Meet Our Team
FOUNDER & CEO
Britney Robbins is the founder and CEO of The Gray Matter Experience. Britney has worked within Chicago's entrepreneurship and tech community for the past seven years working within some of Chicago's top venture capital firms and incubators including Sandbox Industries, Lightbank and 1871. She has been recognized as one of Ariel Investment, BMO Harris and WVON's 40 Under 40 Gamechangers, Essence Magazine's Woke 100, a finalist for Ebony Magazine's Power 100 People's Choice Award, featured on Fox32, Chicago Inno, BlackEntrepreneur.com, DNAInfo Chicago, Chicago Tribune, Forbes and Essence Magazine for her work through Gray Matter. Britney is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where she received her B.A in Rhetoric.
Britney is passionate about the intersection of entrepreneurship, education and youth and believes in empowering others to use their passions and strengths to create opportunities for themselves. In 2015, she authored and published her first children's book and is working to complete the second book of the series early 2020. Britney is committed to inspiring youth to reach their full potential and aims to continue to create channels for them to do so.
As a Detroit native and a resident of Chicago’s South side, Jessica is committed to bringing opportunity back to her communities, and using her knowledge to equip the next generation of change-makers. She has a passion for people and seeing them be their very best selves.
Prior to joining Gray Matter’s team, Jessica spent several years working directly with some of Chicago’s best entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship programs as an events and operations professional at 1871. While there, she coordinated and re-designed the Campus 1871 program, an immersive weekend of startup simulations and workshops for Illinois college students.
Jessica’s natural gift of organization, attention to detail, and creative imagination have earned her a reputation for unparalleled excellence as an event & program manager. A person who prides herself on being an executor, Jessica takes pride in cultivating events, programs and operational structure that have a larger impact on the public and clients, alike.
An artist at heart, Jessica studied Contemporary, Urban and Popular Music at Columbia College Chicago, where she also completed coursework in Entrepreneurship, Vocal Performance, and Creative Writing.
She is a proud bookworm and live music junkie.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Janai Harris is a vibrant and multi-faceted individual, born in Chicago and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Her career journey began as an administrator for residential and commercial real estate management companies in Chicago.
After spending years as an office & property manager, Janai decided to switch course to pursue one of her passions, esthetics. In 2021, she launched a brow and body waxing company, where she would experience the world of entrepreneurship firsthand.
Janai joins The Gray Matter Experience team as a Project Administrator, assisting the leadership team with scheduling, special projects, and all-around support. Always striving to improve, Janai uses her unique life experiences to fuel her to success in all areas of life, and looks to bring her driven & committed spirit to TGME.
Her interests include being an avid music lover, art museum enthusiast, architecture photographer and enjoying movie nights with her two children and husband.
Miles attends Middlebury College and expects to graduate with his degree in Economics by 2024. He is a young entrepreneur himself with the intention of inciting change for other young people of color looking to get their foot into the business world.
Having been a member of programs such as UChicago Collegiate Scholars, Jack and Jill of America, and the Posse foundation, Miles understands the importance of having mentors who look like you and have your best interest in mind. His burning passion for creating wealth within minority communities, learning, and entrepreneurship have led him to The Gray Matter Experience. His drive is motivated by wanting to help students believe that the sky truly is the limit and they are capable of anything.
Miles believes that there are two types of people in this world -- sayers and doers. He demonstrates what being a doer looks like by putting his all into the work in front of him. He values the big picture impacts rather than the small picture benefits and will continue to live by that ideology.
DESIGN & PROJECT
Jovoney recently graduated from Howard University with a B.B.A in Marketing. She is a creative and passionate young professional seeking to make an impact in the same communities she was raised.
Being a former student in the Gray Matter program (Cohort 2), Jovoney has since taken on creative freelancing, traveling, and her new role at HubSpot. Her ultimate aspiration is to help minority entrepreneurs understand and utilize their data to make impactful marketing decisions.
With her creative eye and analytical mindset, Jovoney is able to bring a unique perspective to the table and has showcased this through her professional experience at companies and organizations including -- Estée Lauder Companies, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, HubSpot, and now Gray Matter Experience.
Being a true hustler, Jovoney has always been able to occupy her time with projects that expand to something bigger than herself, and plans to keep it that way.