Derek Ohly '97, with Zyrra cofounder Christi Andersen

Back in June, Jeff introduced us to Derek Ohly ’97 and his ”dream job” co-founder and CEO of Zyrra, a “better bra” startup using Tupperware-style marketing parties to promote its products and help women obtain a perfect fit.

Now, more success for Ohly: Zyrra was just named one of 16 winners in the 2010 MassChallenge, an event described as the “world’s largest startup competition.” According to business news site Xconomy.com, moreover, Ohly was dubbed with a nickname: “The Bra Guy.” Eat your heart out, Bill Simmons!

As a winner, Zyrra received $50,000 in funding, plus a giant cardboard check. (Where’s Steve Carell when you need him?). Funded 50% by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and 50% by private investors, including Microsoft, MassChallenge attracted 446 entries from 26 countries. 111 of these entries were invited to then take part in a 3-month accelerator program, during which they received free office space, mentoring, and other services. The winners were then selected based on their impact, scalability, competitive positioning, and execution.

Zyrra is also close to finalizing its Series A financing round, expected to come out in the range of $500,000 to $700,000. Angel investor Jess (Wege) McLear ’97, a mentor at MassChallenge, is expected to be among the lead investors. Zyrra plans to use the funding to expand beyond its Boston base (where it currently has about 1,000 customers) to reach new customers in New York, Washington, and Chicago.

 Congratulations to Zyrra and Ohly! EphBlog has its fingers crossed for your continued success in creating “Dream Jobs.”

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