Supporting any startup, whether it be by testing a product or with financial support can be risky. It can also be extremely lucrative. You could potentially be the first person to see the next great tech innovation getting yourself in on the ground floor before everyone else does. There is also the opportunity to invest in a company and the rewards from that could be even greater.

Startups need capital to work with. Many get off the ground either by borrowing from a bank or in more modern times via crowdfunding with the promise of being the first people to see a new product or something like that. Should the company be successful enough after that there is the option of offering shares of the company to the public to be sold on the stock market. These Initial Public Offerings can be a huge deal, just look at what happened when Google or Facebook went public. Not every company is so fortunate and slides under the radar but even then some hit it big. One such company was Snapchat.

Snapchat, the image and multimedia messaging mobile application, went public in 2011. A parent of two children at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California saw his two children using the app. He was well positioned to invest as a partner at a local investment firm and set up a meeting with the founders of Snapchat who at the time were working out of their Stanford University dorm room. He left impressed and his firm invested nearly half a million dollars in the company and he convinced the school to invest $15,000 of their own money.

That $15,000 investment “matured” in 2017 and the school cashed out ⅔ of its shares for a cool $24 million. Tuition at Saint Francis is $17,000 per year and the school was looking for ways to make an education there more affordable for the community. Mission accomplished it seems with plenty left over.

Chances are you do not have half a million dollars to invest but in this case a much smaller sum along with time reaped huge dividends. As with any new technology or venture time and patience are needed and if they are applied correctly the benefits can be monumental. How else can you turn $15,000 into $24,000,000? Legally anyway.

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