Building Opportunities for Original and Sustainable Thinking


Thank you for an unforgettable BOOST 2018!

Social entrepreneurs KitcheNet, BareItAll Petfoods, and Four Star Family Cyclery pitched their ideas to a crowded Chop Shop on Tuesday, November 13. Attendees voted for their favorite local, sustainable entrepreneur to award the $5,000 BOOST grant, which this year was KitcheNet! Congratulations!

Delta Institute appreciates all of the hard work our associate board, the Delta Emerging Leaders, did to successfully host this exciting, annual event. Thank you to Clif Bar & Company, the Walter S. Mander Foundation, and Patterson Family Foundation for their generous support for BOOST.

BOOST is a live, crowd-funded pitchfest in support of solving environmental challenges in Chicago and around the Midwest. It is an initiative of the Delta Emerging Leaders, an associate board of Delta Institute, that empowers young leaders to advance innovation and sustainability in the Midwest. Social entrepreneurs with unique and innovative projects pitch their concepts to a live audience at BOOST.

Audience members vote with their ticket contributions to determine the winner who will receive a BOOST grant. Grant funds are raised by the Delta Emerging Leaders through sponsorship and ticket sales. Cumulatively, BOOST has provided $50,000 to 13 innovative projects in Chicago over the past six 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.

Past BOOST Finalists

2018 BOOST Finalists:

2017 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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