What is South Side Pitch?

Every year, small businesses across the South Side of Chicago participate in South Side Pitch, sharing stories about their roots, their impact, and their visions for the future. The contest ends with a shark-tank style event where finalists pitch their businesses to a city-wide audience and a panel of judges for the chance to win cash prizes. Our goal is to shine a spotlight on these incredible business owners and inspire others to pursue their dreams and build up their communities through entrepreneurship.  

Apply here! Applications open from June to August 2023

hosted by

South Side Pitch is hosted by the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Law School. Located on the South Side, we advocate for economic liberty so that entrepreneurs from Chicago can chart their own courses in life, build up neighborhoods, and create jobs. We provide free legal assistance, access to resources, and advocacy for underserved entrepreneurs in the Chicago area. 



South Side Pitch’s General Timeline

June to August 2023

Applications open from June 20th to August 1st 2023

To be considered for 2023 SSP, you must apply by August 1st at 11:59pm.

Late August 2023

Pitch Perfect

Interested in networking and refining your business pitch? Join the IJCE at the University of Chicago Law School in late June or August 2023 for Pitch Perfect!

September 2023

Semifinalist Season

Semifinalists are selected in September 2023! Submit your video pitch and the public votes who receives the People’s Choice award! Peopleʼs Choice is guaranteed a prize.

October 2023

Finalist Coaching

Finalists are selected in early October 2023! Join IJCE & pitching experts to practice your pitch!

October 19, 2023

South Side Pitch!

Live at the Polsky Center North on October 19, 2023. Finalists pitch to win the top prize!

Last Year’s Winners


Moor’s Brewing Company

Chicago’s Black-Owned Beer

Moor’s Brewing Company was founded by Damon Patton, Jamhal Johnson and Anthony Bell, all born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. In 1994, while attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the three…

South Side Pitch 2022

1st Place

South Chicago

The Record Track

Revolutionary Record Store

When Clifton Muhammad earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, he didn’t imagine owning a small record store. His career had been mostly about helping multinational companies make money, and getting more returns on…

South Side Pitch 2022

2nd Place, Community Favorite Award

Washington Heights & South Loop

That’s So Creative LLC

Full-Service Creative & Marketing Agency

I strive to inspire others that you can succeed despite your background or how you grew up. I’m a proud south sider–born and raised in various locations from Auburn Gresham, to Grand Crossing/Chatham to South…

South Side Pitch 2022

3rd Place

Garfield Ridge

Healthy Substance

Mexican Food: Delicious, Authentic, & Vegan

Our story begins nearly a decade ago when founder Patricia Gonzalez first turned vegan for health and wellness reasons. Two years after that Patricia’s husband was diagnosed with lung cancer. When she heard the devastating…

South Side Pitch 2022

4th Place

Hyde Park

T’Kor Couture

Black-owned luxury fashion

T’KOR Couture is a Black-owned luxury fashion brand that specializes in handmade crochet clothing and accessories. T’KOR was founded by Dinah T’kor Clottey in the midst of the global pandemic and fight for Black Lives…

South Side Pitch 2022

5th Place

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