South Side Pitch showcases some of the South Side’s most innovative ideas before a live audience. In 2018, 130 businesses applied to South Side Pitch. On October 11th, our contestants will pitch their businesses to a panel of expert judges, who will provide feedback to help both the contestants and the audience learn about the elements of a winning pitch.

We’ll compile scores based on judge evaluations and audience votes, and the winner(s) will receive a prize package. While we’re doing that, you’re welcome to grab a drink from our open bar or a bite from our buffet of yummy appetizers by local caterer Catering Out the Box. Please use this time to network and build connections – we’ll be back around 8:30 PM to announce the winner!

South Side Pitch is hosted by the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship in partnership with the Lenovo Foundation, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement.

Event Details:
South Side Pitch 2018
Thursday, October 11, 6:00-8:30
Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
1452 East 53rd Street, 2nd Floor
Register to attend South Side Pitch 2018

2018 Judges: Alyssa Berman Cutler, Director of Community Economic Development Initiatives, University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement || Charisse Conanan Johnson, Partner, Next Street || Beth Kregor, Director, IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship || Jimmy Odom, Director of Inclusive Entrepreneurship, ChicagoNEXT

2018 Finalists:

Kozy – A retention and savings platform for landlords and renters alike
Liv Labs – Exercise incontinence solution for women of all ages
Ricafrica – Online marketplace for authentic African goods
The Bougie Melon – 100% Fresh-made, fun sips & sweets for fruit-loving foodies
The Real Black Card – Advertising and couponing tool to market small businesses in underdeveloped communities

Members of the media: if you are interested in hearing more about South Side Pitch, please contact Stacy Massey at

How do I apply to be a contestant?
Applications to apply for South Side Pitch 2018 are now closed. If you’d like to attend the event, you can register here.

Questions? Email or call 773-834-312