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.

BOOST 2015

Applications for the BOOST 2015 have officially launched!  Download the application here.

We are 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


Congratulations to the BOOST 2014 Finalists!

Fresh Coast Capital*

Fresh Coast Capital seeks to revitalize vacant land and brownfields in our urban communities through the power of tree farming.


Gardeneers identifies and trains dedicated leaders to create and maintain school gardens and lead lessons during and after school that enable students to enrich their knowledge of nutrition, connect with their community, and become stewards of the environment.

Strategic Textile Reclamation

Strategic Textile Reclamation are specialists in reclaiming and hauling textile waste; this reduces landfill waste and saves money, time and the planet.

The WasteShed

The WasteShed is a new creative reuse center for Chicago; TWS collects reusable art and school materials that would otherwise thrown away and makes them available to teachers, artists and anyone who needs them, at low cost.

*Winning BOOST crowd-funded projects.


2013 BOOST Pitch 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 Pitch Finalists

Todd Jones — Every Last Morsel*
Seneca Kern — WeFarm*

Vanessa Smith — Health as Wealth
Amanda Medress — Storybooks for Sustainability
John Edel — The Plant

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