The Challenge 

Gray Matter Presents:

A social impact idea challenge 

Are you a #gmechanger?

Do you have a business idea to rebuild your community?

Here's your chance to win over $2,500 in prizes to get it started!

Applications are currently closed.

The Finalists

Nicholas Holden - The Beginning Center

Meet our finalist Nicholas Holden. His social impact idea is

The Beginning Center -- a birthing and recovery center that

cherishes Black mothers. 

             Watch his pitch!

Vote by liking and sharing his posts!

Jacob Zhang - Easyponics

Meet our finalist Jacob Zhang. His social impact idea is

Easyponics, which battles food insecurity by providing simple

and affordable hydroponic gardening solutions to the

community. By placing the hydroponic systems in community

gardens and public spaces, Easyponics can diminish the

number of food deserts in Chicago.

             Watch his pitch!

Vote by liking and sharing his posts!


Meet our finalists Team TLSA, comprised of 3 members:

Alyiah Ellsworth, Dermyrius Lindsey-Lewis, and Justin Lindberg.

Their social impact idea is TLSA which is the digital rebirth of

Black Wall Street. With an e-commerce website and mobile app 

conceptually in between Amazon and a budgeting app, their

goal is to increase the volume and retention of capital in

the Black community.

             Watch their pitch!

Vote by liking and sharing their posts!


How to Vote


  • Go to the individual posts for each finalist (located on our Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook)

  • Like and Share the post of your favorite

  • Voting opens August 19th and ends August 26th

  • Winner will be announced on August 31st

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn

If you have any questions about this challenge, please email

The Gray Matter Experience.

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We believe empowering youth to create their own businesses can have great impact on their own self-worth, perception of the meaning of success, and can positively impact underrepresented neighborhoods across Chicago.

Gray Matter Experience © 2016