Funding a Sustainable Future – 5th Annual BOOST Event Funds Social Innovation in Chicagoland

Media Contact: Katie Yocum Musisi
Phone: 312-651-4344
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 18th, 2016

Funding a Sustainable Future – 5th Annual BOOST Event Funds
Social Innovation in 

CHICAGO, ILBOOST (Building Opportunities for Original and Sustainable Thinking) utilizes a community-driven platform for unrestricted seed funds, launching enterprises that strengthen the environmental and economic vitality of the Chicagoland region. The event is organized by the Delta Emerging Leaders (DELs), associate board of the Chicago nonprofit Delta Institute.

BOOST supports innovations in the fields of energy, ecosystem, and waste; social entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a live audience at the BOOST Funding Night: Nov 16th, 2016. This approach engages a critical and often overlooked stakeholder in any business venture, the local community, whose ticket contribution and vote decide which projects to fund. The two winning entrepreneurs split the BOOST grant comprised of funding secured by the DELs as well as the night’s ticket sales.

Now in its 5th year, BOOST has funded eight social innovation projects that promote Chicago’s green economy. Past BOOST recipients include Urban Canopy, an organization that demonstrates how the urban agriculture movement can help create a more sustainable and equitable food system, and the Gardeneers, a non-profit organization that empowers students to connect with healthy food through experiential, garden-based learning. To date, the event has raised $27,000 in seed funding for emerging entrepreneurs that otherwise struggle to find financial support from traditional fundraising channels.

“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 Delta Institute CEO Bill Schleizer. “We’re proud to support the Delta Emerging Leaders in this important work.”

In addition to funding, BOOST 2016 grant recipients will also receive a selection of in-kind services from local business sponsors. For more insights, check out the BOOST video:

2016 BOOST Presenting Finalists:
Resketch reduces waste by diverting interesting, usable paper away from recycling centers and landfills, turning this variety of stock into amazing sketchbooks and notepads.
Bike a Bee is an urban farming initiative that provides hives to community gardens to serve as educational tools and public examples of the magic of pollinators.
-PBR (Personal Bike Routing) is an iPhone app that helps bike riders find safer, quieter routes from point A to B, using mostly residential streets rather than the busy streets where most bike lanes are and most accidents
Touch Light Innovations is pioneering the way we harvest ambient energy to power our daily tools and create a green environment. Their flagship product, Power Pad, is a low-profile device that sits beneath any moderate to heavy foot traffic location. Each step a passerby takes on the Power Pad generates up to 10 watt-mins of power. By targeting the commercial building market space in city locations, Touch Light Innovations is able to offer a clean technology product that is designed for city-like environments.

WHO: Delta Emerging Leaders, associate board of Chicago non-profit organization Delta Institute.

WHAT: BOOST is a community-driven platform for funding emerging innovations in Chicago’s green economy. BOOST awards unrestricted seed funding to launch enterprises that will strengthen the environmental and economic vitality of the Chicagoland region.

TICKETS: (all proceeds support winning entrepreneurs)
• Single – $40 for one ticket
• Double – $70 for two tickets
• Ticket price includes light appetizers, Clif Bar organic products, and 2 complementary beers (additional pub fare and beverages available for purchase at Chop Shop)

WHEN: Wednesday November 16th, 2016 | 7-10PM

Chop Shop
2033 W North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647

WHY: BOOST connects promising Chicago innovators with funding to help their projects grow. BOOST’s community-driven approach to financing social ventures overcomes a funding barrier for local entrepreneurs and engages hundreds of Chicagoans to invest directly in the future of their city.

Facebook event:
Twitter: #BOOST2016

Sponsors for the event include:
Chop Shop / 1st Ward Events
Clif Bar
Goose Island Beer Company

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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