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 roughly $3,000 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. Watch a quick video to see how it works:

Congratulations to BOOST 2015 Winners!

2015 Finalists:


Follow updates on BOOST funded projects and BOOST 2016 news via Delta Emerging Leaders' Facebook and Twitter or donate to the BOOST grant year-round!

The DELs are always looking for new partnerships to expand our capacity and increase the BOOST Fund for 2015's winning social ventures. All contributions are tax deductible and go directly to the winning social entrepreneur(s).

E-mail to partner with us.

Finalist TableFunding Night VoteFunding Night Pitch



2014 BOOST Finalists:

Fresh Coast Capital*
Strategic Textile Reclamation
The WasteShed

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


2013 BOOST Finalists:

Seva Ghandi — Accelerate 77*
Alex Poltorak — Urban Canopy*

Paige Humecki — Chicago Biodigesters
Ally Brisbin and Carla Bruni— Community Glue
Heidi Joynt — Field and Florist


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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