The Gray Matter Experience

The Gray Matter Experience is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that teaches minority youth about entrepreneurship and helps them launch socially conscious businesses (essentially: a business incubator for teens). In addition to programming, they serve as investor for teen companies that launch from the program and currently have 5 companies under their belt that they're helping to grow.


In July 2016, The Gray Matter Experience (TGME) set out to narrow the gap in opportunities existing for minority high school students to become entrepreneurs. We created our two-phase program to provide these students with the resources necessary to develop solutions to issues that plague their communities by establishing businesses that support the demographics of under-resourced neighborhoods across Chicago.

Phase I of the TGME program lasts 12 weeks, consisting of workshops in which students collaborate with peers to develop business plans that will impact their communities. These workshops also serve as a way to foster relationships between participants and minority founders and professionals who teach business concepts that students can apply directly to their business plans.

After Phase I, students who want to pursue launching their company are placed into the nine-week GMEChangers Incubator, where they use the funding received from Phase I to bring their businesses to life.


Accelerators and Incubators

  • Incubator

Business Planning

  • Business Plan Consulting
  • Forming a Business
  • Market Plan Development
  • Market Research

Events and Community Building

  • Neighborhood Fairs and Festivals
  • Pitch Events

Financial Resources and Assistance

  • Budget, Financial Statement and Cash Flow Training
  • Crowdfunding
  • Grant Funding
  • Venture Capital

Human Resources, Workforce and Talent

  • Policies and Templates
  • Workforce Training

Internship Programs and Student Services

  • Internship Program
  • Student Marketing Projects
  • Student Placement
  • Student Research Projects
  • Student Training
  • Youth Entrepreneurship Education

Libraries and Research

  • Business Research Resources

Management Issues

  • Leadership/Professional Development

Marketing and Sales

  • Competitive Analysis
  • Market Plan Development and Training
  • Market Research
  • Student Marketing Projects


  • Formal Mentoring Programs
  • One-on-One Counseling
  • Peer Mentoring

Networking and Associations

  • Small Business/General

Nonprofit and Social Enterprise

  • Board Development
  • Funds Development
  • Strategic Planning

Product Development

  • Product Design and Development
  • Prototype Development

Public Policy and Government Relations

  • African-American Business
  • Hispanic Business

Starting a Business

  • Business Research Resources
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Forming a Business
  • Startup Business Counseling
  • Startup Classes


  • Business Management Training
  • Business Plan Training and Assistance
  • Startup Classes
Primary ContactBritney Robbins
Address1011 W. 19th St.
Chicago, IL 60608
Phone(217) 721-2021