Five chosen to pitch Big Idea in Oak Park, River Forest

Finalists will compete for $50,000 in seed funding

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Entrepreneur Leaders in Philanthropy, a group under the umbrella of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, has announced the names of five social entrepreneurs who will be invited to pitch their "big idea" in February for a chance to get $50,000 in seed funding for their ideas.

The "Big Ideas" contest solicits entrepreneurs connected to nonprofits to submit proposals that aim to "make a difference in the world," according to an Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation press release.

The finalists include:

  • Contemporary Visual Arts Lab's proposal to develop "visual art spaces for a large and diverse public through permanent installations and pop-up storefronts."
  • 100% College Ready's plan to ensure all OPRF students are ready for college by 2020 through mentoring and coaching.
  • Felony Franks & Rescue's proposal to provide workforce training and job recruitment for ex-offenders.
  • Lawns to Garden's plan to incentivize lawn owners to convert their lawns to edible garden space.
  • Take 2's proposal to promote age diversity in Oak Park and River Forest by offering affordable in-home services.

Finalists will pitch their proposals to the public on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Wire, 6815 Roosevelt Rd. in Berwyn. The winner will be selected and named at the event.


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