By the time David Zalik got to high school at the age of just 10, it had become clear to everyone helping the young student along that they were dealing with a bona fide child prodigy. Zalik was able to blaze through his high-school studies, graduating at the ripe old age of 12. From there, he was invited to Auburn University where he began studying computer science.
But after just two years of college life, the gifted young entrepreneur decided that he had seen enough of academia. He set out on his own, founding his first tech company at the age of 14. The company, called MicroTech, would become a moderately successful aftermarket computer maker. Zalik worked hard at his first company even as the successful CEO often needed to get cosigners and have other drive him around due to his young age.
By the age of 22, MicroTech had grown into a million-dollar company. Zalik received an offer to sell, and he took it. It netted him $5 million.
Big risks and big rewards
Zalik would go on to parlay that early success into an eventual fortune of $12 million by the time he was in his early 30s. It was then that he took the decision to risk every cent he had on the creation of his own fintech company, GreenSky Credit. Unfortunately for Zalik, the reason that he needed to risk his entire net worth on the fortunes of GreenSky Credit was due to the fact that the idea seemed so radical that no one wanted to invest or loan him the funds. If it would have failed, Zalik would have lost everything.
But GreenSky Credit would quickly prove its naysayers very wrong. The company started out by making large point-of-sale loans for home improvement projects. These instant loans were made available to prime borrowers. But they came on such great terms that they instantly proved to be highly popular, with very few home improvement customers being able to refuse GreenSky Credit offers.
Today, GreenSky has more than 17,000 retailers pitching its loans, and the company is doing more than $4 billion per year in loan origination.