What would you do if you got $1,000? Go for a splurge at the mall, pay off old debts? Or maybe you’d finally set up that rainy day fund that you’ve heard is so important. And if you were a young teenager, you’d probably blow it on video games and electronics (if your parents let you). But 15-year-old Erik Finnman used his grandmothers gift to invest in Bitcoin, and ended up with a $100,000 payday because of it.
“Some people can’t comprehend how a 15-year-old could do something like this,” Finman told Mashable. “What a lot of people don’t understand, young or old, is that you can create anything you want with no barrier to entry on the Internet.”
But wait, aren’t bitcoins expensive?
Like, $1,000USD for each coin expensive? According to Bitcoin Charts, the market price for a bitcoin then was in the single digits, and with that much money to spend, he made one heck of an investment.
It was 2012, before Bitcoin was mainstream, back when it was rare and fairly new and few people had heard of it. At thirteen, Erik converted his money into an online currency that he didn’t know would take off–and got lucky. And with that $100K, he used it to launch his own startup company, Botangle.com.
Related: The Mystery of Bitcoin Revealed: Myth, Hype & The Truth Behind It All
The Birth of Botangle.com
Botangle.com is an online tutoring service which provides lessons in everything from mathematics to dance via video chat. It currently has more than 20 staffers and 100 active users, and those users can have one-on-one training with tutors all over the world. What was Erik’s inspiration?
“I read ‘Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed’ by Alexis Ohanian and it taught me that I could do anything thrugh the Internet,” he said. “I wanted to use the beauty of the open and free web so people like myself can get access to a great learning experience; whether they’re from rural Idaho, New York or even Africa.”
As someone from a small town with limited resources in and out of school, I honestly believe Botangle will be a hit. Students everywhere, from rural towns to big cities deserve quality and variety in their education. This effort is doing everything Finnman wants it to do–bridge the gap to great learning for all.
No College For This Entrepreneur
For years, the value of a college education has been questioned. Is it worth it, when post-grad jobs are so few and far between? When the traditional education model has evolved so much over time? For Erik Finnman, a college education isn’t on his agenda. If he makes a million dollars before he turns 18, he promised to his parents, then he wont have to.
And who’s to say he needs to? He’s been teaching kids in his neighborhood about robotics since he was 9 years old!