DENVER - The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced today that six businesses have been selected for assistance with opportunity zone business investment through the Opportunity Zone Capital Accelerator Program.
OEDIT partnered with the Colorado Center for Innovation for Community Capital (CC4ICC) in early May to create the new program to support business investment rather than real estate, where the majority of opportunity zone investments have been made.
“For small businesses and low-income communities, access to working capital is a perennial barrier that is further exacerbated by current economic conditions,” said Mike Landes, Opportunity Zone program director at OEDIT. “Investors are looking at savings on capital gains and their investments would provide a much-needed economic tool to Colorado businesses.”
The assistance provided through the program includes resources to help create a pitch deck, draft a pro forma or receive counsel for other needs related to opportunity zone funding. In addition, CC4ICC will connect businesses with its extensive list of investors through its online portal.
OZ Capital Accelerator Businesses
Project Socrates: Elisabeth Gray
Project Socrates is a distance learning solutions company dedicated to training students to think critically, analytically, and collaboratively while developing their social intelligence and emotional resiliency. Founded by leading experts in academic remediation and educational media in response to the deficiencies in the distance learning paradigm made more apparent through the COVID epidemic, Project Socrates merges education, technology, and entertainment to solve the current crisis in education for all American students, including neurodiverse, rural, and other underserved populations.
OBAY Moving & Courier LLC: Jacob and Chelsey Lehmkuhl
On a mission to change the industry's reputation, OBAY Moving & Courier LLC serves each and every customer with our founding principles in mind: professionalism, carefulness and efficiency. Putting customers at ease under the management of husband and wife co-founders, Jacob and Chelsey Lehmkuhl, outperforming expectations is the ultimate goal.
Hyper 3 Claws and Paws: Lakisha Benford
Hyper 3 Claws and Paws is an exclusive place for Dogs; where any canine can run, jump, splash and play at aresort designed and dedicated to catering just to them. Proud CEO of Hyper 3 Lakisha Benford plans to make this an amazing venue for both pets and their families.
Tech-Stack Advisors: Steve Harris and Laura High
Tech-Stack Advisors is developing a multi-unit complex serving the emerging takeout and delivery markets. The facility will be made up of many kitchens offering various cuisines — customers can order from more than one and receive everything in a single delivery. The turnkey operation will allow tenants to focus on food preparation while Tech-Stack manages operations for them with an emphasis on cleanliness, community, and environmental concerns.
Veteran’s Villa and Small Business Center: Kim Kuhle
The mission of Veterans Villa and Small Business Center is to build the physical campus and the human enrichment programs for a supportive, welcoming community of Veteran residents, small business owners and social activities. The Veterans Small Business Center includes offices, technical assistance for Veterans Owned Businesses, technical assistance for landing government contracts, direct connections to bankers and financial training and access to a team of investors and advisors to help the Veterans. Veterans Villa, the ADA compliance residential component of the campus, provides a clubhouse for social activities, recreational programs, access to PTSD healthcare providers and occupational and physical therapy programs. The entire campus will be constructed, renovated and operated in a way that is environmentally efficient through state-of-the-art Global Transactions Services Group software.
Entelligent: Tom Stoner
Entelligent has developed a data analytics platform for investment professionals to help them “do well” in the market while “doing good” in the world. While there is rising global interest in “impact investing,” there are few alternative solutions that are actually doing more than just moving capital away from carbon-based industries. Entelligent offers a data platform to identify quality investments in a time of great uncertainty and volatility. Entelligent leverages the power of environmental data and financial analytics to increase returns, reduce volatility, and enable managers to inform their investment decisions with respect to the resiliency of their portfolios to systemic risks, such as climate change.
About Opportunity Zones
The federal Opportunity Zone (OZ) program was enacted in 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to address uneven economic recovery in communities across the country. The program provides a federal tax incentive for investors to invest in low-income urban and rural communities by means of a deferral, reduction or potential elimination of certain federal capital gains taxes.