Andrew Wimer
Andrew Wimer · September 12, 2023

CHICAGO—For the 10th year in a row, South Side entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to win money to fuel their business dreams through the South Side Pitch. The competition will again be held live and open to the public at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Hyde Park. Through Wednesday, September 20, members of the public are invited to help pick one of the finalists by viewing short video pitches on YouTube and liking their favorite.

The full list of 25 semi-finalist video pitches is available here:

“The South Side is full of creative, innovative entrepreneurs who are building up their communities,” said Beth Kregor, the director of the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago. “Whether they are keeping a neighborhood shop open in spite of the challenges of online competition, designing a new app, creating new recipes or providing much-needed professional services, they are an inspiring, essential group of heroes. We are excited to share videos highlighting the variety and vitality of entrepreneurs on the South Side and give the public a chance to vote in the South Side Pitch competition. But, beware, the creativity you see might be contagious!”

South Side Pitch allows incredible entrepreneurs to share their success stories and the impacts their businesses have in a “Shark Tank” style contest, with the final contestants presenting their pitches during the live event on October 20. Applicants compete to win several great prizes, including over $25,000 in cash prizes; this year, every finalist is guaranteed a prize.

Last year’s first-place winner was Moor’s Brewing Co. Owners Damon Patton, Jamhal Johnson, and Anthony Bell planned to use their winnings to introduce their beers to new markets.

South Side Pitch is hosted by the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship. The contest is sponsored by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement, and United Airlines. 

The Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship provides free legal assistance, access to resources and advocacy for low-income Chicago entrepreneurs. To learn more about the IJ Clinic, visit