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

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Local

Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…

Local

NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…

Television

10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."

Movies

Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…

Movies

Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…

Books

Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.

NFL

Eli Manning finally feeling good in West Coast…

The Giants have very little time before their next game, but they still took a moment to relish the team’s biggest offensive outburst since Week 1 of 2013.

College

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

NFL

Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…

Wellbeing

Lacking new ideas, Apple Watch disappoints health experts

Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when the Apple Watch was announced. But health care professionals and…

Style

Sarah Doukas on social media, models and diversity

The maker of Kate Moss tells Metro how social media can drive the diversity change in the fashion industry.

Education

Here are this year's most creative college application…

The college application essay is one of the only times during the admissions process where a student can showcase his or her personality. While many…

Style

Nicola Formichetti on Diesel, the digital revolution and…

The artistic director of fashion label Diesel – and stylist for Lady Gaga – is creating human connection through social media.