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. Grant funds are raised by the Delta Emerging Leaders through sponsorship and ticket sales.
The DELs also host the annual Green Soapbox Event each Spring, convening regional experts to discuss a pressing environmental topic in a virtual setting. We have been fortunate to have heard, and learned, from many sustainability thought-leaders on an array of topics facing our region. Recordings of past Green Soapbox Events are hosted on Delta Institute’s YouTube channel.
Thank you to everyone who applied this year!
We are currently reviewing applications for all those who applied to become a Delta Emerging Leader this spring. We will follow up with all applicants in June 2023.
Since its inception in 2012, BOOST (Building Opportunities for Original and Sustainable Thinking) has invested in Midwestern start-ups ranging from local composting businesses, biodegradable hair products designed for Black women, regenerative agriculture farming, an accessible repair-and-share tool library, a zero-waste grocer, and many more innovative approaches to reduce the region’s carbon footprint while addressing key environmental issues.
BOOST serves as a platform for early-stage entrepreneurs with innovative products and services to provide sustainable change in the Midwest. During the BOOST event, attendees at the pitch fest vote for their favorite entrepreneurs and the winners receive $5,000 grants to invest in their sustainability-focused work in the Midwest. BOOST is the flagship annual event for the Delta Emerging Leaders.
BOOST is held each year in October; 2023 will help commemorate Delta Institute’s 25th Anniversary.
2022 BOOST FINALISTS
Centerville Citizens for Change
2021 BOOST FINALISTS
Chicago Tool Library*
Qilo Watt, Inc.
2020 BOOST FINALISTS
Chicago Environmental Educators
2019 BOOST FINALISTS
Chicago Tool Library
Star Farm Chicago Market and Garden Center
2017 BOOST FINALISTS
Great Lakes Yard*
Chicago Eco House*
Slow Roll Chicago
Out Our Front Door
2015 BOOST FINALISTS
Octavia’s Natural Hair Care Experience*
The Naru Project
2013 BOOST FINALISTS
Field and Florist
2012 BOOST FINALISTS
Every Last Morsel*
Health as Wealth
Storybooks for Sustainability
*BOOST Grant Winners
Create a thriving Midwest for tomorrow by supporting Delta today.