The Gray Matter Experience (TGME) is a non profit and entrepreneurial experience program for high school students. Our mission is to expose youth to entrepreneurship and provide them access to the tools and resources necessary to build businesses that impact their communities. We believe that by allowing students to serve on the front lines of community growth and ownership, it will increase their self-worth and strengthen ties to their the communities in which they live.
We provide coaching, capital, curriculum, connections, and community to level the playing field for teens to enter the entrepreneurial space. Since 2016, we have supported 52 social entrepreneurs. Of our first three cohorts, 97% identified as people of color and 62% as women. We’ve invested over $25,000 in our teen founders and worked with over 162 students across the city to expose them to entrepreneurship practices. We have been recognized by the Chicago Tribune, Essence Magazine and Fox32 Chicago for our work.
Our summer incubator is designed for teens who have business ideas and need more resources to execute the idea and teens who are already running businesses but need more support to grow their brand. Through our 9 week program, you'll be connected to the resources, coaches, curriculum and support you need to launch and grow your business. The selection is competitive and a maximum of 10 students/companies will be selected to participate. As a participant of the incubator, you will also receive startup capital to help support the growth of your business.