Have you ever had a dream that you thought you could pursue if only you had the financial means? A new company called Upstart was founded by a team of former Google employees to help you follow that dream by raising funds online. According to the team: "We noticed that too many talented college grads take jobs they’re not excited about, rather than following their true passion. Whether constrained by debt or just comforted by traditional career options, too many students take the perceived ‘safe path' ... whether you’re an engineer, artist, financial wizard or entrepreneur --- we believe the most important startup is you."
Helping People Do What They're Meant to Do
Essentially, Upstart is a place to profile your dream, set a financial goal and pitch your idea to backers. In exchange, you repay backers a portion of your future earnings which is directly proportionate to how much you earn. Create an online profile that promotes your idea and lets backers know why you're a worthwhile investment, and set the goal for how much money you want to raise, and Upstart will calculate how much you can raise per one percent of your income. Once you are funded, you enter into a contract with your backers where you share a small percent of your income with them for up to 10 years. Payments are capped at 14.99 percent annually, regardless of how successful you are, and you have the option to buy out of your contract early. You can defer payments in years you make less than $30,000 or are a full-time student by adding a year to the end of your contract for up to five years. It's that simple, and the connections you form with your backers can prove invaluable, as they can become mentors and resources for information as well as funds.
"Upstart backers aren’t passive investors, but active participants in the development of a rewarding career." They are investing in people they believe in because they want to be a part of something important. Upstart can help you fund virtually anything, from an artistic endeavor to an entrepreneurial venture or pursuing your education.
Upstart for Teachers
While Upstart is a company for all types of innovative thinkers, there are some very particular ways it can work for teachers or aspiring teachers. Pursuing an advanced degree, such as a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) or a Master of Education (M.Ed) is an excellent idea for all teachers looking to expand their knowledge of education and secure a higher salary. However, funding your education can be difficult. Even if you receive a scholarship or financial aid, there are still the additional costs of living expenses and textbooks.
Upstart is a great way to show others that you are serious about education and encourage them to help you reach your goal by investing in your education. You can even find backers to help you pay for a professional development opportunity or additional certification. Teaching abroad, for example, is an amazing opportunity that many aspiring teachers pursue for a year before beginning their full-time career.
Finding backers on Upstart can help you realize almost all of your dreams for becoming a great teacher!