David Kalt made a name for himself — and a lot of money — as a co-founder of optionsXpress, an online trading platform that eventually sold to Charles Schwab for $1 billion. Kalt started Reverb in 2013, not long after purchasing the Chicago Music Exchange, a well-known reseller of used music equipment on the North Side.
He built Reverb for consumers and sellers to optimize pricing and selling with videos, testimonials and photography.
“Musicians, gearheads, whatever you want to call them, they’re really intelligent. They’re really savvy about consuming,” he told Blue Sky. “They want better price transparency. They want quality images. User experience is really important.”
Kalt moved to Chicago in 1989 after graduating from the University of Michigan to become a recording engineer/producer. He later shifted to software engineering, starting a travel-related technology solutions firm, Third Party Solutions, in the ’90s. In 2000, he founded online brokerage optionsXpress.
Kalt holds his bachelor’s in political science from the University of Michigan and his master’s in computer science from DePaul University. One of his favorite albums is “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis.