Shalom Life | August 03, 2014

The Members of Hollywood Who Invest in Startup Nation

Celebrities and musicians alike have been spending their money on businesses based out of Israel

By: Dyana So and Rachel Dinh, NoCamels

Published: June 10th, 2014 in Business » Israel

If you thought startup investments are just for tech geeks, think again. Celebrities the world over are looking to get in on the Startup Nation action. From Jay-Z to Ellen Degeneres and Leonardo Dicaprio, here are 10 celebs who know that Israel is the hottest place for innovation.

1. will.i.am


The founding member and rapper of The Black Eyed Peas recently came to Israel to introduce his latest smartwatch to a group of Israeli startups and angel investors. While in Israel, will.i.am (William Adams) also expressed interest in investing in several Israeli startups including Tonara, an interactive sheet music app and Wishi, a crowd-styling fashion app. The rapper also visited other up-and-coming startups like Guster and Fashioholic. When he’s not writing, producing or performing music, will.i.am works as director of creative innovation at Intel and develops his brand I.am+ that came out with the foto.sosho camera accessory for IPhone in December 2012.

2. Bar Refaeli


This Israeli-born bombshell and world-famous model is much more than a pretty face. In 2012, she co-founded Under.me, an online underwear retailer, along with fellow male model Dudi Balsar. Refaeli is also a prominent supporter of MyCheck, a mobile payment application, designed to allow restaurant-goers to pay their bills using their smartphones at any point during the meal. Refaeli even stars in the company’s hilarious commercial that you can watch here:

3. Leonardo DiCaprio


What does this Hollywood a-lister have in common with Serena Williams, Toby Macguire, and Lance Armstrong? He’s an investor in Mobli, the Israeli-originated social mobile photo and video sharing website. Together, these superstars have contributed approximately $6.5 million to this Instagram competitor, which allows users to broadcast their own visual media live feed with others, all from the comfort of their mobile devices. DiCaprio first discovered the Startup Nation during his five-year relationship with Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, who shares his passion for startup investing.

4. Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber Twitter Header002 Find Out Which Hollywood Celebs Are Betting Their Money On The Startup Nation

While he might be best known for hits like “Baby” and “As Long As You Love Me,” this international popstar is also an investor, including in Israeli startup Give2Together. Bieber used the unique platform, which leverages social media for cost-effective fundraising, to launch his latest “Music Makes It Better” campaign, an initiative of the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC to provide patients with art and music therapy. While it may come as a surprise, Bieber even appeared on the cover of “Forbes” magazine and was named a ‘Venture Capitalist’ for his investments in over 12 startups to date.

This article was first published on NoCamels - Israeli Innovation News and was re-posted with permission. To continue reading this article on the site, click here.

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