Join the Event on May 11th

Register to attend the Purpose Pitch to watch as four startups compete for $25,000.



We believe purpose is innate within any company and has to be accessed to reach its full potential. We want you to pitch us; not on what you do but why you do it. We believe your purpose can be summed up into three words: simple, genuine, and aspirational. We want to see what your company can bring to the table to inspire others and lead a transformative movement throughout the interactions you have.

4 Startups

Vetted companies will have 5 minutes to pitch what they believe in while connecting it to their overarching business model in respect to their company’s future.

5 Judges

Our judges will validate the positioning of your company’s purpose by examining your presentation. First place recognized as “Most Purposeful Startup in Chicago” in addition to receiving $25,000 and media exposure.

1 Keynote Speaker

We’ve got a keynote speaker that is sure to challenge the way your company thinks about its purpose and business model. We’re setting out to change the world.


Kurt Summers

Treasurer of the City of Chicago

With over 15 years of experience in the financial services community, Summers serves as Chicago’s newest City Treasurer. As the steward of the city’s $7 billion dollar investment portfolio, he is responsible for maintaining records and accounts of the city’s finances while ensuring transparency and accountability for all transactions. Treasurer Summers also serves as an advocate to empower young people, workers and small business owners, as well as programs that promote economic growth and financial education.

Most recently, Summers served as a Senior Vice President at Grosvenor Capital Management and a member of the Office of the Chairman. Summers was a leader of the Emerging and Diverse Manager business, which invested over $2 billion with minority and women-owned firms.

Treasurer Kurt Summers is a lifelong Chicago resident and a graduate of Whitney Young High School. He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Management Distinction High Honors in Finance and International Business, with a minor in East Asian Studies, from Washington University in St. Louis. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.


Michael Hennessy

President of The Coleman Foundation

Vip Sandhir

Founder & CEO at HighGround

Jodi Navta

Chief Marketing Officer at Coyote Logistics

Scott Kitun

CEO at Technori

Tom Walter

Chief Culture Officer at Tasty Catering

Steven DuPuis

Founder of DuPuis Group

Event Information

222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza #1212,
Chicago, IL 60654

more information


Applications for the Purpose Pitch are now closed. However, if you’re interested in attending the event, register below.


We've got you covered.

We’ve found that the path to purpose doesn’t occur overnight. In fact, there is no set timeframe for discovering your company’s purpose. If you or your company is interested in pursuing a purpose transformation, check out these resources.


What to expect during the Purpose Pitch

5:30 DePaul Introductions

5:35 Keynote Speaker

5:55 Introductions to the Judges

6:05 Presentations and Audience Questions

7:05 Networking

7:25 Awards 


If you are interested in sponsoring the Purpose Pitch, please contact us to get started.


How do you define purpose?

Purpose is the “why” your company exists. It is the drum beat that your team marches to. It is the reason you get up every day excited to continue working toward this goal. A purpose statement should be simple, genuine, and aspirational. Purpose does not mean that you are non-profit.  For more information on finding your purpose and the process behind it, read this blog article from one of our sponsors.

What is the application process like?

To apply, please fill out this Google form application. We will review your application and choose ten initial startups to pitch their purpose to a panel of thought leaders. From these ten, we will choose the final four to present at the Purpose Pitch at 1871 on May 11th, 2017.

Who can apply?

Any startup can apply that has at least one co-founder who is either a DePaul University Alumni or a current DePaul University student.

Why should I apply?

This opportunity will allow you a chance to present your startup and what you believe in to a panel of judges. This is the time to create a legacy for yourself and your business as a purpose driven brand. You will also have access to Chicago’s influential business leaders to help craft your pitch and connect with during the event. In addition, there will be media exposure leading up to and during the event, which is great for brand awareness.

Do I need a presentation to apply?

No. However, if you are one of the 10 startups chosen to come in for an initial interview, you will need a presentation.

How will you determine who is chosen to pitch? 

We are looking for purpose driven startups who clearly define their purpose and their path to work toward this purpose. It should be persuasive, influential, and convey a level of passion and determination. Startups who have an articulated vision and a clear process will be strongly considered.

What are the prizes?

The winner will receive $25,000 to put toward their action plan that helps serve their purpose, and a feature interview on advisor.TV.