Watch South Side Pitch’s 2023 Live Event on YouTube!

South Side’s Shark-Tank Style Competition
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. 

October 17, 2024

Doors Open & Networking

Polsky Exchange North, 1452 E 53rd St. Chicago, IL 60615


Opening Introduction

Beth Kregor, IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship Director



To be announced in September 2024


Pitch Competition

Information on finalists to pitch will be provided once announced in September 2024!


Voting & Reception

Cast your vote for your favorite pitches!


Winners Announced!


With over $34,000 in prizes, the IJ Clinic is spotlighting South Siders with a passion to pitch. Compete against over 100 applicants for one of the top five spots! Each finalist is guaranteed a cash prize at the end of the night.

First Place


Second Place


Third Place


Fourth Place


Fifth Place


Community Favorite Award


*The Community Favorite Award is a generous cash award that acknowledges the South Side Pitch finalist that receives the most public votes. 

*The Rustandy Center Social Impact Award is a generous cash award of $2,500 that is given to a South Side Pitch finalist chosen by staff from the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

2023’s Judges and Keynote Speaker

Eva Brown


Eva is the Executive Director and Head of Business Growth & Entrepreneurship, Financial Health & Wealth Creation at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Eva previously served as Segment Leader, Minority and Women-Owned Businesses at U.S. Bank, where she was responsible for developing and maintaining community and business relationships. This led to measurable lending and investment opportunities as a force of positive change within the bank’s geographic footprint.

Justin Douglas


Justin is the Assistant Director of the Edwardson Social Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business’ Rustandy Center. He works with student entrepreneurs across UChicago’s campus to develop social-impact-based ventures, secure funding, and find mentors and other avenues for support.

Tessa Flippin


Tessa is the Founder and Managing Partner of Capitalize VC, working to reduce the racial wealth gap by investing in early-stage Black and Latinx founders, while simultaneously creating access for diverse limited partners. Tessa began her career in venture capital as a venture investor at TechNexus, a Chicago-based fund, where she invested in enterprise SaaS technologies at the seed stage. 

Richard Jones


Richard is a Supplier Diversity Business Manager with United Airlines. Richard hears business pitches every day and engages in the competitive bidding process for products to be featured in United Airlines’ fleet and facilities.

Augustine and Sylvia Emuwa

Keynote Speaker

Augustine and Sylvia are the owners of Dinobi Detergent LLC and 1st Place Winner, South Side Pitch 2019.

Thank You to this Year’s Coaches!

Lauren Amos

Director of Small Business Development at the Urban Juncture Foundation

Bruce Wilson

Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners  

Tasha Brown 

Midwest Director at Small Business Majority 

Larvetta Loftin 

CEO/Founder of the L3 Agency   

Katori Shepherd

Assistant Account Executive at the L3 Agency 

Jack Hilty

Mentor at SCORE Association and Managing Principal and Founder of SentientPoint, Inc 

Steven Lome

Mentor at SCORE Association and Chief Creative Officer of 4Site LLC  

Velvetta Young

Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion for SCORE Association Chicago Chapter 

2023 Finalists


R City Kitchen

The South Side’s Shared Community Kitchen

As a graduate of Chicago State University majoring in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Rodney always wanted to bring training and education to the food and beverage industry that he loved to Chicago’s Southside. That’s when…

South Side Pitch 2023

1st Place

Morgan Park

JustUs Junkie

Bringing justice from courtrooms to the classrooms

JustUs Junkie began five years ago with a viral video, “4 Things Not To Do If Stopped By Police.” As a criminal defense attorney of 19 years, April Preyar posted the video out of sheer…

South Side Pitch 2023

2nd Place

North Lawndale


A beauty mobile application for women of color

Shawna Woodruff and her cofounding sisters of BeautySKU know what it feels like to throw their hard-earned money at beauty brands that don’t appreciate them enough to incorporate their foundation shades or create solutions for…

South Side Pitch 2023

3rd Place

Bronzeville and South Shore

Stoviink Creatives

Inspiring Wellness Through Artisanal Crafts & the Creative Arts

As creatives and entrepreneurs, Megan and Marie Turner found it increasingly important to incorporate their South Side stories and experiences into their business products. These stories are at the heart of everything they create, including…

South Side Pitch 2023

4th Place

West Englewood

Englewood Branded

West Englewood’s Clothing Brand

Englewood Branded was born from the love of its community. Being an Englewood resident since the age of 5 years old, Corrie learned the importance of support and saw firsthand how it could help groom…

South Side Pitch 2023

5th Place