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3 Celebrities Putting the “Star” in Startup

By Alannah Dragonetti

He revolutionized rap music, made his foray into fashion and pursued a number of other entrepreneurial endeavors.So no one was surprised last week, when news broke that multihyphenate mogul, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, is the latest celebrity to step into the startup world.

According to an official statement from Carter’s camp, his Arrive is the rare venture capital firm that offers fledgling startups business development and branding support in addition to financial.

GovPilot H to the Innovation! Jay Z is the latest celebrity to embrace the startup business model.

As a startup that helps local governments operate like startups, GovPilot is interested in stories of public figures using their money and influence to fund innovation. Presenting a list of celebrities putting the “star” in startup!

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio


GovPilot One of the world's most photographed men backed photo-sharing app, Mobli, in 2011.

Leo: women love him, men want to be him and post-2011, startups want him to believe in them. That year, the actor organized a $4 million investment in Mobli, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based developer, with a photo sharing app of the same name. Growing-up in Hollywood prepared DiCaprio for his role as Mobli’s branding and marketing advisor and provided him with an army of high profile contacts. Fellow actor and longtime DiCaprio friend, Tobey Maguire, pitched-in as did professional athletes, Lance Armstrong and Serena Williams. Fast forward to 2017. Mobli is an international brand that has raised over $90 million in funds.


  1. MC Hammer

    GovPilot Can't touch this comeback story! Stanley Kirk Burrell aka MC Hammer went from $13 million in debt to one of Silicon Valley's most trusted investors/advisers.

Hard to believe that Stanley Kirk Burrell, a quiet fixture in Silicon Valley for around 15 years, spent the early 1990s rapping and dancing in harem pants as stage persona, MC Hammer. But, as they say, truth is stranger than fiction. After mismanaging the money hits like, “You Can’t Touch This” generated, Burrell pulled himself out of an estimated $13 million in debt to become one of the tech world’s most sought-after startup adviser/investors. One of Burrell’s first consulting jobs was helping Tim Westergren prepare to pitch his radio app, Savage Beast, to music executives. Today, that app is called, Pandora. No word on whether the catchier name was wordsmith, Burrell’s suggestion.


  1. Jessica Alba

GovPilot From Sin City to Silicon Valley! Jessica Alba is the co-founder of a successful e-commerce startup.

Celebrities aren’t just funding brilliant ideas—they’re coming-up with them! Take Jessica Alba, for example. In 2011, the actress co-founded Honest Co., an e-commerce startup that develops and delivers personal care, baby and home cleaning products made from organic materials. Six years later, the Honest Co. is still going strong—it is currently valued at $1 billion.


The biggest names in Hollywood and hip hop see the value of an innovative, impactful work environment. GovPilot’s easy-to-configure digital forms, automated workflows and geographic information system (GIS)  map bring the benefits of the startup model to county and municipal governments across the country. Call 800.491.6732 and start to reap them!


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