Impact Investing Within Communities: Understanding Opportunity Zones

opportunity zones

Are Opportunity Zones an engine for gentrification, or a boon for community development?

Opportunity Zones is a hot topic among those focused on growing businesses and expanding economies. At INNO, you can join in a conversation with some of the early adopters following this legislation.

“The Opportunity Zone legislation is a tax incentive designed to increase the flow of capital into underserved communities across the country. Traditional tax incentives have been complex and virtually impossible for small businesses to take advantage of — incentives like New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) have benefited real estate developers on big projects, but have been beyond the reach of most companies because they just aren’t worth the brain damage.”

– Chris Schultz, “Opportunity Zone regulations released hit the mark for startups!

Find Out if Your Business is Located in an Opportunity Zone

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has created multiple maps and FAQs to help you identify rules surrounding Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs). There are ways for you to create a Qualified Opportunity Zone Business (QOZB) without actually living in the designated area. That said, there are now QOZs in all 50 states, and many communities have multiple opportunity zones within their borders.

So, whether your business is currently in a QOZ or you’d like to set up a business in a QOZ, you’re going to want to chat with the experts on Wednesday morning at INNO. We invite you to take a deep dive into opportunity zones and impact investing within communities.

This morning-long programming includes a panel and several round table discussions with investors, real estate developers, and community members.

Join us May 1 at INNO for the Impact Investment Track on the Deep Dive stage and the INNO lounge from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM.

Prepare Your Community for Investors

Impact investment is usually an act of service, rarely rewarded with such significant tax incentives. Where would an inculcation of funding best benefit your community? How can you gather a wide range of input, in order to truly understand your community’s needs? And, how can you create sustainable impact?

We’ve gathered business founders and directors of development from multiple municipal areas to help guide these conversations, so come prepared with your questions and challenges.

Panel and Roundtables Schedule at INNO

At INNO, we intend to equip you with the resources and connections to make an impact on your community, creating jobs and wealth that nurture innovation. That’s why the Opportunity Zones conversation is so important, and we hope you’ll join us!

On Wednesday, May 1 head upstairs to the Deep Dive Stage at 9:30 AM, where a panel of experts will lay out the basic information surrounding the Opportunity Zone legislation.

Following the panel, break off into separate roundtable conversations to really dig in on your area of interest.

Roundtable 1: “Creating Qualified OZ Businesses and identifying sources of OZ capital”
Potential discussion topics:

  • What are the requirements for a business to become a QOZB?
  • How operating businesses can convert to QOZBs?
  • I am a profitable business looking to expand, how should I begin the process of fundraising?
  • Everyone says there’s all this capital looking for OZ deals… how can I source some of that for my company/project?
  • What are the question marks that still remain in the regulation?


Roundtable 2: “Creating and measuring sustainable impact through investment into Opportunity Zones”
Potential discussion topics:

  • With real estate driving so much of the recent conversation in OZs, what can communities do to help steer investments towards other projects?
  • How have mayors and other elected officials led the way in this effort?
  • Treasury requires little reporting for funds and QOZBs. What are some best practices that have helped shape similar incentives? How are you required to track metrics with New Market Tax Credits?
  • There is some criticism around OZs that they will be engines for gentrification rather than community development. How can we best ensure that this doesn’t happen? How do you respond to that criticism?


Recap and Key takeaways

Seize the opportunity to share answers and ideas generated from your group session, and listen to the summary of the other group’s discussion.

Lunch immediately follows this track, so be sure to get connected to your fellow attendees and make some New Orleans magic happen!

You’ll find the intersection of technology and innovation in New Orleans.

There is no better city on the planet to serve as the backdrop of a technology and innovation conference.
Join us for creative innovation and civic responsibility.

Get Your Tickets Today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *