March 16, 2020
goPuff announced it will establish a scholarship for the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University. The Philadelphia-based company will donate $25,000 in scholarship money, to be awarded to one recipient over the course of two years.
goPuff’s co-founders and co-CEOs Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola met as freshman at Drexel University. The following year, they drafted up mock-ups of a convenience delivery app and began delivering necessities around campus from the back of a Plymouth Voyager. While goPuff began by delivering 50 basic products, the company has evolved into a national digital convenience store and alcohol delivery service with more than 150 U.S. locations. From snack time favorites such as ice cream and candy to household essentials ranging from cleaning products and diapers to pet goods, goPuff’s unique delivery concept answers the call for consumers in need day or night.
Rafael Ilishayev, co-CEO and co-founder of goPuff, said, “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. 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. Donating to the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship is a great way to continue doing this.”
Dr. Donna De Carolis, Dean – Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship and The Silverman Family Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership at Drexel University, said, “The goPuff co-founders, Rafael and Yakir, embody all of the principles we teach here at the Charles D. Close School. From their creativity to resilience, Rafael and Yakir are leading the next generation of entrepreneurs in Philadelphia and beyond.”
Yakir Gola, co-CEO and co-founder of goPuff, added, “At goPuff, we’re committed to supporting each of the communities in which we operate. This is especially true in our hometown of Philadelphia where goPuff got its start and where much of our team works and lives. Now, 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.”
Yakir and Rafael were named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list in the “Retail & Ecommerce” category in 2017. In 2019, they received the Drexel University’s Close School of Entrepreneurship Founders Award, were recognized by Valley Youth House as Emerging Leaders, and led goPuff to win Technical.ly Philly’s Growth Company of the Year award.