by Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A West Philadelphia non-profit highlighted minority-owned businesses this week at its annual “Lighting the Torch” event.
One of the business owners has gone national thanks to a meeting inspired by Oprah Winfrey.
Christopher Gray is president of Scholly, an app that has helped students get more than $50 million in scholarships in just two years.
Gray’s service went viral after an appearance on Shark Tank, but went double viral when actor Jesse Williams, who he met at a brunch hosted by Oprah, joined the team.
“He really supports the cause, in a really organic way and I speak to him almost every day,” said Gray.
Gray created Scholly while a student at Drexel, and he got $100,000 in grants, but learned minority tech leaders have less access to money, yet are solving problems not thought of in Silicon Valley.
“They don’t really understand your problem because no one they grew up with had that problem,” Gray said.
Other business leaders highlighted were Megan Gibson, founder of PB&Jams, and David Wong, founder of Frieda for Generations.
The Enterprise Center works to encourage minority entrepreneurship.