Zak grew up in Ottawa, but attended four years of international high school in Beijing, China. Upon returning to Canada, he enrolled in McGill University studying Mandarin, finance, and computer science. While at McGill, he started his first business, a renovation contracting company he eventually franchised across Quebec. The franchises Zak helped establish now generate over $1 million in annual revenue. After graduating from McGill and learning from the construction industry, Zak joined The Next 36 to focus on his passion for technology, innovation, and design.