Seed Chicago

Check out the projects:

What is Seed Chicago?

Seed Chicago is Accion Chicago's curated Kickstarter crowdfunding page. Originally created through a partnership between Accion Chicago, World Business Chicago, and the City of Chicago, Seed Chicago's collaboration with Kickstarter creates jobs and economic growth in Chicago's neighborhoods.

The projects featured on Seed Chicago highlight small businesses and community development projects which facilitate economic activity, revitalize neighborhoods, create new jobs, or promote education and training. The project owners are pursuing funding of $10,000 or less during a period of 30 days.


What is Seed Chicago's Purpose?

There is a lack of available capital for small business financing; Accion Chicago is only able to meet 5% of the demand for small business loans in Chicago. Using Kickstarter's online crowdfunding platform, Seed Chicago unites interesting, impactful projects proposed by local businesses and community organizations with potential funders to bring these creative projects to life. These projects ultimately create jobs and growth opportunities in Chicago's neighborhoods.


When does it start?

Seed Chicago was launched in April 2013 featuring 25 projects throughout the year. In 2014, there will be four rounds of projects featured on Kickstarter. 2015 rounds of Seed Chicago are to be determined.


How does it work?

Kickstarter is an online crowdfunding platform hosting thousands of projects from independent creators, ranging from new music albums and film projects to dance and video games. Kickstarter unites project creators with potential backers, who may fund projects based on interest in the product (e.g. a new neighborhood restaurant) or in support of the mission (e.g. youth skills training). In return for funding, project creators offer backers incentives such as an exclusive invitation to the business launch or a product sampler. Learn more at this link.

Seed Chicago projects are selected by a committee of individuals from a variety of organizations. Accion Chicago, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago (LISC), World Business Chicago, and others are a few examples of the organizations that play a role in the selection process.

The projects are funded by civically-minded Chicagoans. Seed Chicago gives the public a chance to get involved in shaping the character and design of their neighborhoods. By pledging support through Kickstarter, locals and supporters further afield can "reimagine" use of a public space, encourage a new neighborhood business, or make skills training more readily available. To back a featured project, navigate to the projects individual Kickstarter page at


Who do I contact for more information?

If you are interested in being featured as a Seed Chicago project, please contact:

Haley Marceau

Click here for the Project Owners Packet. Inside you will find information on best practices, lessons learned, and more tools you need to be successful at Kickstarter.


Accion Spotlight

Bkg Orange Curve Check out Seed Chicago on WTTW's Chicago Tonight that
aired on Wednesday, September 9, 2014.

Click here!