GreenSky Credit Shoots Up the Rankings to Unicorn Status

Established in 2006, GreenSky Credit is an Atlanta-based financial technology firm. The privately-owned company offers technology services for banks and merchants to provide loans for consumers. Through the company’s credit program, financing is federally-insured. The company has since aided in $10 billion plus in loans for home improvement through a network of 16,000 contractors.

David Zalik is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of GreenSky Credit. Serving as CEO since its establishment, he has founded three other companies and been awarded for entrepreneurship. He had founded his first company, Microtech Information Systems, at age 14 while attending college at Auburn University.

David Zalik has recently been featured in Forbes and Bloomberg. Bloomberg highlighted Green CreditSky’s business model of connecting merchants and consumers at the point of sale. GreenSky signs up merchants who sell big valued items such as home improvement and furniture. Consumers average a 760 FICO score and are taking out loans out of convenience instead of necessity. Forbes expanded on GreenSky Credit’s success by elaborating on how the company profits on both ends of the deal with contractors and bank partners.

GreenSky Credit had been ranked 3rd in value at $3.6 billion while remaining privately-owned and backed by venture capitalists. Zalik had moved from Israel to Alabama at four years old, where he skipped high school to attend Auburn University when he had scored exceptionally high on standardized tests, having taken the SATs at age 13 as cited by Forbes. He ultimately dropped out of college to pursue Microtech Information Systems full time.

Zalik shared that after selling Microtech for a few million dollars, he had relocated to Atlanta and started invested in real-estate. He then pursued more challenging consulting projects, which is where Green Sky had developed. The company took a huge risk and years before gaining stability and ultimately gaining unicorn status.

To learn more about GreenSky Credit and CEO David Zalik, please visit their company website and David Zalik’s LinkedIn.

Rocketship Education Focuses On The Future Of Our Children

To Fill A Need

Rocketship Education owes its existence to Father Mateo Sheedy, Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish. It was in 1999 that he created the Juan Diego Scholarship to Santa Clara University. He was shocked to discover that of the hundreds of children in his parish, not a single one met the basic requirements that would allow them to attend classes in their own hometown University.

Father Mateo motivated his community with these concerns and plans were made to remedy the situation by improving the educational options for young people in the Washington Guadalupe area. He didn’t live to see it all happen but once began, the momentum of Rocketship Education kept it moving forward.

Moving Onward

In 2006 Father Mateo’s parishioners contacted John Danner and Preston Smith, two educational entrepreneurs already in the development stages of plans to revamp schools in low-income areas. Danner, a software engineer had an interest in all the ways technology could be used to “personalize” education. Smith, a San Jose middle school principle, was convinced empowering teachers and getting parents more involved with the learning process would guarantee students that would be ready for higher education when the time came.

Learning Isn’t A “Cut and Dried” Process

Classrooms at Rocketship focus on maximizing personalized time for learning. The goal is to reach each student with what they need, when they need it. With the help of tutors and the use of online learning tools this school gives students a chance to succeed at their own pace. Children thrive when they have instructors that truly care whether they do well or not. These teachers care, and the students know it.

Closing The Achievement Gap

Now, all these years later Rocketship Education has proven their methods work by a strong showing of improvement in all academic areas. They believe empowering teachers, engaging parents, and inspiring communities is the key to graduating a child with the skills to get into the college or University of their choice.

Rocketship believes that children are individuals, and that all come with different needs. Unlike most public schools they combine traditional teaching with technology and tutoring so every child receives a “custom made” education.

Rocketship Education’s Founder and CEO Preston Smith Learned These Things in His First Few Years

Preston Smith learned a number of valuable insights from his first ten years at Rocketship Education, a network of public charter schools in the contiguous 48. Similar to the faculty at every educational institution, when educators actively learn from practical experience, an incalculable number of benefits can be derived from basic, everyday activities.

Despite many institutions placing the diversification of student bodies at utmost importance, equally branching out the demographical characteristics of teachers, principals, and administrators should always be performed first. This is especially true for the low-income areas Rocketship Education functions in, as students generally have better attitudes towards learning when their teachers’ qualities closely resemble their students.

Parents are arguably the most dear resources schools can tap into. Students’ guardians serve three major functions at Rocketship Education: they regularly lend feedback to instructors and principals, helping their precious children obtain the highest-quality learning experiences possible; they assist in interviewing incoming teaching candidates, offering insight most administrators aren’t privy to; and holding nearby schools accountable for their standards through enrolling children in institutions offering the best education obtainable.

Children with developmental and learning disabilities should typically spend a maximum of one-fifth of their time at school in special education classrooms. Including these students in traditional classroom settings around peers with and without specialized learning needs is integral to raising confidence and willingness to learn.

While not every school has ready access to sufficient resources to do so, hiring employees with taxing educational backgrounds suggests they are pliable and plastic, able to conform to recommendations without extensive training and retraining. Rather than hiring employees and forcing them to mold to a school’s students, educators should be hand-picked and paid more than their peers in order to facilitate such plasticity.

Rocketship Education’s group of eighteen public schools are situated in four states across America: three in Tennessee, one in Wisconsin, two in America’s capital, and twelve spread across California. An integral part of the system’s success is their charter status, meaning it’s eligible to receive funding from government agencies, without having to meet their unpersonalized, broad sets of local educational standards. Rocketship Education’s students, most of whom belong to impoverished families, are regionally known for achieving consistently high test scores, proving that public schools can operate as leading educational institutions.