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Opportunity Zone IDEATION LAB: Creating Impact and Innovation

Noelle St.Clair Lentz July 12, 2022

Join leaders from across the emerging Opportunity Zone space to discuss various fund strategies and case studies about successful businesses and projects funded with Opportunity Zone equity. These leaders provide an accountable, proven, and positive counter-narrative to the negative press that highlights Opportunity Zones being used as merely a tool to help investors get an additional tax break without positively impacting communities. Through small breakout white board sessions, these OZ thought-leaders will provide tools for operationalizing impact goals including:

  • Governance strategies such as appointing independent impact advisory boards
  • Adopting and implementing industry-leading impact reporting frameworks
  • Deploying tools responsive to the needs of businesses facing the “Death Valley of capital” i.e., innovative tools to businesses with linear not exponential growth trajectories that are not being served by VCs
  • Strategies for being a value-added investor and connecting diverse portfolio companies with corporations seeking to diversify procurement



Meta Themes

  • Accountability


OZ Funds, Opportunity Zones, Impact Investing, revitalization, community development, economic development, thought leadership

Purpose and Desired Outcome

The goal of this session is to provide a counter-narrative to the all-too-common view that the Opportunity Zone program is just a tool used by the wealthy for extra tax incentives on projects that do more harm than good in communities. While that may be the case with some investors, the panelists each have proven business models for using OZ equity to make catalytic investments in low-income communities that would not come to fruition if not for the Opportunity Zone incentive.


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Asset Managers

  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)

  • Corporate & SME

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Government

  • Academia

  • Service Providers

  • Accelerators & Incubators


  • NameGeoff Davis
  • TitleCEO
  • OrganizationSorenson Impact Center
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameMonika Mantilla
  • TitleCo-founder, President, and CEO
  • OrganizationAltura Capital
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameRoss Baird
  • TitleCEO and Founder
  • OrganizationBlueprint Local
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameSam Spencer
  • TitleCEO and Managing Director
  • OrganizationCEI-Boulos Capital Management
  • StatusConfirmed
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