BOOST 2023: A Special Anniversary Celebrating Sustainability & Entrepreneurship

BOOST 2023: A Special Anniversary Celebrating Sustainability & Entrepreneurship

This year, we will host BOOST as part of a special year-long anniversary commemorating Delta Institute's 25th anniversary of collaborating with communities across the Midwest to solve complex, environmental challenges as a 501c3 nonprofit organization. We will be sharing more details about the anniversary details, including BOOST, in the weeks to come. For now, please save the date of October 24 for BOOST 2023 to join us in person in Chicago or online as a hybrid event!
BOOST 2023: A Special Anniversary Celebrating Sustainability & Entrepreneurship

BOOST: October 24, 2023

BOOST, or “Building Opportunities for Original and Sustainable Thinking,” has been a longstanding program to support emerging entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to promote sustainability in their communities with innovative products and solutions. This year, as a way to launch Delta’s year-long 25th anniversary celebration, we are hosting a very special anniversary BOOST, where we will be inviting back the all stars from our previous BOOST winners to share the impact of their work since they last won BOOST and win a larger investment. BOOST is an annual pitchfest where the audience decides the winners of the competition. Collectively, we plan to award a record $25,000 in funding to four exceptional BOOST winners in commemoration of Delta’s 25th anniversary. 


We are pleased to announce this year’s finalists are:

  • Quilen Blackwell of Chicago Eco House / Southside Blooms
  • Selma Sims of Gardeneers
  • Jannice Newson of Lillian Augusta Hair
  • Sophie Lieberman of Zumwalt Acres

Join us in helping us select this year’s grand prize winner! All guests who register for the event will be invited to vote for who becomes this year’s special anniversary BOOST award winner!


Sponsorship opportunities start at $1,000. For questions about sponsorships or the event, please email Patrick Murphy, Delta’s Director for Donor Stewardship.

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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

Kaplan Institute at Illinois Tech exterior of building


American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact
United Airlines


William Blair


Peoples Gas Community Fund



More about BOOST

BOOST is an annual event organized by the Delta Emerging Leaders associate board of Delta Institute. Since its inception, the BOOST program has awarded grants to 20 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, conservation efforts integrating renewable energy, waste diversion to support small businesses, and much more.

Please enjoy the photos and video recording from last year’s BOOST event, presented by American Family Institute for Corporate and Social Impact and United Airlines, where we featured four excellent finalists: babygami co, Centreville Citizens for Change, EcoShip, and Rewilding Acres of Eco.Logic.

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