South Side 'Shark Tank' gives small businesses the chance for more

It is a tough job being a judge, especially when you have to scour through 80 business plans and chop it down to three finalists.

The top prize in this version of "Shark Tank" is $150,000 to jump-start a Chicago business.

Father Michael Pfleger created the idea to make dreams come true. Three business owners presented their plans before an esteemed panel of judges.

Stephanie Hart, the owner of Brown Sugar Bakery, was one of six judges along with Jory Lustre of Luster Hair products, and many more.

Askew and Son Lawn Care Services presented their plans to buy new tools and increase the capacity to hire more people with employment challenges.


Carni-Go created a business model to open up a place with board games, slushies, and food on the South Side.

Presenting in a room full of community members, the winning business must open in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

The winning business was Jus Sandwiches, existing for seven years. The owner, Karen Roberts, proved she’s been profitable and already has her products in Go Green Fresh Market in Englewood.

In addition to the grand prize of $150,000 she will now receive mentoring and legal help to open her brick and mortar location.

The second place winner walked away with $10,000 donated by UIC and a $5,000 donation was awarded to the third place winner.