BOOST

Building Opportunities for Original and Sustainable Thinking

ABOUT BOOST

 

BOOST 2019 was a huge success!

Thank you to everyone who supported our BOOST 2019 event! This year’s sold-out event raised nearly $30,000 to both help emerging entrepreneurs in sustainability and benefit Delta Institute’s mission of collaborating with communities across the Midwest to solve complex environmental challenges.

Congratulations to this year’s BOOST Winners: Block Bins and Lillian Augusta! Both entrepreneurs will each receive a $5,000 grant to further develop their innovation in sustainability. Block Bins provides food scrap recycling bins to Chicago residents so that neighbors can share bins to reduce cost and clutter. Lillian Augusta provides plant-based, biodegradable hair with an incentivized return program for compost, providing an alternative to synthetic, single-use, plastic hair. We look forward to sharing more about their projects in the future!

Thank you to our other finalists—Chicago Tool Library, Community Charging, and Star Farm Chicago Market and Garden Center—for sharing their visions, and thank you to all those who applied to be a part of BOOST! Please be on the lookout for more details about BOOST 2020!

Thank you to our generous BOOST 2019 sponsors, who are investing directly into a more sustainable Chicago.

 

PLATINUM SPONSORS

 

 

 

Schneider Electric Foundation

 

 

 

GOLD SPONSORS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walter S. Mander Foundation

 

GREEN SPONSORS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLUE SPONSORS

Chicago Leadership Alliance

Miles & Gurney LLC

Natalie Foster

Vosges Haut-Chocolat

Wolfe Computer

 

BOOST is a live, crowd-funded pitchfest in support of solving environmental challenges in Chicago and around the Midwest. Hosted by the Delta Emerging Leaders, the associate board of Delta Institute, BOOST brings together social entrepreneurs with unique and innovative projects to pitch their concepts to a live audience. Audience members vote with their ticket contributions to determine two winners who will each receive $5,000 BOOST grants (thus investing $10,000 total in our city). Grant funds are raised by the Delta Emerging Leaders through sponsorship and ticket sales.

Cumulatively, BOOST has provided $60,000 to 15 innovative projects in Chicago over the past seven years. This community-driven approach to financing social ventures overcomes a funding barrier for local entrepreneurs and engages hundreds of people to directly invest in the future of Chicago.


Featured BOOST Sponsor: Carbon Yield

On November 12, 2019, Delta Institute’s associate board, the Delta Emerging Leaders, will host our annual BOOST event at Chop Shop in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. BOOST, now in its 8th year, showcases Chicago’s most innovative emerging entrepreneurs in sustainability. We are grateful to have philanthropic support from the local community through sponsors like Carbon Yield, a platinum sponsor for this year’s event. We talked with them to share more about their approaches to innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability.

Our annual BOOST event showcases the most innovative emerging entrepreneurs in the local area. Why is entrepreneurship and innovation important to you/your organization?:

If it is true that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, then the only logical approach to reorienting our economy around climate justice is to try something fundamentally different. Carbon Yield believes entrepreneurship can allow us to generate new, inclusive, just approaches that are unburdened by, yet in conversation with, the status quo. We believe in supporting nimble, responsive, values-driven work that can respond to our biggest challenges and activate meaningful solutions.  

What do you/your organization see as the biggest opportunities and barriers to improve and increase sustainability in the Chicago area?

What has always inspired me about climate action is that it provides an urgent opportunity for restorative justice. We are not just responding to a crisis, we also have a chance to do so in ways that create durable, equitable opportunities and overcome cultural barriers. Climate challenges exaggerate existing inequalities. Toxic lands and polluted air accelerate climate change but emerged in the first place from a history of economic and social exclusion. Climate responses hold the promise of reversing these dynamics. Carbon Yield is excited about opportunities to remake our energy system, rethink the way we use land, and collaborate with nature to not just stabilize our climate, but to heal our society.

Your sponsorship is helping support sustainability efforts in the Chicago region and greater Midwest. Are there other ways in which your business/organization is committed to sustainability?

Carbon Yield provides farmers the resources they need to align their operations with climate resilience and carbon sequestration. We are working to make it easier for farmers to get compensated for the environmental benefits they generate. We believe that the Midwest can be a leader in rebuilding soil in ways that mitigates climate change while producing healthier food, more resilient communities, and a better relationship with nature.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about why your business/organization decided to support BOOST and Delta Institute?

In many ways, my own entrepreneurial story has matured alongside BOOST. In partnership with an incredible group of collaborators, I helped found Boost about seven years ago as a co-chair of the DELs. I was excited to create a community where innovation was well supported, and where everyone felt their relationships, talents, and resources could advance promising ideas. I am thrilled to see all the progress and impact generated by our Boost alumni, but never realized that these relationships, that the ideas, feedback, and support I received along the way, would also propel my own enterprise. My volunteer experiences at Delta have provided an experiential crash course in regenerative agriculture, ecosystem services, and social entrepreneurship that has laid a foundation for Carbon Yield. I am thrilled to now serve as Vice Chair of Delta’s Board and be in a position to sponsor Boost and pay it forward to support the next generation of driven doers and entrepreneurs.

What else would you like to share with our supporters about your business/organization, and where can they go to learn more?

Sign up on our website, carbon-yield.com, to hear about our progress and support our mission of returning carbon to healthy, productive landscapes.


Thank you to Carbon Yield for supporting BOOST, and sustainability in Chicago!

Tickets are on sale now for $45, or the day of the event for $50. Purchase your tickets today!

Event details:

November 12, 2019 | 6pm-9pm
Chop Shop, 2033 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647




Featured BOOST Sponsor: West Monroe Partners

On November 12, 2019, Delta Institute’s associate board, the Delta Emerging Leaders, will host our annual BOOST event at Chop Shop in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. BOOST, now in its 8th year, showcases Chicago’s most innovative emerging entrepreneurs in sustainability. We are grateful to have philanthropic support from the local community through corporate sponsors like West Monroe Partners, a platinum sponsor for this year’s event. We talked with their Sustainability Team to share more about their approaches to innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability.

Our annual BOOST event showcases the most innovative emerging entrepreneurs in the local area. Why is entrepreneurship and innovation important to you/your organization?

As an organization founded in 2002, entrepreneurship and innovation have been core to our firm’s growth and success. We see start-up organizations consistently reshaping the ways in which we live and work – and it is through innovation that we uncover ways to improve society. At West Monroe we introduced a formal innovation strategy five years ago and since then have continued to refine our approach. We invest in innovation through many facets including:

  • Hiring a senior director of innovation and strategic partnership, Tyson Hartman.
  • Adding a career path for technologists centered around innovation.
  • Launching our “Shark Tank” program in 2017 that evaluates and funds employee ideas for new business and technology solutions.
  • Investments in innovation in our communities through event sponsorships like BOOST.

What do you/your organization see as the biggest opportunities and barriers to improve and increase sustainability in the Chicago area?

As we think about opportunities to address sustainability, we must think about the type of future we want to create. To address sustainability, we must first prioritize it in our decision-making, set goals for improvement, and then enable the necessary processes and technology to realize those goals. Beyond this, an area where our firm sees significant opportunity is to improve sustainability measurement. While it’s important to set goals, without a baseline and continued mechanisms for measurement it is challenging to make progress. Furthermore, organizations need to be equipped with tools to interpret data and understand how to use it to inform decision-making. 

Your sponsorship is helping support sustainability efforts in the Chicago region and greater Midwest. Are there other ways in which your business/organization is committed to sustainability?

West Monroe Partners’ mission is to build the Next Generation of Leaders, and we know the success of our firm ultimately depends on the health and viability of the people, communities, and environment around us. Therefore, we invest our time, talent, and treasure to giving back to our local communities. Through events like National Day of Service and our charitable giving, we are making strides toward improving the communities where we live and work. Furthermore, through the West Monroe Sustainability team, we are measuring and working to reduce our firm’s environmental impact as well as support clients in achieving their sustainability goals. Our Sustainability team’s efforts expand across our offices allowing this team to have national impact through local office action.

What else would you like to share with our supporters about your business/organization, and where can they go to learn more?

We are excited about our continued commitment to social responsibility and sustainability. Stay updated on our efforts in this space on the social responsibility portion of our website.

Thank you to West Monroe Partners for supporting BOOST, and sustainability in Chicago!

Tickets are on sale now for $45, or the day of the event for $50. Purchase your tickets today!

Event details:

November 12, 2019 | 6pm-9pm
Chop Shop, 2033 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647


PAST BOOST FINALISTS

2019 BOOST Finalists:

2018 BOOST Finalists:

2017 BOOST Finalists:

2016 BOOST Finalists:

2015 BOOST Finalists:

2014 BOOST Finalists:

 2013 BOOST Finalists:

2012 BOOST Finalists:

  • Every Last Morsel*
  • WeFarm*
  • Health as Wealth
  • Storybooks for Sustainability
  • The Plant

*BOOST Grant Winners

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