White men, leaving little to no space for marginalized communities, particularly people of color. To help move social media and technology forward, Williams has created Ebroji and BLeBRiTY, apps that celebrate, represent, and uplift Black culture. 

Kim Kardashian-West

Kim Kardashian-West is definitely one of the most famous leaders in social media. Using technology as her main business tool, the reality star has helped make accessible beauty, fashion, and all things "lifestyle" with just a click of a Like button. But beyond her Instagram account, Kardashian is a legitimate tech investor with successful innovations under her belt. There's her ever-popular mobile game Kim Kardashian Hollywood, which she launched in 2014, and back in 2009, she founded pioneering online fashion subscription service ShoeDazzle

Robert Downey Jr.

Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. may have something in common with his fictional character Tony Stark. The actor is an avid tech lover who has backed many creative and helpful startups such as Loot Crate, a gamer subscription box service; MasterClass, an interactive classroom featuring an array of topics taught by masters of their craft; and most recently, Ethos, a life insurance startup

Venus Williams

Venus Williams has inspired women around the world with her athleticism and champion spirit, but the tennis superstar is taking that inspiration a step further through one of her most notable investments — Ellevest. The tech startup was designed to empower women to invest and reach their greatest financial goals. As an advocate for women's rights and equal pay, Williams explained that it was her passion for those causes that inspired her to back Ellevest. 

Ashton Kutcher

You can't talk celebrity investments without mentioning Ashton Kutcher. The actor and tech entrepreneur has taken startup culture by storm. In his article for Atrium, Kutcher explained his love for investing, saying, "I'm not proactively funding at different stages. I'm proactively funding brilliant people trying to solve hard problems." Kutcher is behind some of the most popular apps we use today: Airbnb, Box, and Skype (to name a few). 

Jay-Z

Jay-Z is not a businessman, he's a business, man! It's been more than a decade since that iconic verse, but the rap mogul has kept proving its sentiments true. When he isn't performing sold-out shows, Jay-Z is putting his hand in some rising startups. He even launched his own venture capital firm Arrive to not only help fund startups but also offer branding support. Beyond that, Jay-Z has put money into major companies such as Uber and JetSmarter. And, of course, he has his own music streaming service, Tidal

Tyra Banks

Supermodel, TV mogul, and smize guru Tyra Banks is no stranger to the tech investment world. Through her own investment firm, Fierce Capital, Banks is helping progress the beauty, fashion, and business world with cool startups — particularly ones founded or led by women. One of her most noteworthy investments is The Muse, a digital platform that offers career-building tools and advice. 

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio is not only known for his award-winning onscreen performances but also his love for tech investments. The actor has invested in various industries including food, home, and even virtual reality. DiCaprio recently put money into MindMaze, a Swiss startup that is pioneering virtual reality technologies. According to Fortune, DiCaprio's main interest in this type of innovation is to see where it will take media and entertainment. (We're interested too!)

Ryan Seacrest

Radio host, TV personality, producer, all-around media mogul — is there anything Ryan Seacrest doesn't do? Apparently, not. Seacrest is also mastering the art of investment in the tech world. With wellness becoming such a huge factor in our world right now, it makes sense to keep an eye on startups who are in that field. Seacrest joined fellow celebrities Jessica Alba and Jared Leto in backing popular meditation app Headspace

Cover image: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com | Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

Editor's Note: Ashton Kutcher is a co-founder of A Plus.

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