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BOOST 2022: Supporting Innovative Emerging Entrepreneurs in Sustainability

October 27 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

BOOST 2022 Featured Image

Join us October 27 to support sustainability in entrepreneurship

For over ten years at our annual BOOST event, emerging entrepreneurs have shared innovative ideas to promote sustainability in their communities with innovative products and solutions. Please join us at this year’s event — hosted live in Chicago for both in-person and virtual guests — to hear their ideas and then cast your vote for which entrepreneurs you would like to win this year’s BOOST competition, including $5,000 awards to continue developing their start-ups.

Since its inception, the BOOST program has awarded grants to 18 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 much more.

Meet this year’s finalists

Thank you to everyone who applied to BOOST this year! We are honored to announce this year’s finalists: Sana Jafri of babygami co, Walter Byrd of Centreville Citizens for Change, Aleksandra Plewa of EcoShip, and Rozina Kanchwala of Rewilding Acres! Learn more about each of their projects in the slideshow below:

babygami co

2022 Finalist

babygami co’s mission is to get diverse families outside! We live into our mission by creating the first of its kind space-saving baby products and community. Our bottles are a standard ten ounces when fully open and collapse down to the size of a coaster.

Centreville Citizens for Change

2022 Finalist

IL Residents have endured floods and wastewater overflows in their neighborhoods for decades. The stormwater and sewage systems are broken and failing, leading to frequent floods & raw sewage backups into properties. These injustices have caused a public health crisis in this area.


2022 Finalist

EcoShip is a community focused 501(c)(3) that collects gently used shipping materials from local communities and redistributes them to businesses, helping them cut costs and implement sustainable business practices.

Rewilding Acres

2022 Finalist

Rewilding Acres is an ecosystem restoration project that will transform commercial farmland into an agrivoltaic site that combines ecosystem restoration and organic farming to regenerate soil, sequester carbon, enhance food access, and create an experiential classroom.

Join us live: In-person or online

We are pleased to present our first hybrid event for BOOST 2022. Registration options include:

— VIP Registration ($75): Includes the menu options listed below, an open bar for two hours, special recognition during the program as a VIP supporter, and of course, one vote for your favorite entrepreneurs. To accommodate flexibility in case guests are exposed to COVID-19 or other unexpected circumstances, in-person guests receive a backup virtual-only registration.
— Standard Registration ($50). Includes the menu options listed below and of course, one vote for your favorite entrepreneurs. To accommodate flexibility in case guests are exposed to COVID-19 or other unexpected circumstances, in-person guests receive a backup virtual-only registration.
— Virtual Registration ($25): Includes one registration to livestream the event remotely via Zoom and vote online for your favorite entrepreneurs.

In addition to supporting emerging entrepreneurs, event proceeds support the work of Delta Institute, a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission to collaborate with communities throughout the Midwest to solve complex environmental challenges. Supporters receive an email acknowledgement detailing the portion of their gift that may be claimed as a charitable tax deduction.



We would like to thank the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship for hosting BOOST this year! Kaplan Institute “believes that higher education is best realized when applied to positive, practical change.” Their mission is to guide Illinois Tech students on a direct path to becoming Chicago’s next tech leaders.

Kaplan Institute at Illinois Tech
3137 S Federal St, Chicago, IL 60616


All in-person guests can enjoy a Taste of the Mediterranean catered cuisine:

— Chermoula spiced chicken skewers with tzatziki sauce (gluten-free);
— Kafta meatballs on tabbouleh with red chili tomato sauce;
— Mini falafel with tahini sauce (vegetarian option);
— Lentil hummus with grilled pita chips (vegetarian option);
— Mezze grilled and marinated vegetables and hummus (gluten-free and vegan option); and
— Marinated olives (gluten-free and vegan option).

Open bar for VIP Guests

An open bar with beer, wine, and soft drinks is available from 6pm-8pm for VIP Guests age 21 years and older.






Make an impact — support innovation in sustainability

We have a wide range of sponsorship options available starting at $500. If you or your company is interested in sponsoring the event, please click here to learn more or contact Patrick Murphy.

Additional details

For those attending the event in-person, we will reserve front-row seating for those with disabilities; printed handouts of the presentation with large scale font will be available upon request. For those attending the event online, automated closed captions will be provided by Zoom. Guests are encouraged to bring their mobile devices to the event to cast their votes electronically, though this is not necessary; those without devices will still be able to vote by coordinating with a volunteer. Please email us with other questions or comments about accessibility.

Please note that this year’s BOOST event will be recorded via photography, videography, and audio recording. By attending BOOST 2022, guests grant Delta Institute permission to take photographs/video/audio of them and their property. Guests authorize Delta Institute, its assigns, and transferees to edit, copyright, use, and publish the same in print and/or electronically. Guests agree that Delta Institute may use such photographs/video/audio of them with or without their names and for any lawful purpose, including such purposes as publicity, web content, and reports. By attending BOOST 2022, guests acknowledge that they have completely read and fully understand Delta Institute’s BOOST 2022 Media Release Consent Form and COVID-19 Disclosure, and agree by all conditions, and they release any and all claims against Delta Institute for utilizing this material for publication, external promotion, or distribution via Delta Institute-managed channels.

Delta Institute recognizes and appreciates that COVID-19 is an ongoing consideration for events attendance and management. We encourage our guests to please connect with us another time and stay at home to rest if they are experiencing fever, cough, difficulty breathing, loss of taste/smell, or any other symptom that may indicate COVID-19 infection. Further, we encourage our guests to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and welcome the wearing of masks to reduce community spread. Have fun and be safe!

Recent BOOST Winners and Presentations

Block Bins

2019 Winner

Block Bins are compost & recycling bins that you can request and share, creating affordable and sustainable recycling programs anywhere.

Lillian Augusta

2019 Winner

Plant-based braiding hair that eliminates the discomfort associated with synthetic braiding hair and is 100% biodegradable. Lillian Augusta revolutionizes Black hair care by offering “hair without harm™.”

Zumwalt Acres

2020 Winner

Zumwalt Acres is a regenerative agriculture community working to develop a model of land stewardship in Illinois that is ecologically sustainable and socially responsible, rooted in Jewish values.

Chicago Tool Library

2021 Winner

Chicago Tool Library provides equitable access to tools, equipment, and information to allow all Chicagoans to learn, share, and create.


2021 Winner

tinyshop is an organic, zero waste grocer with 100% returnable packaging. This circular system offers Chicagoans a convenient, low impact shopping experience to shift away from our current disposable culture.


October 27
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Categories:


Kaplan Institute at Illinois Tech
3137 S Federal St
Chicago, IL 60616 United States
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