Chicago’s Green Innovators To Pitch New Projects at Crowd-Funding Event

(CHICAGO) – In a city where a growing community of entrepreneurs and decision-makers are leading a national conversation around sustainability, several of Chicago’s emerging green projects will take center stage to make their pitch for exposure and seed funding cash prizes.

BOOST (Building Opportunities for Original and Sustainable Thinking) is a live, crowd-funded pitch fest in support of energy, ecosystem, and waste innovations in Chicago. The event, in its third year, allows community members to directly invest in inspiring environmental projects.

“BOOST allows community members to directly invest in and support the innovations that they want to see in Chicago,” said Sam Schiller, DEL Co-Chair. “This year’s slate represents just how innovative and forward thinking the sustainability movement is here in Chicago.”

The event is hosted 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 culminates in a live event where social entrepreneurs present their projects in front of a live audience who, through ticket purchases, contribute to the available pool of project funding. The crowd votes at the end of the night to determine which social ventures receive funding, which is expected to exceed $3,000. Projects also receive a tailored package of in-kind resources in addition to the support of the BOOST community.

“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,” said Jean Pogge, CEO of the Delta Institute.

This year’s event will be held from 7-10 p.m. on December 2, at Chop Shop, 2033 W North Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are $30 in advance at  or $35 at the door.

On the slate are four projects:

  • Fresh Coast Capital: Fresh Coast Capital is dedicated to revitalizing post-industrial communities by finding new green uses for vacant urban land and brownfields. Through a strategy of planting fast-growing hybrid poplar tree farms on vacant, blighted and contaminated urban properties, Fresh Coast Capital can provide a low-cost, green vacant land management solution to municipalities, land banks, developers, private industry and landowners in the Midwest.
  • Gardeeners: Gardeneers maintain school gardens, currently serving more than 400 high-need students with garden-based lessons on nutrition, community, and the environment. The mission of Gardeneers is to identify and train these leaders to sustain school gardens and lead garden-based lessons 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 LLC provides a free collection bin and hauling service for any business that requires bulk disposal of textile and footwear products. Strategic Textile Reclamation’s mission is to reclaim textiles and footwear products before they are placed in a land fill and to create a market for these items. STR works with municipalities, material recovery facilities, organizations, schools and commercial enterprises to reclaim and recycle textile and footwear products.
  • WasteShed: The WasteShed is a creative reuse center that functions as a thrift store for art and school supplies. A creative reuse center has numerous positive aspects; it keeps good usable materials out of the landfill, provides a cheap resource for the local creative and educational communities, and establishes a social nexus for people who are interested in creative approaches to everything, from leatherworking to set design to environmental activism.

Sponsors for the event include:

  • Chop Shop
  • New Belgium Brewery
  • Hamid Efroymson Foundation
  • Walter S. Mander Foundation
  • Copa Di Vino

For more information and to RSVP, keep an eye on the BOOST page on the Delta website and the DEL BOOST Facebook Page

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

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