South Side Pitch is a celebration of innovation happening south of Chicago’s skyline. In 2016, nearly 170 south side business owners applied to pitch their ideas at South Side Pitch.  South Side Pitch is hosted by the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Law School.

Event Details:

South Side Pitch 2017
Tuesday, October 10, 6:00-8:30
Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
1452 East 53rd Street, 2nd Floor
Register to attend here!

Keynote speaker: Jimmy Odom, Director of inclusive entrepreneurship, ChicagoNEXT

Judges: Chris-Tia Donaldson, Founder and CEO, Thank God I’m Natural (TGIN) | Kristin Barrett, Senior Director, Polsky Exchange | Amy Hermalik, Attorney, Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship


  • Back of the Yards Coffee
    Specialty coffee roaster located in Chicago’s Back of the Yards community
  • Chicago Eco House
    Network of fresh flower farms placed on vacant lots in Chicago’s Englewood community
  • KaZoom Kids Books
    Interactive digital children’s books featuring children of color
  • re:work training
    Software sales training program for low-income Chicagoans
  • Turnkey
    Mobile application allowing user to alert family members of their impending interaction with law enforcement

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 for South Side Pitch 2017 closed on August 16. Thank you to all the entrepreneurs who submitted applications!

On August 28, we will announce the South Side Pitch semi-finalists. If you are selected as a semi-finalist, you will be asked to submit a 20-30 second video about your business idea by September 15. On September 22, we’ll announce our 5 finalists who will prepare a pitch and compete at our October 10 event.

Finalists will have the opportunity to perform a 3-minute pitch before our panel of judges and a live audience including investors, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. The winners will receive a cash prize.

Questions? Email or call 773-834-3129