Kathryn Lindsay
September 01, 2015 2:30 pm

High school is supposed to prepare you for real life. This high school prepares you to be a millionaire. Just ask some of its alumni, including the co-founders of Boxed, Blue Apron and Nature Box, arguably some of the most successful e-commerce startups in the biz. They’ll tell you all about their alma mater and no, this is isn’t an elite prep school in Connecticut or California. It’s J.P. Stevens, a public high school in New Jersey.

So what’s J.P. Stevens’ magic formula for churning out future millionaires? How did one school produce three such majorly-talented businessmen? While some schools judge popularity by your social group or your clothing, J.P. Stevens works a little differently. Hope King, another alum of the school, tells her side of the story on CNN Money:

The creators of these start-ups, Chieh Huang, Matt Salzberg, and Ken Chen, followed this rule to a T. They were valedictorians, student class presidents, as well as leaders in their respective clubs. But they don’t necessarily attribute this to their success.

“When we were in high school, the Internet was starting to explode,” Huang explains. “I can’t help but think that we’re just a function of the time we grew up in.

All modesty aside, they’ve certainly followed similar paths, which would suggest that the trick for success may just be a few universal, well-timed steps. For instance, they all attended J.P. Stevens, they all chose to pursue e-commerce, they started their ventures around the same time — and they all chose to focus their businesses on food.

Salzberg adds some good advice, saying, “If you really want to make an impact, you really want to transform people’s lives…you have to do something that other people can’t do.” Duly noted!

(Image via Shutterstock.)

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