There are currently over 500 OZ funds that have launched across the U.S., which have collectively raised over $6.7B. Most are focused on real estate investment in Opportunity Zones. The Pearl Fund was the first OZ venture capital fund in the nation and has been recognized repeatedly as a pioneer in business investing in OZ. In addition to its original fund, the Pearl Fund has also created a network of other OZB funds, each with a unique geographic and industry focus.
The Forbes OZ 20: Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts is a partnership between the Sorenson Impact Center and Forbes. The community organizations and OZ Funds on the Forbes OZ 20, including The Pearl Fund, are committed to achieving equitable economic growth in underserved and overlooked communities throughout the country.
The Pearl Fund was selected from a large pool of applicants for its focus on investments in technology, internet infrastructure, cellular coverage, and green tech startups in OZ communities, as well as for its role as a catalyst for the launch of other business-focused funds across the country. The Pearl Fund chooses high-potential, early-stage startups that are expected to yield a 10X+ return. This, in turn, can generate greater economic impact for the communities, while delivering significantly higher returns for investors.
"We have worked hard to be the first Opportunity Zone venture capital fund in the country and to set the standard for the other OZB funds that follow," said Brian Phillips, General Partner of The Pearl Fund. "This recognition from Forbes and the Sorenson Foundation means a lot to us. We are deeply committed to economic impact in OZ communities both as we grow our fund and as we launch more best-in-class Pearl funds across the country."
According to Forbes and the Sorenson Impact Center, the Forbes OZ 20 list was created to showcase how large and small investors, as well as rural and urban communities, are pioneering dynamic, equity-minded approaches to the revitalization of distressed communities.
More than 8,700 opportunity zones were designated as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to drive investment into distressed communities. These tax-advantaged investments in opportunity zones are expanding economic opportunities across America in a variety of sectors—including education, technology, real estate, and more.
"The quality and standard of applications was excellent with communities and OZ funds showing a clear commitment to social impact," said Jim Sorenson, Founder of the Sorenson Impact Center. "We are excited to share learnings from the Forbes OZ 20 to help other community organizations and OZ funds deliver real and meaningful change in the communities they support."
About The Pearl Fund
The Pearl Fund is the first opportunity zone fund that is also a venture capital fund investing in early-stage startups and their founders. Led by serial entrepreneur and global economic development expert Brian Phillips, who has been a founding member of over a dozen startups (two IPOs, two acquisitions and one sold via an MBO), The Pearl Fund focuses on high-potential businesses that can yield a 10X+ return. For more information, visit www.thepearl.fund.