On April 8, 2020, Verte Opportunity Zone Fund (Verte OZ) was established as RiseKit's newest investor. In light of the current economic landscape resulting from COVID-19, the timing couldn’t have been more opportune for Matt Strauss, co-founder, and CEO of RiseKit and Verte OZ CEO Dr. Leonard (Len) Mills to cross paths and form a partnership to further RiseKit's agenda of focusing on underserved communities and truly making a community impact, as well as a return.
One of the primary reasons Dr. Len invested in RiseKit was because of the company’s work with distressed communities. Len also sees a pressing need to measure impact taking place within opportunity zones. He says,
“Distressed communities have historically been hit much harder and recover much slower from economic recessions. Together, we are hoping to avoid another setback for opportunity zone communities after the COVID crisis by ensuring that such communities have equal access to jobs, training, and support services. And, importantly, RiseKit's solutions will foster long-lasting economic development for underserved communities. We are excited to be partnering with RiseKit.”
With both teams now working in tandem, they believe opportunity zone investments will be much more impactful, as they were designated to do.
Matt Strauss describes his relationship with Dr. Len and Verte OZ:
“It’s rare to meet such analytical and financial-oriented investors who share our passion to make an impact. At RiseKit, we are extremely selective with our investors, and Dr. Len’s belief in making opportunity zones a truly equal opportunity for every stakeholder really resonated with me. Together, I believe we will ensure opportunity zones are for the right reasons and we will continue to fight relentlessly so underserved communities have direct access while real estate investors can see their immediate impact.”
As an investor in RiseKit, Verte OZ joins the ranks of Chicago leaders such as Tom Gimbel, Sylvie Legere Ricketts, Thad Wong, Richard Price, Mike Gamson and Ryan Daube. RiseKitis rapidly expanding and most recently, they launched in Atlanta, GA. They are gearing up to expand in ten more cities this year alone. Together, Verte OZ and RiseKit welcome opportunities to meet with opportunity zone leaders within cities, construction companies, nonprofits, and large employers.
To learn more about Verte Oz, please visit https://verteoz.com/.