A business professor says a "personal relationship" with a Silicon Valley venture capitalist is the only reason a California private Catholic high school managed to reap a $24 million windfall from an initial public offering of shares in Snap Inc.

Stephen Andriole, a professor of business, accountancy and information systems at the Villanova School of Business in Pennsylvania, says it's unlikely the story could have happened anywhere but Silicon Valley.

That's where a well-connected parent convinced a private school to buy $15,000 in shares in an interesting startup kids use to snap and send photos that disappear a few seconds after recipients look.

That parent, Barry Eggers, is a partner at Lightspeed Venture partners, the VC firm that invested in Snapchat in 2012 when the company was just getting started. He is also the head of the Saint Francis High School investment fund.