The 19-Year-Old Wiz Kid Who Turned Down Apple Has Nabbed Backing From A Hollywood Star


Fresco News founder John Meyer

John Meyer

Fresco News founder John Meyer

A few months ago, we brought you the story of 19-year-old John Meyer, a teen programmer so successful, he dropped out of a prestigious university computer-science program, and turned down a chance to work at Apple, to bootstrap his tech startup, Fresco News.


We caught up with Meyer again and learned that since that decision, things have been wild for him.

His startup, Fresco News, crowdsources breaking news and photos from Twitter, Instagram and other social media.

Fresco finds breaking news, verifies it, and gets the license to publish relevant images in less than 5 minutes.

For instance, when a gunman opened fire at the Florida State University outside the library late last month, within a few minutes Fresco found and posted images from people at the school.


For instance, it posted a shot of a SWAT team entering the library:

And this shot of the makeshift barricades students in other parts of the school created while they were in lockdown.

"The FSU shooting, occurring early in the morning, was the first real test case of the platform," Meyer told us. "We were the first organization to get breaking news from students taking photos."

This event, and the article that appeared about Meyer in Business Insider, has gained Meyer some interesting attention.

He's been noticed by more big news companies, some of whom are considering running trials of his technology, such as the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch, CNN, ABC, AJ+ (the social media outreach for Al Jazeera).


Meyer now employs four people, he tells us.

Most interestingly, he is currently in the final negotiations of signing an angel investor who we've agreed to not to reveal. This is a surprisingly high-profile performer from L.A. (a household name), according to documents viewed by Business Insider. This would be the first tech company investment for this performer, who has millions of social media followers and will join the board and buy a small stake.

This deal also came out of the blue. The investor read about Meyer, called him on the phone and hit it off. After a quick trip to L.A., Meyer had a new partner.

He's also about to close on an investment from a VC, that he describes as "a small stake."

As we previously reported, Meyer is funding this startup himself, mostly through his work via his app-building business, TapMedia, responsible for one of the first iPhone flashlight apps.


Meyer, who won't turn 20 until January, hasn't ruled going back to college some day, but for now, help is coming out of the woodwork to make his startup dreams a reality.