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Illinois’ Most Innovative Approach to Social Impact Entrepreneurship Customizes Cannabis Business Acceleration to Bridge Wealth Gap and Celebrates Formal Launch


CHICAGO, IL (SEPTEMBER 30, 2021) – Under formation over the last two years, GROmentum Lab, a Chicago community-based social impact business accelerator in cannabis, is pleased to announce the launch of its formal program. It will provide disproportionately impacted cannabis entrepreneurs and ancillary service providers access to capital, mentorship, and hands-on, highly individualized consulting. GROmentum was formed to support as many entrepreneurs as possible previously left out of the industry. The approach provides investors a platform to collaborate with new startups through the social equity program established by Illinois law.

Over the past 10 years accelerators have largely replaced incubators as central hubs where industry collaboration and new business formation intersect. Regardless of entrepreneurs’ formal educational backgrounds or industry experience, they have become an entry point to propel entrepreneurs into a new industry. Contrasted with local cannabis industry incubation, which has been more focused on applying for licenses, GROmentum’s services are full spectrum ranging from license application to business launch to achieving operations sustainability.

Serving the Community

As Illinois’ first independent social impact cannabis business accelerator, GROmentum Lab has already been serving the community. “You guys are incredible. No one brings the array of experts, the passion and heart you do. The GROmentum team is ready to jump in at every turn just to help the little guy get into the game. You should be recognized far beyond your punching weight for the work you’ve done in the community,” says Mirza Baig, Founder of Green Gem, an Infusion cannabis license winner.

“We are thrilled at the response we’ve seen from investors, both within and outside the cannabis industry,” said Kelly Evans, Co-Executive Director. “We are proud to be backed by a wide array of investors who support the core intent of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Transportation Act (CRTA) and who also support the goals that newly minted licensees have in launching and sustaining their businesses.”

“GROmentum Lab rises to meet the unique needs of each individual business owner,” continues Founder and Co-Executive Director, Amy Nathan. “We pride ourselves on adding value throughout the acceleration and investment processes. We are keenly aware of the potential for mistrust and disappointment so from the outset we work to make sure both investors and new founders fully realize the value of the business relationship required to make both parties successful.”

“What we most appreciate about GROmentum is their hands-on approach to facilitating the investor/founder relationship by assessing gaps in knowledge and experience so we can quickly determine the best fit with our investment dollars,” remarks Diane Strauss, Founder and CEO of CREAM, a newly formed collection of curated licensed cannabis brands funded by an extensive network of ‘smart’ canna-capital led by Teddy Scott, Founder and former CEO of Pharmacann and Ethos. She continues, “GROmentum Lab is more than just an accelerator program, but a critical partner to both sides of the equation in reaching our common goals.”

With renown community partners like DuSable Museum of African American History, and the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, GROmentum has already started accelerating entrepreneurs, which means start-ups can begin to make up for lost time getting to market. The approach is validated by other license winners.

Eric Ice-Gibson, Founder and CIO for 1937, a new Dispensary, Craft Grow and Transportation license winner, emphasizes, “Working with GROmentum has been a highly engaging and collaborative experience. It’s good to have your business concepts validated, gain ideas, and areas of improvement by industry professionals and investors. We look forward to furthering our relationship with GROmentum.”

GROmentum Programs

Applications are being immediately accepted for GROmentum’s plant-touching cannabis business accelerator program geared toward new licensees. Additionally, other programs are also open for applications including support for ancillary services providers and hemp companies. Over time, GROmentum will offer a wide array of programming designed for making social impact by supporting cannabis entrepreneurs. For more information on its programs, visit

About GROmentum Lab and GROmentum Lab EDU

GROmentum Lab is a community-based cannabis business accelerator for social impact founded to support new cannabis applicant entrepreneurs from impacted communities across the entire cannabis plant ecosystem, including the complementary ancillary services entrepreneurs. GROmentum Lab prepares entrepreneurs to launch businesses in the cannabis industries with access to capital, mentorship and culturally relevant educational programming. Its sister non-profit organization GROmentum Lab EDU provides pro-bono educational programming and services and will be the future home incubation.

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