OEDIT selects businesses for Opportunity Zone accelerator program

DENVER — The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) has selected six businesses for its new Opportunity Zone Capital Accelerator Program.

OEDIT partnered with the Colorado Center for Innovation for Community Capital in early May to create the new program, designed to support business investment rather than real estate.

“For small businesses and low income communities,  access to working capital is a perennial barrier that is further exacerbated by current economic conditions,” Mike Landes, Opportunity Zone program director at OEDIT, said in a prepared statement. “Investors are looking at savings on capital gains and their investments would provide a much needed economic tool to Colorado businesses.” 

Assistance provided includes resources to help create a pitch deck, draft a pro forma or receive counsel for other needs related to opportunity-zone funding. CCI4CC also will connect businesses with a list of investors through its online portal. 

Recipients include:

  • Project Socrates LLC, Brighton (Elisabeth Gray), a distance-learning-solutions company that merges education, technology, and entertainment, including neurodiverse, rural and other underserved populations.
  • Obay Moving & Courier LLC, Sterling (Jacob and Chelsey Lehmkuhl).
  • Hyper 3 Claws and Paws (Lakisha Benford), a resort for dogs.
  • Entelligent, Boulder. (Tom Stoner), a data-analytics platform for investment professionals to help them “do well” in the market while “doing good” in the world. 
  • Tech-Stack Advisors LLC, Aurora (Steve Harris and Laura High), developing a multi-unit complex serving the emerging takeout and delivery markets. 
  • Veterans Villa and Small Business Center (Kim Kuhl), which is seeking to build a physical campus and human-enrichment programs for veteran residents, small-business owners and social activities.   

The federal Opportunity Zone program was created in 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to address uneven economic recovery in communities across the country.