Erie, OPAL, SoLa, Four Points Win Forbes OZ 20 Grand Prizes

The Opportunity Zone Catalyst Grand Prize Winners of the Forbes OZ 20 were announced earlier today at Sorenson Impact Center’s Winter Innovation Summit in Salt Lake City, UT.

The City of Erie and Opportunity Alabama emerged as the top two Community Organizations.

The SoLa Impact Fund and Four Points Funding were named the top two Opportunity Zone Funds.

Last year, Forbes partnered with the Sorenson Impact Foundation to launch the Forbes OZ 20 list of the top Opportunity Zone catalysts. The purpose of the list is to showcase how investors — large and small, rural and urban — are pioneering dynamic approaches to equitably revitalize distressed communities, in the hope of elevating the best examples of community-focused OZ work from around the country and provides positive models for others to emulate.

The City of Erie, PA

Erie, PA is home to the nation’s poorest ZIP code. The Erie Downtown Development Corporation (EDDC) and the Flagship Opportunity Zone Development Company are aiming to change that. Last October, two members of the EDDC — John Persinger and Matt Wachter — were featured on the Opportunity Zones Podcast.

Show Notes: How America’s Poorest ZIP Code Is Attracting Opportunity Zone Capital (Episode #55)

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Opportunity Alabama

Founded by Alex Flachsbart in 2018, Opportunity Alabama is a nonprofit initiative dedicated to connecting investors with investable assets in Alabama’s Opportunity Zones. Last October, Alex was featured on the Opportunity Zones Podcast.

Show Notes: OZ Lessons from Opportunity Alabama (Episode #57)

SoLa Impact Fund

Martin Muoto’s $115 million SoLa Impact Fund invests in affordable housing and commercial centers in Opportunity Zones in South Central Los Angeles, Watts, and Compton. SoLa recently received an investment from Jim Sorenson’s Catalyst Opportunity Funds, as featured on the most recent episode of the Opportunity Zones Podcast.

Show Notes: Jim Sorenson & Patrick McKenna: Investing for Impact in Opportunity Zones (Episode #74)

Four Points Funding

Founded in 2013, Four Points Funding invests in real estate across Colorado’s emerging communities, in particular the state’s Western Slope. Their Opportunity Zone fund is focused on multifamily housing and hospitality located primarily in Grand Junction, Durango, Avon, Estes Park, Buena Vista, and Glenwood Springs. Update 3/25/20: Four Points Funding partner Chris Montgomery was featured on the podcast in March 2020.

Show Notes: Creating Catalytic Impact in Rural Opportunity Zones, with Chris Montgomery (Episode #82)

Jimmy Atkinson

Jimmy Atkinson

Hi, I'm Jimmy Atkinson... I founded OpportunityDb in August 2018. I'm a veteran Internet entrepreneur with a background in economics and Web marketing. I previously founded ETFdb.com. These days, I am passionate about impact investing and tax-advantaged investment opportunities. At the crossroads of these two ideals is the opportunity zones program, a place-based tax policy intended to economically transform some of the poorest areas of the United States with new real estate and business development.

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