Forbes recently published Lauren Gensler’s article “Handyman’s Helper: How GreenSky’s David Zalik Skipped High School on his Way to Becoming a Billionaire”. The article discusses the CEO and now billionaire’s path to entrepreneurship.
GreenSky Credit’s CEO and co-founder, David Zalik, moved to the U.S. from Israel when he was four years old. Though he performed brilliantly on his standardized tests, receiving incredibly high scores, he decided the conventional path simply wasn’t for him. Zalik decided to skip high school and go right to college. Auburn invited him to take classes when he was only twelve years old. Luckily, his father worked at Auburn University, so Zalik could simply ride his bike to campus. However, he quickly became distracted by his computer assembly company, MicroTech, and decided to drop out of college at a younger age than most high school graduates. At only fourteen, David Zalik was not only a college dropout, but he was also an entrepreneur.
He sold MicroTech for a few million dollars at the ripe age of 22 when he decided to move to Atlanta. After investing in real estate, he began heling companies create web and mobile apps for companies. It was his consulting experience that led him to create GreenSky Credit. GreenSky Credit was founded in 2006 in Atlanta.
Zalik refused to do things in the typically Silicon Valley startup way. Zalik rarely spoke to the press, he never speaks at the conferences he is invited to, and he refused to raise outside capital for nearly ten years. Instead, Zalik decided to borrow heavily himself in order to launch the company. GreenSky Credit’s CEO has led the company to grow to more than 900 employees, opening call centers in Cincinnati and Kentucky. GreenSky Credit has also facilitated more than $5 billion in loans and hopes to reach $20 billion by 2020.
The company has been listed as one of the top three financial technology companies in the country by CB Insights, a machine intelligence platform that analyzes startups, private company financing, and angel investments. CB Insights listed GreenSky Credit as second only to Stripe and SoFI