Education startup the 9th Philly company to receive investment


Philadelphia, October 1, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that the Startup PHL Angel Fund has made a $100,000 investment in Scholly, a Philadelphia startup that has developed an app which gives students a fast and simple way to find scholarships for college.  Scholly also recently won the Rise of the Rest pitch competition, securing a $100,000 investment from AOL founder Steve Case on his visit to Philadelphia earlier this week.


“My Administration has worked diligently to build on this city’s history of innovation by providing the support and programming needed by young companies to grow and prosper in Philadelphia,” said Mayor Nutter. “More companies are choosing not just to launch in the City of Philadelphia, but also to stay and grow their businesses here. And, bright, talented young folks are staying and finding opportunities for themselves in the vibrant startup economy in Philadelphia as well. My Administration is proud to do all that we can to continue to promote Philadelphia as one of America’s top startup cities. Thank you to our partners at PIDC and First Round Capital for making this work possible.”


Founder Christopher Gray, a recent graduate from Drexel and an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2015 for Philadelphia, along with his co-founders Bryson Alef and Nick Pirollo launched the app in May 2013. In less than two years, Scholly has helped students access at least $20 million in scholarship funds.


“Startup PHL is a great opportunity for us and really shows that Philadelphia is growing as a startup ecosystem,” said Christopher Gray, Scholly founder. “We are excited to make Philadelphia our home, create more jobs, and be a part of what will be one of the next hubs of entrepreneurship.”


Scholly has partnered with the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to provide the app to 275,000 students across America each year at no charge. The app has also been endorsed by the Coca Cola Scholars Foundations and the Gates Millennium Scholars Foundation.


Scholly was recently on Shark Tank and was chosen as one of Inc. Magazine’s Top College Start Ups. The company has won UnderArmour’s Cupid’s Cup Competition, as well as Drexel’s Incubator competition. It was chosen as one of Philly’s Coolest Start Ups of 2013.


Startup PHL is an initiative between the City of Philadelphia, PIDC, and First Round Capital to support the growth of startups in Philadelphia.  The Startup PHL Seed Fund and Startup PHL Angel Fund are partnerships between PIDC and leading venture capital firm First Round Capital to make investments in Philadelphia-based startups.  Since 2013, Philadelphia startups have received nearly $1,150,000 in investments.  Scholly is the ninth company to receive an investment.


“I’ve known Chris since his days as a student investor with our Dorm Room Fund.  He and his team at Scholly have accomplished an incredible amount in a very short period of time, and I’m thrilled to continue to work closely with them through Startup PHL.” said Josh Kopelman, Partner at First Round Capital.


John Grady, President of PIDC, added “The success of the Startup PHL Initiative continues to showcase Philadelphia as a top competitor in the startup community. PIDC is committed to investing in businesses like Scholly that not only serve Philadelphia’s economy but supports priorities like education. We are proud to partner with First Round Capital and look forward to supporting the next inventive entrepreneur.”


“Over the last few years Philadelphia’s profile as a city from which to launch and grow exciting, innovative companies has grown tremendously and the success of firms like Scholly is testament to that progress,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development.  “Philadelphia has become a city of choice for startups and for larger firms looking to acquire some of the top talent in the nation and I am proud of what we have been able to do to support the growth of this community.”


To learn more about Startup PHL visit


Posted in Press Release
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