Say hello to Kenneth Lin! As a highly successful tech entrepreneur, he is one of our most prominent speakers. At the age of four, Lin and his parents immigrated from China to the United States. Kenneth understood the value of money from a very young age. His parents worked long and arduous shifts during Kenneth’s childhood in order to give him the best possible education, which he eventually received. Lin attended Boston University and became the first in his family to complete college with a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics. Kenneth’s success is modeled after his parent’s hard work. He has used the valuable skills and life lessons from his childhood to put a life-changing idea for millions of Americans into action.
After graduating, Lin began his journey in the credit card industry in the late 1990’s. Soon after his career began, Lin worked as the Senior Marketing Analyst at Upromise, a company which helps people save money for college by offering a cash back rewards program. He then moved onto the position of Director of Analytics, Research and Cross Sell at E-LOAN. E-LOAN was the first company to give out free credit scores. After beginning his career in this industry, Lin also founded Multilytics Marketing, a data-driven marketing agency in 2006. Multilytics Marketing specializes in search and return on investment focused display campaigns. It manages over $40 million a year in marketing dollars for several Fortune 500 companies as well as Wells Fargo, Liberty Mutual, and eBay.
Lin’s previous experience at both Upromise and E-LOAN inspired him to establish Credit Karma in 2007, by far his most noteworthy idea. His goal was to create a customer-friendly alternative to other credit score services. He hoped to offer free credit scores and bring transparency and simplicity to the credit industry, an industry which has historically been built around banks and has not prioritized customers. Lin started the company with very few employees but has been able to guide this small team to a one of several hundred, along the way raising over $386 million. He has since helped over 45 million Americans discover financial services and products that meet their needs and help them handle their financial lives with more certainty. Credit Karma creates genuine organic value by reducing market inefficiency for banks and empowering the consumer with information. Lin finds value in helping families struggling to make ends meet save $50-$100 each week as he understands this hardship. The product itself is quite straightforward and easy for users to understand which is of great importance to Lin. Users make an account and are then able to monitor their credit scores for free. Credit Karma offers suggestions for financial services including based on each user’s specific credit history. Just last year, Credit Karma has expanded its reach to mortgage refinancing recommendations as well as free tax services.
The secret to his success? Relevance. Lin believes that the more specific and personal you can get with each user, the more success you will have with them. They will be more likely to take your advice and utilize your product. This is an important tactic that many businesses could benefit from using. Credit Karma works to make each email sent and each phone call made tailored to a client’s individual story. Lin also believes that it is imperative for people to perceive Credit Karma as the trusted and independent advisor that it is.
Kenneth Lin always puts the consumer’s needs first. He believes in always doing the right thing and never jeopardizing his consumer base. By creating a simple way for Americans to manage financial identity, Lin has helped millions understand and better their credit scores. With his extensive background in marketing, math, and economics as well as his childhood experiences, Lin has been able to establish a highly successful and unique business. We look forward to hearing him speak more about his accomplishments at NYC’s Ascent Conference October 3-4!
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