When David Zalik founded GreenSky Credit in 2006, he was nearly 100 percent sure that he had a winner on his hands. But the then-32-year-old entrepreneur was facing a market that was uncertain and a model that had never before been tested. Still, the young businessman was willing to stake essentially everything he had on the future success of his company. David Zalik had as much skin in the game as can possibly be put there.
To come up with the money, he mortgaged more than $10 million of commercial real estate, representing his entire effective net worth. Zalik could have taken on partners, but so strong was his belief in the future success of GreenSky Credit that he wanted to retain as much equity in the firm as he possibly could. This would prove to be a wise decision.
Zalik first got the idea for GreenSky Credit while working on another one of his companies, Outweb. The e-consultancy firm had a large number of clients in the home-remodeling sector. And Zalik was able to see, first-hand, the problems that this industry faced. One of the issues that Zalik saw was the constant losing of sales at the retail level to customers who had simply underestimated how much a home remodeling project would ultimately cost. It was not uncommon for customers with little or no contracting experience to underestimate the true cost of projects by up to 50 percent. When they finally were informed of the actual price, the sticker shock was frequently enough to ensure that the deal would fall through.
GreenSky Credit addresses this problem by pairing merchants with 14 of the nation’s largest creditors. Because the majority of customers for high-end home remodeling have excellent credit scores, GreenSky Credit can offer extremely attractive terms on the loans while also guaranteeing lenders a very low probability of defaults. This model has proven to be an excellent way to facilitate deals that would have otherwise fallen through.
Today, GreenSky Credit originates more than $5 billion in loans every year. Zalik seeks to grow to doing $20 billion in annual loans by 2020.
A venture funding in the technical field has raised 21million for ClassDojo, to create an app that will allow a student’s parents to be able to communicate with the school in regards to the student’s activities. They will be able to follow the educations as well as the social and their behavioral development at school. This app is being created to enable the schools to do away with the parent-teacher meetings. Since these meetings only take place once a semester it is rather hard to keep up with the day to day progress of the children.
The co-founders Liam Don and Sam Chaudhary are now engaged in figuring out just what will be useful applications for the parents. This is not going to be just for school activities but at home also. They are looking to be able to guide parents in their conversations with their children at home along with being also aid in being a support tool to enhance learning and the development of their children at school.
The teachers can use the ClassDojo to apprise the parents of the scheduled activities, as well as snap a picture of the child, send videos and pictures to the parents to show them the child’s work and of any participation in the activities of the day.
The company has reported that ClassDojo is being used by teachers in 85,000 schools in the United States. Not just public schools, but charter and private schools are also participating in the use of the ClassDojo.
What was once used as a tool meant to teach good behavioral habits is now being used by parents and teachers along with students to collaborate.
Before ClassDojo’s inception, Liam Don and Sam Chaudhary interviewed a few hundred teachers and notice that a pattern was emerging. The teachers almost all agreed that they were spending more time disciplining the students than they were teaching.
The use of ClassDojo is relatively a straightforward process. There is an avatar assigned to the student that is based on their daily behavior. They are either rewarded or suffer a consequence. These rewards are sent from the teacher’s laptop or tablet, a +1 for smiling, and a -1 for punching.
The ClassDojo has found an audience among K-12 educators and since they launched their startup just about a year ago, they have attracted over 3.5 million educators and students to the platform in more than 30 countries.
Class Dojo has recently received media attention for the their receipt of the Educational Application Reward. The educational application tool, which was founded by two former elementary educators, won it’s second award for contributing to the success of school aged children. The developers of Class Dojo were quoted in an interview regarding the award winning educational application. They stated that they were compelled to create the application when they noticed the huge gap in communication between parents, students and teachers. The developers of Class Dojo expressed a strong desire to close this gap and to change the culture of classrooms all over the country. The application has proved to be a huge success and has been implemented in a large percentage of elementary schools across the United States.
The award for the best elementary educational application was given by a non profit organization that seeks to gather the best educational resources for teachers and parents to review. Representatives of the organization stated that Class Dojo was chosen for the award because of the application’s proven ability to improve both the mental and cognitive processes of elementary aged children. The representatives of the organization also stated that Class Dojo was chosen for the amount of creativity that has gone into the development of the application.
Representatives from the Class Dojo development team have expressed their sincere gratitude for being chosen for the educational application award. The goal of the Class Dojo company has always been to improve the communication between parents and teachers, so the leaders of the company were thrilled to be recognized for achieving these results. The implementation of the Class Dojo application has received measurable results showing that the application makes communication between teachers and parents considerably less complicated. By using the Class Dojo application, teachers can help parents to feel more engaged with their child’s individual progress. The application also helps to motivate students to achieve their potential by rewarding them in ways that they have not yet become accustomed to.
The founders of Class Dojo have announced that they will be using the attention that the application has received after the educational application award was made public to expand the brand of the company. The added media attention surrounding the Class Dojo application will be used to help get the application into schools around the globe. Since Class Dojo has already been implemented in the majority of elementary schools in the United States, developers are now looking to create a global brand.