Grant committee members Hussain Bhanpuri. left, Andrew Fogaty and Laura Martinez congratulate Justin Cooper, seated, for his 2018 Boost Award grant.

Business Incubator Announces All-Abilities Entrepreneur Grants

Published July 4, 2021

The 36Squared Business Incubator, the McKinley Park neighborhood’s Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Chicago Neighborhood Business Development Center (NBDC), has announced opening of its 2021 Boost Awards, which provide first startup funding to disabled entrepreneurs.

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The Boost Awards, which grant up to $1,000 to new businesses, are available to Illinois residents “with some type of disability that poses a challenge to their success in the business world,” the application materials state.

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These grants can often provide the first, critical source of startup money upon which other funding can be layered, said Andrew Fogaty, executive director of the business incubator.

Applications for the award are due by midnight on Friday, July 16, 2021, and can be submitted through the Boost Awards page on the 36Squared Business Incubator website.

The application process includes submission of a basic video in which the applicant explains the business concept.

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“The video, along with the entry form, will be reviewed by our judges,” the application form states. “Criteria will include business viability, experience and challenges faced by the applicant.”

As previously reported here in the McKinley Park News, past winners have included logistics company head Roel Cano, video producer Justin Cooper, Chef Laura Martinez and local manufacturer Windy City Plates.

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