Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Celebrities And Technology

Whether it's the inner gadget geek, the urge to start a company, an interest in a quick-flip investment, a hope to be an hip early adopter, or just an interest in schmoozing with the next Ev Williams, celebrities seem to have a strong attraction to tech.

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal joined Twitter in November 2008 and helped draw mainstream users to the service. He also used web video service, drawing massive traffic to that website. He still records spots regularly on video iPhone app Tout.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga invested in Backplane, a social networking start-up, along with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt's Tomorrow Ventures.

Will. of the Black Eyed Peas in January was named director of creative innovation at chip giant Intel. (What that means exactly is unclear.) His geek cred was solidified in December 2010 when he wrote and performed a song about cloud computing for at CEO Marc Benioff's keynote.

Curt Schilling

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is a founder of gaming start-up 38 Studios.

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake is an investor in companies including Stipple, a photo advertising start-up, and Miso Media, a music education start-up.

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian is a co-founder of online subscription shoe company, which has reportedly raised $60 million in total venture financing. The founder of the company is Brian Lee, a serial entrepreneur whose first company, LegalZoom is expected to go public soon.

Tim Ferris

Bestselling author Tim Ferris (The 4-Hour Workweek) has also been an active angel investor in tech start-ups. His investments include Twitter,, DailyBurn and SimpleGeo. He's also an advisor for companies including Evernote, StumbleUpon and Uber.


Chamillionaire has become a regular at Silicon Valley tech conferences, where he says he wants to learn more about how new technology can affect the music industry. Most recently he attended the July 29 TechCrunch Crunchup at AOL in Palo Alto, Calif. He also has been a judge at a TechCrunch start-up conference.

MC Hammer

MC Hammer, a.k.a. rapper Stanley Kirk Burrell has been a frequent guest at tech events in Silicon Valley with the likes of Ron Conway. Hammer also was an advisor to start-up Hammer here is seated with Conway in the audience during a town hall meeting with President Barack Obama, Wednesday, April 20, 2011, at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher is better known for his acting career. But he has invested in tech companies including Skype, Airbnb, Likealittle and Milk. He recently started a tech investing fund called A Grade with Ron Burkle and Gary Oseary. Kutcher recently attended a Demo Day for incubator Y Combinator in Mountain View, Calif., drawing a crowd of wide-eyed entrepreneurs eager to talk to him.

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