South Side Pitch showcases some of the South Side’s most innovative ideas before a live audience. In 2019, more than 100 businesses applied to South Side Pitch. This year, on October 10th, our contestants will once again 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. We provide an open bar and fast spread from local South Side businesses for all the attendees to enjoy! This will be a great opportunity to network and build connections! At around 8:30 PM we will announce the winner!

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

Event Details:

South Side Pitch 2019
Thursday, October 10, 6:00PM – 8:30PM
Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
1452 East 53rd Street, 2nd Floor

This Year’s Judges: Andrea Zopp, Chief Executive Officer, World Business Chicago || Sherman Wright, Managing Partner, TEN35 || Allison Weil, Senior Associate Investor, Hyde Park Venture Partners || Amy Hermalik, Associate Director, IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship

This Year’s MC: Jason William Johnson, Director of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Urban League

This Year’s Finalists:

Wash on Wheels
Full-service, mobile, waterless car wash.

Dinobi Detergent LLC
100% plant-based laundry detergent for both sensitive and non-sensitive skin.

Software management and navigation tool for truckers looking for safe, reliable parking rest areas.

Chicago Birthworks Collective
Group of black birthworkers (doula) who provide comprehensive non-medical reproductive care from preconception to postpartum focused on people of color throughout Chicago.

Coffee Pops
On-the-go coffee made up of concentrated coffee formed in a dough ball with honey.

Strength Together
Mental health app for high school students that utilizes machine learning and AI.


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

How do I apply to be a contestant?
Applications to apply for South Side Pitch 2019 are now closed.

Questions? Email or call 773-834-3129