Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Scholly
Christopher Gray is the founder and chief executive officer of Scholly, a mobile and web app that helps students find scholarships for college. Scholly was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, landing a deal with Daymond John and Lori Greiner and sparking the biggest fight in Shark Tank history.
Raised in poverty and often homeless, Christopher’s dreams of attending college seemed unattainable until he won $1.3 million in scholarships. While a student at Drexel University, he turned his experience into an enterprise and created an app – Scholly. Christopher wanted other students to have a way of easily finding and applying for scholarships that would enable them to attend college, advance their earning potential, and keep them out of debt. There was and is a lot of scholarship money available. The problem was finding it. Since its inception in 2014, Scholly has helped its 2 million subscribers find more than $100 million in scholarships to pay for higher education. Scholly is the 2017 National Parenting Product Award Winner in the mobile app category. In early 2018, Christopher launched Scholly Scholarship Summit, a live touring event and workshop that provides educational guidance and equips young Americans with the tools necessary to achieve their higher education goals.
Student debt in the United States is $1.3 Trillion. Now, more than ever, students need to find creative ways to pay for college. Scholly makes finding and winning scholarships easy. The app allows users to apply for multiple scholarships at once – customizing each individual search thereby allowing users to save time. Scholly’s core value is to make quality education accessible and affordable for everyone.
Christopher has been featured in the New York Times, People, O Magazine, Huffington Post, Forbes, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and more. He made the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 List for Social Entrepreneurship, making the top of the list. Christopher is one of Oprah’s Inaugural Super Soul 100 honorees, Oprah’s list of her favorite people. He is a regular contributor to Forbes.com.
Christopher has been a speaker at events such as the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Summit, Steve Harvey’s Disney Dreamers Academy, Usher’s New Look Conference, The Will and Jada Smith Foundation CIE Tour, The Smithsonian Museum, Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit, Forbes’ I.D.E.A. Summit, Coca-Cola Scholars Program, Asomugha Foundation College Summit, Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, TEDx San Diego and Best Buddies International Leadership Summit. He has served as a guest lecturer at Stanford University. Christopher is also a U.S. Embassy Speaker for the U.S. State Department, speaking at U.S. Embassies across the world about social entrepreneurship, tech, and diversity. Christopher is the recipient of Information Technology Senior Management Forum’s (ITSMF) 2018 Beacon Award and the 2016 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award.