Companies that pay for your passion

The Internet has long been an incubator for brilliant ideas where entire industries have been revolutionized. With celebrities receiving overwhelming support for their passion projects, major companies are trying to capture some of that buzz by launching campaigns to give creative minds the capital to have their dreams come to life.

American Express #PassionProject 

Every new promotion has a hashtag these days. Here it make sense, since American Express is looking to generate social media excitement through a newly-launched YouTube channel that lets users to upload a video detailing the projects that are close to their hearts. Until the end of the year, American Express will select ten winners to receive a $2,000 award that will help them start their passion projects. To get the YouTube channel off the ground, American Express has enlisted Scott Harrison, founder of charity: water, and Rebecca Lando, the author of The Working Class Foodies, to create the first videos on the channel — showcasing how their projects changed the game.

Scion Motivate

We don’t usually associate car companies with entrepreneurial contests, but Scion stepped up with an offer that young idealists couldn’t afford to pass up. In March, the company invited 50 entrepreneurs to Los Angles for its Motivate event. Ten winners took home one year of professional mentoring, $10,000 t0 go to the project and a brand-new Scion. Not a bad first company car.

Among the projects funded: a hiking gear company, a theater company specializing in oversized masks and a Nashville music company that provides youth musicians free access to instruments.

Pepsi Refresh Project

Back before the crowdfunding boom took off, way back in 2010, Pepsi set out to fund thousands of projects by allowing people to vote online for the best ideas. Coke drinkers might not have noticed the massive advertising effort Pepsi put forth, and despite the company canning the project, it was successful in funding a number of green initiatives – proving that soda isn’t all that bad for you.

Follow Chris Longo on Twitter @east_coastbias


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.