Delta Emerging Leaders

The Delta Emerging Leaders (DELs) serve as the official associate board of Delta Institute and advance Delta’s mission by expanding its network of supporters, donors, and partners through events and initiatives that engage new and diverse audiences. 

For example, the DELs host an annual live, crowd-funding pitch competition called BOOST for sustainable start-up businesses that help make Chicago a thriving, environmentally conscientious city to live and work in. BOOST brings together social entrepreneurs with unique and innovative projects to pitch their concepts to a live audience. Audience members vote with their ticket contributions to determine winners who each receive $5,000 BOOST grants (thus investing $10,000 total in our city). Grant funds are raised by the Delta Emerging Leaders through sponsorship and ticket sales.

Thank you to everyone who supported our BOOST 2019 event! This year’s sold-out event raised nearly $30,000 to both help emerging entrepreneurs in sustainability and benefit Delta Institute’s mission of collaborating with communities across the Midwest to solve complex environmental challenges.

Congratulations to this year’s BOOST Winners: Block Bins and Lillian Augusta! Both entrepreneurs will each receive a $5,000 grant to further develop their innovation in sustainability. Block Bins provides food scrap recycling bins to Chicago residents so that neighbors can share bins to reduce cost and clutter. Lillian Augusta provides plant-based, biodegradable hair with an incentivized return program for compost, providing an alternative to synthetic, single-use, plastic hair. We look forward to sharing more about their projects in the future!

Thank you to our other finalists—Chicago Tool Library, Community Charging, and Star Farm Chicago Market and Garden Center—for sharing their visions, and thank you to all those who applied to be a part of BOOST! Please be on the lookout for more details about BOOST 2020!

  • Every Last Morsel*
  • WeFarm*
  • Health as Wealth
  • Storybooks for Sustainability
  • The Plant

*BOOST Grant Winners