Building Opportunities for Original and Sustainable Thinking


BOOST is a live, crowd-funded pitch fest in support of energy, ecosystem, and waste innovations in Chicago.


Social Entrepreneurs with unique and innovative projects apply to pitch their concepts to a live audience at the BOOST event. Audience members vote with their ticket contributions to determine the winning innovators. Winners split the BOOST grant - funds raised by the Delta Emerging Leaders - as well as the night's ticket sales to fund their business projects. Last year, BOOST grants totaled $5,000 to each of the two winners.

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. Past winners have used BOOST funds to bring a waste compost club and backyard farming business to scale.


Complete the funding application at the following link to possibly pitch your waste, energy, or ecosystem-related social venture to a live audience on Tuesday, November 13th:


Congratulations to BOOST 2017 Winners!

2017 Finalists:


Follow updates on BOOST funded projects and BOOST 2018 news via Delta Emerging Leaders' Facebook and Twitter and Instagram!

The DELs are always looking for new partnerships to expand our capacity and increase the BOOST Fund for 2018's winning social ventures. All contributions are tax deductible and go directly to the winning social entrepreneur(s).

E-mail to partner with us.


Past BOOST Finalists

2016 BOOST Finalists:

2015 BOOST Finalists:

2014 BOOST Finalists:

See what our 2014 winners have been up to on our blog.  

 2013 BOOST Finalists:

2012 BOOST Finalists:

  • Todd Jones — Every Last Morsel*
  • Seneca Kern — WeFarm*
  • Vanessa Smith — Health as Wealth
  • Amanda Medress — Storybooks for Sustainability
  • John Edel — The Plant

*BOOST Grant Winners

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