Congratulations to this year’s South Side Pitch Winners! 

First Place: Camesha Jones with Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness 
Second Place: Ismael El-Amin with Piggyback Network
Third Place: Dominique Jones with D. Jones Construction

And the Audience Favorite: Ian Gonzalez with Last Lap Cornerstore!

Missed the Event? Watch 6 incredible pitches now! South Side Pitch is an annual event hosted by the Institute for Justice’s Clinic on Entrepreneurship.

This Year’s Finalists:
Blossom Girls Network
A Celebration of Young Womanhood

D. Jones Construction
100% minority-owned, women-owned certified general construction company

Last Lap Cornerstore
The South Side’s Specialty Running Store

Piggyback Network
An online youth transportation marketplace for parents and guardians on shared routes

Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness
Community Mental Wellness centering around Black women

Trading Races
Learn Black history while unpacking the complexities of race by asking one simple question: “Who’s blacker than who?”

A special congratulations to the Semifinalist Community Favorite: Trading Races!
Kenyatta Forbes & her business, Trading Races, garnered the most support from the community during our Semi-Finalist phase and secured their spot in the Finals! Check out her first pitch video here. Missed out on this year’s Semi-Finalists? Check out the competition by watching our playlist on YouTube!

South Side Pitch is hosted by the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship. Stay connected by following us on our Facebook and Twitter


South Side Pitch 2021 Judges: Kelly Evans, Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Chicago Urban League || Blake Overlock, Principal at LOUD Capital || Joanna Trotter, Senior Program Officer in Economic and Community Development for the Chicago Community Trust || Wendy Walker Williams, Executive Director of Community Partnerships at UChicago

Wondering if you should apply, but don’t see a business like yours? South Side Pitch is a competition for all South Side businesses with a passion to pitch. Check out last year’s Finalists, and you’ll see our competition isn’t limited to any one industry! It’s all about you.

Last Year’s Judges: Peggy A. Davis, VP of Community Impact, Chicago Community Trust || Vincent Williams, President and CEO, Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council || Susana L. Vasquez, Associate Vice President, The University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement|| Elizabeth Kregor, Director, IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship

Last Year’s Finalists:

Children’s shop focused on representation and inclusivity.

Maestri Tutoring
Bilingual tutoring center for working class families.

New Magnolia Garden Center
A U-pick farm and garden center located in Back of the Yards.
A marketplace of Black-owned businesses that includes an online business directory and a brick and mortar shop in Chatham.

The Lemonade Land
Pop-up market for micro Black-owned businesses in the South Shore, Greater Grand Crossing, and Woodlawn area.

Wesley’s Shoes
Sit and fit family shoe store serving customers since 1970.

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

How do I apply to be a contestant?
To apply please go to next summer! Dates will be announced following this year’s Final event. Tune in & see what it takes to win it all!   

Questions? Email or call 773-834-3129