Scholly gets major boost from nonprofit launched by Obama - Technical.ly Philly

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May 8, 2015 7:34 am

Scholly gets major boost from nonprofit launched by Obama

As a young black man who grew up in a low-income household, Scholly CEO Chris Gray said the partnership with the My Brother's Keeper Alliance is especially important to him.
Saxbys CEO and founder Nick Bayer (far right) and Scholly cofounder Christopher Gray look on as a student at Science Leadership Academy uses Scholly, February 2015.

Saxbys CEO and founder Nick Bayer (far right) and Scholly cofounder Christopher Gray look on as a student at Science Leadership Academy uses Scholly, February 2015.

(Photo courtesy of Saxbys)

Some 275,000 black and Latino boys are getting scholarship-finding app Scholly, courtesy of the nonprofit President Obama helped launch this week, the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

It’s Scholly’s biggest sale to date, said Drexel undergrad CEO Chris Gray.

The Alliance, which Obama launched earlier this week, is backed by corporations like Deloitte, PepsiCo and Sprint to the tune of $80 million and and aims to create opportunities for young men of color. (Mayor Nutter was appointed to the advisory council.)

The partnership is especially meaningful to Gray because it focuses on boys of color from low-income households.

“That speaks to me because that’s my background,” Gray said in an interview earlier this week. Gray was raised by a single mother and famously won $1 million in scholarships.

Gray said he also plans on running workshops as part of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance program but he’s still working out the details.

The deal was orchestrated by FUBU founder Daymond John, one of the celebrity investors Gray won over during his appearance on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” John called Gray about the deal last Friday and it was inked by Sunday, Gray said, calling it the “quickest sales cycle in history.”

The app costs $0.99 but the Alliance is paying a flat fee, Gray said. Scholly has recently done a number of bulk deals:

  • Saxbys bought the app for every current and future senior at Science Leadership Academy.
  • Memphis City Council organized a deal, funded by nonprofits, that put Scholly in the hands of every junior and senior in the city (that’s 9,000 downloads of the app).
  • Drexel also made a purchase for its students.

The company has more in the works, Gray said.

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