On October 22, ODU’s REED client Xphene was one of only ten Opportunity Zone Stakeholders, to pitch their innovative solutions and ideas to those gathered for the official launch of Opportunity Virginia.
This day-long event was well attended by an audience that included, real estate developers, investors, businesses and localities. The event allowed these stakeholders to explore Opportunity Zone potential in the Commonwealth and learn about Virginia’s Opportunity Zone market, along with enabling tools, resources, and “build connective tissue between under-served communities, business interests, and capital.” Held at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, the day began with opening remarks by Governor Ralph Northam.
Opportunity Virginia is an initiative led by Virginia Community Capital and LOCUS Impact Investing, in partnership with the Virginia Housing and Development Authority, Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade.
Opportunity Zones are federal economic development and community development tax benefit established as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act available to encourage investors with capital gains to invest in low-income rural, urban and suburban census tracts.
“Many states around the country have rallied around the Opportunity Zone initiative, but there is no prescribed leadership model for success. Like Virginia, many states have taken point by convening stakeholders, educating the community, and attracting investors. However, there is a unique opportunity for Virginia to be a beacon for the rest of the nation on two fronts: 1) building a marketplace where stakeholders can learn and engage, project sponsors can share ideas and pipeline, and investors can discover investment opportunities; and 2) making inclusive and equitable economic growth a priority alongside the market-driven capital flows.
With a grant from the Virginia Housing and Development Authority and support from Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development and the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Virginia Community Capital and it’s subsidiary LOCUS Impact Investing took the mantle of building out an Opportunity Zone Market. And thus, Opportunity Virginia was born.”
Dr. Steve Hooper, CEO/President, and co-founder, of The EnviraCarbon Companies and his team, are leading the Carbon Research and Development Company (Xphene) “..steadfastly toward the high-tech universe of graphene in are0-space, high-speed information, and beyond.” His Opportunity Zone Investment Pitch was well received by those gathered.