David Zalik came to the United States at age 3. His family had migrated from Israel in order to follow his father’s job. When Zalik entered school, his teachers quickly discovered that they were dealing with a truly exceptional student. Zalik proved to be a child prodigy, blazing through elementary and middle school and skipping grade after grade along the way. By the time he was 12, he had sufficient credits to graduate from high school. He was invited to attend Auburn University later that year.
An entrepreneur is born
Zalik enjoyed his first year of university studies. But by the middle of his second year, he was growing bored with the stifling academic environment. At the age of just 14, Zalik dropped out of college in order to found his first company, computer manufacturer MicroTech.
He worked hard at the business. And eventually, nine years later, he was able to sell the company for $5 million. Zalik then took that money and plowed it into Atlanta-area commercial real estate where he was again able to enjoy a high degree of success. Within just a few years, he had driven his net worth up to $12 million through astute real estate investments.
In the meantime, Zalik founded a number of tech startups. One of those would come to be called GreenSky, a financial technology company that matches lenders with borrowers on an instant basis to allow big-ticket purchases of retail goods and services. It would be with GreenSky Credit where Zalik would finally hit the true bigtime.
GreenSky was founded in 2006. Zalik had put up his entire real estate empire as collateral against a loan in order to launch the company. At the time, it looked like a risky proposition. But Zalik knew exactly what he was doing.
Today, GreenSky is worth an estimated $5 billion. The company is doing billions of dollars each year in new loans and is considering an IPO, which some analysts have stated may be the most valuable of its kind in the history of the fintech space. Under Zalik’s continued leadership, GreenSky has a bright future.