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Christopher  Gray

Christopher Gray

Founder & Chief Executive Officer Scholly

Biography

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. Read More >

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. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDx: Dare to Be Great

Scholly Connects

Tying Financial Success with Social Impact

Change the Narrative

Redefining Scholarships for Low-Income Students

Speech Topics

How I Overcame Poverty, Won $1.3 Million in Scholarships & Built a World Class Company Before 30

Raised by a single mother of three and often homeless, Christopher is no stranger to struggle. At an early age, he understood that education was the only way to conquer his circumstances. Determined to attend and graduate college, Christopher needed money to achieve his dream. This talk will focus on Christopher’s self-motivation, how he rose above unfortunate circumstances to find more than $1.3 million in college scholarships, what he learned from the experience, and how he filled a need in the marketplace by creating web and mobile app, Scholly.

Building a Company as a Millennial Entrepreneur

This talk provides insight on approaching and pitching investors; taking an idea to product, and, ultimately, the marketplace. Using personal examples, Christopher will discuss the skills, resources, and tools needed for young innovators to create and fund an enterprise.

Leveraging Technology to Scale Social Impact

Now, more than ever, advances in technology help nonprofit organizations worldwide advance their missions and allow corporations to fulfill their commitment to social responsibility where their employees live and work. This talk focuses on Scholly’s commitment to make quality education accessible and affordable to everyone.

Diversity in the Tech Industry & Work Force

Diversity drives better products, increased revenue opportunities, and ultimately a more cultured workforce. In this talk, Christopher will discuss how  diversity allows companies to create better products that resonate with a large market, how it increase revenues, and, ultimately creates a more cultured workforce that is better enabled to serve customers and create a comfortable, inclusive environment for everyone. Christopher will also provide insight and recommendations for how companies can work differently with recruiters to change the way we think and bring different candidates to the table at the talent acquisition stage - within tech start-ups as well as generally.

Tackling the Student Debt Crisis

Student debt in the United States is a whopping $1.3 trillion. There is a lot of scholarship money available. The problem is finding it. In this talk, Christopher will discuss how Scholly is tackling the student debt crisis in the United States, as well as give suggestions on ways to minimize college debt and how doing so will affect career and lifestyle.

How to Empower Students To Pay for College & Achieve their Dreams

An innovative civic and social entrepreneur, Christopher will draw from personal experience to speak about his commitment to education in order to empower and inspire youth worldwide to stay in school, provide ways to pay for college and stay out of debt, achieve academic goals, and advance earning potential.