14 Hot Startups Funded by High-Profile Entrepreneurs

Find out which startups are attracting the attention -- and the dollars -- of some of the most high-profile entrepreneurs.

learn more about Kara Ohngren Prior

By Kara Ohngren Prior

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A creative mind never stops working. It's always searching for new ideas, new methods, and most importantly new inspiration.

Here are nine entrepreneurs who have found wealth and success with their own creative ideas and have used the money earned from their ventures to reinvest in new startups that they find inspiring. After all, what good is making a little bit of cash if you can’t use it to make even more? 

My HDTV Choice

Kevin Rose, investments: Foursquare and Fab

Rose is the founder of Digg, a user-submitted news site where readers "Digg" the stories they like most, promoting them to the site’s coveted front page.


Foursquare: Part of a $1.35 million, nine-participant angel investment in 2009 for the location sharing app.

Fab.com: Part of a $7.7 million, 18-participant series A funding round in 2011 for the design-centric online marketplace.  



Peter Thiel, investments: Facebook and Zynga

Thiel is the co-founder of Paypal, an online money sending site. 


Facebook: Part of an early $500,000, two-participant angel investment in 2004. Thiel’s stake in the social media giant is now estimated at $2.13 billion.

Zynga: Part of a $10 million, 10-particpant series A round of funding in 2008 for the creators of numerous hit Facebook games including Farmville. 

Related: PayPal Here Joins Mobile-Pay Apps Already There


Greylock VC

Reid Hoffman, investment: Shopkick

Hoffman is the co-founder of LinkedIn, an online professional networking site. 


Shopkick: Part of a $2.5 million, four-participant series A funding round in 2009, for the shopping deal app.

Related: Innovator: Shopkick's Cyriac Roeding Reinvents Retail

TechLife Ohio

Kevin Hartz, investments: Pinterest and Milo

Hartz is the co-founder of Eventbrite, an event promotion and ticket-sales website.


Pinterest: Part of a $500,000, 10-participant angel investment in 2010 and a $10 million, seven-participant series A funding round in 2011 for the virtual pin board site.

Milo: Part of a $950,000, seven-participant seed investment in 2008 and a $4 million, 17-participant series A round of funding in 2009, for the product comparison site.  


Eduardo Saverin, investment: ShopSavvy

Saverin is the former CFOand co-founder of Facebook , he has also invested in other early-stage tech startups Qwiki (an interactive video site) and Jumio (a mobile payments and identity verification company).


ShopSavvy: $7 million in venture round funding in 2011, for the comparison and mobile shopping app. 

Related: Inside the Competitive Mind of Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg (Infographic)

Haute Living

Chris Sacca, investments: Twitter, Kickstarter, and Instagram

Sacca is the founder of Lowercase Capital, a company that manages more than 50 early-stage tech startups.


Twitter: Part of a $5 million, nine-participant series A funding round in 2007, for the popular social media site. 

Kickstarter: Part of a $10 million, 18-participant venture round of funding in 2011, for the online fundrasing site.  

Instagram: Part of a $7 million, five-participant series A funding round in 2011, for the social photo-sharing app. 


Caterina Fake, investment: Esty

Fake is the co-founder of Flickr, a photo-sharing site. 


Etsy: Part of a $1 million, five-participant series A round of funding in  2006 for the online handmade marketplace.

Related: Caterina Fake on Stepping into the Unknown

Stat Spotting

Chris Dixon, investment: Voxer

Dixon is the co-founder of  Hunch, a recomendation-sharing app.


Voxer: Part of a $30 million, six-participant venture funding round in April 2012 for the walkie-talkie smartphone app.

Cubicle Escape Artist

Timothy Ferriss, investments: Twitter and Posterous

Ferriss is the author of The 4-Hour Workweek (Crown Archetype, 2007) and has created a huge following and is a sought-after public speaker. 


Twitter: Part of a $15 million, six-participant series B funding round in May 2008 for the micro-blogging site.

Posterous: Part of a $725,000, 11-participant angel investment in December 2008. Posterous has simplified blogging and now has more than 15 million monthly users.

Kara Ohngren Prior

Kara Ohngren is a freelance writer and part-time editor at YoungEntrepreneur. Her work has appeared in publications including Entrepreneur Magazine, The New York Times, MSNBC, The Huffington Post and Business Insider.

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