This article was published in the Fall 2019 issue
by John Bowers, Silicon Slopes
For the average person, terms like cryptocurrency, blockchain, and capital markets are a bit foreign. But for Utah-raised Saum Noursalehi, these are the words that build our future, and he’s working hard to do that with tZERO, a tech company with a strong foothold in Silicon Slopes.
Saum Noursalehi was born to Iranian parents, moving to Utah when he was around 7 years old. As a child and adolescent, he was interested in art, but also fascinated with computers and technology. Seeing that a career in the tech field would suit him well, he attended the University of Utah, where he graduated in computer science and software engineering. He was working as a software developer when he heard about Overstock.com and CEO Patrick Byrne. The company and its potential was appealing to him, so in 2005 he joined Overstock, writing code and developing software.
From there, Noursalehi rose up the ranks, from software developer to research and development, marketing, and product development. He learned quickly, and his ambitious personality took him all the way to the position of President of Overstock in 2016. During his time at Overstock, he kept close to his tech roots and closely followed the cryptocurrency and blockchain phenomenon. His wheels were turning, and he was ready to start his own company, knowing that there was a bright future for this concept and technology. In early 2018, Noursalehi stepped into the role of CEO for tZERO, and the company is leading the pack in capital markets.
In simple terms, tZERO is using secure blockchain technology to revolutionize capital markets and make those markets accessible to everyone. The name tZERO comes from the concept that the company is eliminating the middleman, making the previously slow and somewhat laborious process of trade and settlement happen almost instantaneously. One of the catchphrases of tZERO is “The trade is the settlement”.
“We’re essentially trying to build the next generation of how assets will be traded,” says Noursalehi, who splits his time between his New York City and Salt Lake City offices. When asked why he does this work, Saum says, “[We’re] able to really democratize access to these things that were, before, not open to the world. By opening that up to ordinary people, not just the wealthy, I think it has the potential to lift people to a higher quality of life.”
The company has been built slowly and methodically, hiring only the best and brightest. Noursalehi takes the culture of tZERO very seriously, using integrity, ambition, and a work-hard-play-hard attitude to get things done. With around 75 engineers in the Utah office, he knows that the tech scene here is strong and well, with plenty of potential to grow.
tZERO sums up the company mission in this statement:
“In the race to revolutionize capital markets through blockchain technology, tZERO is leading the pack with its technical expertise, track record of innovation and focus on regulatory compliance. We approach challenges with an innovative mindset, from formulating new market processes to building the secure and robust technologies that enable them.”
We are thrilled to have tZERO in the Silicon Slopes ecosystem, and we look forward to the growth and potential that it brings to our corner of the world.
Read the rest of the articles in the Fall 2019 issue of Silicon Slopes Magazine