Are Celebrity Entrepreneurs the New Celebrity Chefs?
The angel financiers from Oxygen's Quit Your Day Job applaud Hollywood's crossover into business.
A good idea is never a bad thing — and that concept will certainly be put to the test on Oxygen's newest series, Quit Your Day Job. The show follows four angel financiers (tech mogul Randi Zuckerberg, consumer products tycoon Ido Leffler, start-up advocate Sarah Prevette, and marketing expert Lauren Maillian) who aim to make a wannabe mogul's dreams come true. The catch? They must unanimously agree that the business those upstarts are pitching is a good idea before throwing any paper their way.
While the show focuses on unknown folks with yet-to-be launched products, there is definitely a brand of celebrity that's emerged in the world of entrepreneurs. And, these days, being a celebrity mogul is about more than just attaching your name to a product. "I think there is one thing we're starting to see, where you're seeing celebrities who don't just want to be involved with something for the check that they get," Ido told The Daily Dish. "They want to be involved in something because they truly care about what that business is about. One thing that celebrity can bring to a company is incredible exposure and it can also bring to it an amazing fan base and support base to come to it and you generally see the markets shifted significantly that these people are actually looking for the celebrities are looking for things that they feel they can engage with, that it's not just a billboard."
According to Lauren, tech investor Ashton Kutcher, GOOP curator Gwyneth Paltrow, and fashion and TV mogul Tyra Banks have all done an impressive job of crossing over. And she's been particularly floored by one talk show host's ability to see the opportunity in many different types of opportunities. (And, no she doesn't mean Oprah Winfrey.) "I will say, I give a lot of kudos to Steve Harvey. Going from radio to TV to a line of suits and ties, and then someone just told me he has a line of bacon... I applaud him," Lauren said. "Clearly he's just going after the opportunities, but I'm applauding him. I think what Steve Harvey has done is really, really amazing to be able to [move from] radio to TV and parlay that into entrepreneurship and use his voice in that way. The people that are able to take their influence and turn it into [something] — I think the hardest thing to do is monetize on popularity for anybody. I think the people that are able to do that are quite impressive as entrepreneurs."
Randi applauds women like Foodstirs founder Sarah Michelle Gellar and HelloGiggles creator Zooey Deschanel for creating brands that are positive spaces for women and families. Though, she says the line between celebrity entrepreneur and just plain entrepreneur is definitely blurred. "It's exciting. I mean first of all, I almost feel like you don't have to say celebrity entrepreneurs now because entrepreneurs are the new celebrity chef. I feel like almost everyone knows the Snapchat founder [Evan Spiegel]. He's like a household name," she said. "It's really fun seeing these worlds of Hollywood and Silicon Valley coming together."
Get more business advice and insights when Quit Your Day Job premieres Wednesday, March 30 at 10/9c on Oxygen, with a special airing on Bravo that same night and time. Get to know the investors a little better, below.