By Erin Kennedy


CHICAGO (CBS) — A hot new tech company called Cameo is the only Chicago firm to make LinkedIn’s 2019 “Top Startups” list, and they’re hiring.

Cameo allows consumers to pay celebrities to give shoutouts to friends and family.

Talk about meeting a need. In our celebrity-obsessed culture, the question is: is it more fun to work at Cameo, or be a customer?

Cassie Cappuccio, who does content marketing at Cameo, got a taste of both after she was hired.

“It was Jersey Housewife. I totally fangirled over it,” she said.

Here’s how Cameo works. Let’s say you have a friend who’s a huge fan of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. For $275, you can ask Bethenny Frankel to read and record a 250-character script. Frankel either accepts or declines.

“We were trying to think, ‘How do you create a remote selfie?’” Cameo CEO Steven Galanis said. “The best way to do that would be to get a personalized video message from somebody.”

Galanis founded Cameo in 2017. Since then, his Chicago-based company has grown from six employees to almost 150. They’re hiring in Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Australia, and Argentina.

The business model makes a lot of sense to investors.

“The value brought for the talent is that the fans are paying to make them more popular,” Galanis said. “Having a huge social following is big, and Cameo really helps them build their social following in a brand-positive way.”

Earlier this month, LinkedIn added Cameo to its list of Top Startups, a ranking of the hottest businesses based on employee growth, job seeker interest, and member engagement.

Just imagine the allure of hiring Bam Margera of Jackass fame to tell your boss you quit.

Talk about a unique place to work.

“I love it. Like I said, I’m always learning, and I think it’s a really cool space in terms of everybody is so young and willing to try new things,” Cappuccio said.

“I would not trade jobs with anyone in the entire world for any amount of money,” Galanis said.

Cameo has fulfilled 350,000 requests from more than 20,000 celebrities, ranging from actors and musicians to athletes and comedians.

In case you’re wondering, talent set their own price.

The most-booked celebrity is Vine star Evan Breen, for $25.

Snoop Dogg has made the most money through Cameo.

The most expensive celebrity is Caitlyn Jenner, who charges $2,500 a pop.

The average Cameo will run you about $50.

Cameo is currently looking to fill about 20 positions at their headquarters in the West Loop.