5th Annual BOOST Event Showcases Chicago’s Thriving Sustainability Movement

CHICAGO, IL (November 16, 2016) In a city with a growing community of entrepreneurs, start-up companies, and venture capital firms, four of Chicago’s emerging green projects took center stage at Chop Shop to make their pitch for exposure and seed funding. Two entrepreneurs, Jana Kinsman of Bike-A-Bee and Swarnav Pujari of Touch Light Innovations, won seed funding for their sustainability ventures.

The event, now in its fifth year, provides a platform for audience members to directly invest in inspiring environmental projects. Four green innovators pitched their ventures at the event:

Resketch reduces waste by diverting interesting, usable paper away from recycling centers and landfills, turning this variety of stock into amazing sketchbooks and notepads.

Bike a Bee is an urban farming initiative that provides hives to community gardens to serve as educational tools and public examples of the magic of pollinators.

PBR (Personal Bike Routing) is an iPhone app that helps bike riders find safer, quieter routes from point A to B, using mostly residential streets rather than the busy streets where most bike lanes are and most accidents happen.

Touch Light Innovations is pioneering the way we harvest ambient energy to power our daily tools and create a green environment. Their flagship product, Power Pad, is a low-profile device that sits beneath any moderate to heavy foot traffic location. Each step a passerby takes on the Power Pad generates up to 10 watt- mins of power. By targeting the commercial building market space in city locations, Touch Light Innovations is able to offer a clean technology product that is designed for city-like environments.

The winning ventures, Bike-A-Bee and Touch Light Innovations, will each be awarded thousands of dollars in unrestricted seed funding, and they will also receive a tailored package of in-kind resources.
“Being awarded the BOOST grant wasn’t just about being given money for my project’s infrastructure goals, it was about a community of people affirming that what I work towards is valid,” said Jana Kinsman, founder of Bike-A-Bee. “It was a great evening to reach out to folks and build resilience among Chicago’s green community. I am so grateful for being given the opportunity to participate, and I look forward towards many years of collaboration with the DELs [Delta Emerging Leaders]!”

“Being awarded the BOOST grant wasn’t just about being given money for my project’s infrastructure goals, it was about a community of people affirming that what I work towards is valid.”
– Jana Kinsman, founder of Bike-A-Bee.

“BOOST was a night I will remember for a long time, added Touch Light Innovations founder Swarnav Pujari. “The environment, and all the people there that gathered to support change. The future was seen in the solutions that were presented by us and our three great competitors. We are honored to have been selected by the crowd to receive the funding support to drive our change and power the world. We will be using this funding to help build our finished market prototype to demonstrate to our interested clients as we prepare to launch this coming year.”

BOOST (Building Opportunities for Original and Sustainable Thinking) is a live, crowd-funded pitch fest in support of sustainability innovations in Chicago. The audience, through their ticket purchases, contributes to the available pool of funding and vote to determine the winners.

BOOST is organized by the Delta Emerging Leaders (DELs), an associate board of the Delta Institute, a nonprofit that works to build both a resilient environment and economy through sustainable solutions. “BOOST allows community members to directly invest and support the innovations that they want to see in Chicago,” said Beau Garrett, DEL Co-Chair.

Sponsors for the event include:
Chop Shop / 1st Ward Events
Clif Bar
Goose Island Beer Company

Web Links:
Website: delta-institute.org/BOOST
Twitter: twitter.com/DeltaEmLeaders  #BOOST2016

About the DELs: The Delta Emerging Leaders is the associate board of Delta Institute that empowers young leaders to advance innovation and sustainability in Chicago.

About Delta Institute: Delta Institute is a nonprofit organization that works throughout the Great Lakes region to build a resilient environment and economy through sustainable, market-driven solutions. Visit online at https://delta-institute.org.

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