Most qualified opportunity zone funds are geared toward real estate. Because 90% of a fund’s assets must be held within OZ geographies, real estate investing is simpler than business venture investing.
That said, the actual purpose of the legislation itself was to spark small business and entrepreneurship in oft-ignored areas of the country — not just real estate development. While venture investing may be a little trickier, Peter Brack and John Ryu of Hypothesis Ventures are among the first to spearhead the effort with their early-stage fund.
From their interview with Barron’s, it’s clear that many venture funds are still waiting on more clarification from the IRS:
On the venture side, we have some grey area as well. […] If you have a business in an Opportunity Zone, does it mean that all the sales have to come from within that zone? We’re confident that’s going to get cleaned up, that it’s just a misinterpretation, but it’s a good example.