Professional Development
Education / Startups

goPuff founders donate $25K for Drexel student entrepreneur scholarship

"We put everything we had into our business while at Drexel," cofounder Rafael Ilishayev said.

Gopuff cofounders Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola in 2016. (Photo by Roberto Torres)

Delivery startup goPuff, recently in the news for reportedly taking a $750 million investment from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, is showing some support to its roots, establishing a $25,000 scholarship for an entrepreneurial Drexel University student.

Cofounders and co-CEOs Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola met during their freshman year at the University City-based school, and the following year started working on mockups of the business that would go on to become one of the most-watched local tech startups.

The company, which is headquartered in the Callowhill neighborhood and has more than 1,500 employees, announced plans for a 30,000-square-foot headquarters at 3rd and Spring Garden streets at the end of 2018 and operates in cities across the country such as Atlanta, Boston and Chicago.

“During our time at Drexel, Yakir and I met, conceptualized a business plan and launched goPuff on campus; so naturally, the university holds a special place in our hearts,” Ilishayey said in a statement. “We put everything we had into our business while at Drexel. Since then, we’ve sought to engage with other entrepreneurs and provide support whenever we can.”

The $25,000 will be administered though the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship and be awarded to one student with “financial need,” a goPuff spokesperson told The school will select a student and the money will be distributed over the course of two years at the school.

“Six years into running goPuff, Rafael and I are passionate about supporting aspiring entrepreneurs and this scholarship is another way we can help the next generation of business leaders in Philadelphia,” Gola said.

The student chosen for the scholarship will also be able to apply for a co-op opportunity at goPuff during their second year, the company spokesperson said.

Companies: Gopuff / Drexel University

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