in the news


November 25, 2020

Park Record — 

Park City Community Foundation names eight recipients for second round of Climate Fund grants


"This grant will help Sorenson Impact Center better position itself during the upcoming legislative session to lobby for the passage of a state chartered, nonprofit financial institution that utilizes its capital to invest in clean energy projects."

November 6, 2020

GoErie — 

New fund aims to create jobs


"Erie's efforts have earned national recognition. No longer a Rust Belt punchline, the city won the OZ Catalyst Award earlier this year in a national competition co-sponsored by Forbes magazine. Jim Sorenson of the Sorenson Impact Center, which awarded Erie that prize, spoke at the virtual Homecoming, praising the city's commitment to 'understanding community needs, prioritizing social impact and attracting impact-oriented capital,' as reporter Jim Martin detailed."

November 2, 2020

Forbes — 

Developing A New Rural Playbook For Investment And Opportunity Zone Insights


"Like rural areas around the country, Utah’s rural counties faced investment challenges years before the Covid-19 pandemic. A playbook aimed at gathering resources for a new generation of rural investment is set to play an important role in the state’s rural recovery.

"The Rural Opportunity Zone and Recovery Playbook aims to support rural counties with the insight, knowledge, and expertise to attract opportunity zone investments into their underserved and overlooked communities. To develop the playbook, the Sorenson Impact Center and Utah Association of Counties (UAC) were awarded a combined $550,000 grant from the State of Utah and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA)."

October 29, 2020

GoErie — 

Erie Homecoming 2020: Investor with $10 million looks for best ways to spend it


“Jim Sorenson, of the Sorenson Impact Center, which awarded Erie the OZ Catalyst Award in a national competition co-sponsored by Forbes magazine.

'Erie is making waves,' Sorenson said in his remarks. 'Erie's commitment to understanding community needs, prioritizing social impact and attracting impact-oriented capital," earned them the award, he said.'"

October 20, 2020


PM News Brief: Cox And Peterson Ad, Don Ipson On Police K-9s & Student Loan Contract


“Utah is receiving nearly $400,000 in federal CARES Act money to create rural opportunity zones and increase investments in communities. An opportunity zone is a federal designation meant to help the economy by encouraging long-term investments in low income areas. The money from the Economic Development Administration is being given to the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah and to the Utah Association of Counties. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-UT, said in a statement the funding will help rural communities and businesses stay open and keep their employees."

October 20, 2020

Standard Examiner — 

Brigham City's reborn Union Block Building kick-starts statewide rural development


“Turner said the nearly $400,000 federal grant, combined with a $150,000 state match, will go toward creation of a Rural Opportunity Zone and Recovery Playbook and training for 21 rural counties. The playbook is to be developed by the Utah Association of Counties and the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah. It is intended to help rural counties attract opportunity zone investors for projects like the Union Block Building. The announcement of the federal grant from the Economic Development Administration said rural developers will be taught to track the impact of projects; assess community needs; develop an investment pipeline; layer local, state and federal incentives; and perform marketing."

October 7, 2020

Real Estate Weekly — 

Jonathan Rose raises $525M from ‘impact investors’


“Jim Sorenson of the Sorenson Impact Foundation, said, 'Jonathan Rose and team have consistently generated strong returns for investors and created positive social impact by implementing customized resident programs that are focused on building tenant resiliency.'"

October 2, 2020


Shaping The Future Of Higher Ed By Listening To Students


“Higher education has been upended. Institutions are balancing budget cuts, the risks of Covid-19 transmission on campus, virtual and in-person instruction, and the retention of students deeply concerned about their futures. As survival creeps into the realities of our institutions, and the risk of mission-drift increases, we must insist they do not forget yet another responsibility—listening to students. ”

September 9, 2020

Newswire — 

Sorenson Impact Center Receives $600,000 Federal Grant to Support Diversity in Entrepreneurship


“The Sorenson Impact Center, a think tank housed at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, has been awarded a $600,000 grant from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA). Project DEEP (Developing Equitable Economies Program) is the first university-based, multi-pronged initiative to support women and BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) as entrepreneurs, investors, and workforce leaders in the innovation economy."

September 9, 2020

Forbes — 

Finding The Economic Future Of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula


“In 1890, explorers A.C. and S.C. Gilman, remarking on the Olympic Peninsula’s breathtaking natural beauty, predicted that 'Within five years the ‘unknown country’ of the Olympic Peninsula will be as well populated, productive and as easily accessible as any part of western Washington.'

"By the year 1900, however, surveyors recorded a mere 83 residents on the peninsula. 

“It’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet,” explains investor Johanna Bartee, who grew up in Sequim, Washington."

September 8, 2020

Newswire — 

COVID-19 Deaths Among Black Essential Workers Linked to Racial Disparities


“Racial disparities among essential workers could be a key reason that Black Americans are more likely than whites to contract and die of COVID-19, according to researchers at the University of Utah. They found that Blacks disproportionately worked in nine vital occupations that increase their exposure to SARs-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”

August 27, 2020

Forbes — 

Covid-19 Will Exacerbate Problems Faced By Colleges


“What’s happening in higher education this fall? And what’s changing forever?

These questions are top of mind for the nation’s 21 million students and the leaders of our roughly 4,600 degree-granting institutions. The U.S. higher education sector, already in the process of disruption before Covid-19, remains particularly sensitive to the effects of the pandemic.”

August 19, 2020

ABC 4 News — 

SLC mayor announces 6 new budgets to help with COVID-19 need equity


“This funding would allow the City to work with the Sorenson Impact Center to conduct a feasibility study on innovative financial tools to create greater social and racial equity. This project, which would be a novel endeavor for Salt Lake City, would fund sustainable investments that will over time shrink opportunity gaps with the ultimate goal of building workforce equity and diversity in targeted industries in the City.”

August 13, 2020

Yahoo! Finance — 

Urban Catalyst Fountain Alley Building Receives Planning Approval and Urban Catalyst Submits Building Permits Same Day


“Urban Catalyst, an Opportunity Zone Fund focused on ground-up development projects in Silicon Valley, today announced that it received a Site Development Permit approval for the Fountain Alley Building at the Director's Hearing of the City of San Jose Planning Department.”

July 29, 2020

Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development — 

Sorenson Impact Center Releases First Report on Bridge Loan Program


“The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) commissioned the Sorenson Impact Center to provide the first of two reports on the impacts of its Utah Leads Together Small Business Bridge Loan program.”

July 27, 2020

Catalytic Capital — 

MIT Solve rallies to provide bridge loans and revenue-based financing


“Revenue-based financing agreements are powerfully simple. They’re easy to understand, structure, and implement,” says Sorenson Impact Center’s Geoff Davis, a member of Solve Innovation Future’s investment committee. “This flexibility and alignment is especially helpful in times of uncertainty like we’re in right now.”

July 27, 2020

Yahoo! Finance — 

Urban Catalyst Drives Economic Development in Downtown San Jose Opportunity Zone Despite Pandemic-Related Slowdown


“Even while the coronavirus pandemic was stifling the economy, halting business and forcing work and learning from home, Urban Catalyst, an Opportunity Zone Fund focused on ground-up development projects in Silicon Valley, has continued its aggressive path to develop key projects in downtown San Jose.”

July 8, 2020

Crision PR Newswire — 

The Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing Announces $752,000 in Grants to Advance Policy Ideas with the Potential to Mobilize Private Capital for Public Good


“Grant recipients will focus on public policy recommendations to help create and amplify the tools and policies needed to scale the impact investing market.”

June 30, 2020

Newswire — 

Sorenson Impact Center names impact investor
Geoff Davis CEO


“Geoff Davis will take on the new role of CEO for the Sorenson Impact Center at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. He begins his new position on July 13, 2020.

"Davis is a seasoned entrepreneur turned social entrepreneur turned impact investor, and his most recent position was CEO & Managing Partner of Cicero Impact Capital. He will bring his wealth of experience and knowledge to Sorenson Impact.”

June 30, 2020

Forbes — 

Icons: Jim Sorenson Transforms Capitalism From
The Ground Up


“Forbes announced its first Impact 50 List in late 2019. What a difference six months makes.

"Impact investors are not just our canaries in a coal mine - they can shine a path forward that aligns our economic engines with our humanity. And there’s room for more investors and leaders on this road. I’m sitting with each of our Impact 50 listers to understand how they’re disrupting our new normal to rebuild capitalism in ways that work better for all.

"Our first icon and Impact 50 lister is Jim Sorenson. An early believer in microfinance, and a serial entrepreneur who started a video conference software for the deaf, Jim brings his own brand of creativity to transforming capitalism.”

June 17, 2020

Center on Rural Innovations — 

Higher ed’s key role in rural innovation ecosystems


“Innovation and tech economies are the key to rural America’s future—and rural institutions of higher education (IHEs) can play a huge role in building the ecosystems that support that work. While many rural communities have been left out of the country’s digital revolution, higher ed institutions bring the resources and expertise that can power small towns’ transition into tech-based economies while providing meaningful opportunities for students, alumni and faculty.”

November 12, 2019

Deseret News 

Guest opinion: Weighing the options between tax cuts and investments


“…the Sorenson Impact Center at the U of U in 2013 convinced Goldman-Sachs to invest in the “Utah High-Quality Pre-school Program,” which eventually saved Salt Lake City much of what it ordinarily would have spent on therapy, incarceration and social disruption. Goldman-Sachs split the savings and made good money.”

November 8, 2019 Philadelphia —

Philadelphia Works is partnering with Comcast for the city’s first ‘pay for success’ job training program


“In September of 2018, reskilling and job training nonprofit Philadelphia Works received a grant from the Sorenson Impact Center and nonprofit Social Finance to develop a public-private partnership within the city. The grant, worth up to $420,000, has helped Philadelphia Works develop a “pay for success” (PFS) program to get local residents into steady jobs.”

October 24, 2019

Globe Newswire —

Calling all Housing Innovators: Applications Open for the 2020 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability


“Applications for Ivory Innovations’ 2020 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability will be accepted through December 15. Now in its second year, the Ivory Prize recognizes innovators striving to make housing more affordable in three distinct areas: construction and design, finance, and regulatory reform and public policy.”

October 20, 2019




“…the Sorenson Impact Center at the U of U in 2013 convinced Goldman-Sachs to invest in the “Utah High-Quality Pre-school Program,” which eventually saved Salt Lake City much of what it ordinarily would have spent on therapy, incarceration and social disruption. Goldman-Sachs split the savings and made good money.”

October 9, 2019




Utah home building executive Clark Ivory, ceo and principal of Salt Lake City-based Ivory Homes, has chosen to double-down on an initiative he started last year, the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability. The Prize works in effect like an innovation incubator, set up to identify entirely fresh solutions to chronic challenges to housing affordability and stress-test them for impact, scalability, and their ability to show feasibility and be sustained through lean times.”

October 9, 2019


From Dot-Com Bust To Impact Investing Boon


"All seemed to be going well for Sorenson Communications as it prepared for an IPO. And then, Sorenson recalls, “It was the next day — the very next day — the dot-com bubble burst. Suddenly, Sorenson Communications was losing nearly $1 million every month. Sorenson considered folding the venture entirely.”’

October 3, 2019


Impact 50: Up to $500 Million


“Forbes has put together The Impact 50 to highlight some of the most notable impact investors.”

[Jim] Sorenson, who started a video communications service for the deaf, gave $13 million to the University of Utah in 2013 to establish the James Lee Sorenson Global Impact Investing Center, now known as the Sorenson Impact Center.”

September 30, 2019

Business Wire —

Opportunity Zone Workshop Series Opens in Mississippi


“The Southeastern Regional Opportunity Zone Summit opening today in Jackson, Mississippi is the first of several planned regional workshops organized by the Milken Institute in collaboration with the Sorenson Impact Foundation, the Economic Innovation Group, and Accelerator for America. The program in Jackson features state and local public officials, community leaders, investors, and U.S. government leaders.”

September 16, 2019

News Wire —
2019 Hack-A-House Winners Announced


“Today Ivory Innovations announced the winners of the second annual Hack-A-House, a student-driven entrepreneurial competition resulting in innovations to reduce housing costs. The University of Utah Hack-A-House competition included more than 100 students and more than 40 ideas.” 

September 6, 2019

Rockefeller Foundation Pours Millions of Dollars to Keep Opportunity Zones on Track


“The foundation’s money is geared toward helping cities build out pipelines of potential projects and investments, which will help guide investors looking for somewhere to put their money. That will ostensibly help funnel private capital toward projects that actually benefit existing communities.”

“Billionaire Jim Sorenson started an opportunity zones task force with his Sorenson Impact Center, EIG, and Develop Advisors, the consulting firm of EIG co-founder Steve Glickman, among others.”

August 16, 2019

Impact Alpha —
Follow the Talent: Agents of Impact special report for Aug. 16


“ImpactAlpha’s weekly “follow the talent” roundup of impact investing career moves, job openings, events and opportunities.”

“The Sorenson Impact Center seeks a manager of impact investing and a senior associate of impact investing in Salt Lake City”

July 31, 2019


McAdams, Walorski launch bipartisan Congressional What Works Caucus


“Representatives Ben McAdams (D-UT) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) launched a new, bipartisan Congressional What Works Caucus to help ensure that federal taxpayer dollars are invested as effectively and efficiently as possible to improve outcomes for children, families and communities nationwide.”

James Sorenson, President of Sorenson Impact Foundation and an Advisory Board Member of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance said, “Impact investors have a track record of investing in what works – innovative projects and strategies that can scale into sustainable solutions to our shared social, economic and environmental challenges… Congress should do everything in its power to leverage this burgeoning movement and I’m excited to carry the conversation forward through this revitalized caucus.”

July 11, 2019


Calling All OZ Players: Forbes And Sorenson Impact Launch New List For Top Opportunity Zone Funds And Founders


“We're thrilled to partner with the Sorenson Impact Center to launch our new list: The Forbes OZ 20: Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts. Debuting in February of 2020 the list will highlight the best investors and entrepreneurs who are creating lasting change OZ communities across the U.S.”

June 13, 2019


Innovating for Upward Mobility


“While job growth across the state has increased 17 percent since 2008, employment in Carbon and neighboring Emery County has declined 16 percent. The unemployment rate in the two counties is double that of the entire state.”

The Utah Coal Country Strike Team, a coalition of state and local governments, education and business entities, is also “a multi-pronged proposal includes educational training, building a tourism infrastructure, revitalizing housing stock and leveraging opportunity zones to boost economic development.” The team’s proposal "is now in the running for up to $1 million in funding from Schmidt Futures, which in April 2018 selected the University of Utah as one of four anchor institutions in the Alliance for the American Dream.”

June 6, 2019

BUILDER Online —

Here’s Why Innovating New Solutions to America’s Housing Affordability Crisis is Critical


“Clark Ivory, ceo of Ivory Homes and currently co-chairman of the Real Estate Advisory Board to the David Eccles School of Business as well as serving on the advisory board for the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, helped launch the Hack-A-House program through donations from his Ivory Innovations and the Sorenson Impact Center.” 

June 3, 2019

Nieman Lab —

Here’s The Salt Lake Tribune’s plan for securing 501(c)(3) status


“Three weeks and one New York Times profile after announcing its shift to staffers and readers, Utah’s Salt Lake Tribune officially submitted its bid to the IRS to become a nonprofit May 30.”

‘“This ability to give to seek and share information that’s difficult for residents to do on their own is a fundamental purpose of journalism and it is fundamental of a 501(c)(3),” [said] Fraser Nelson, the Tribune’s vice president of business innovation…”

“Nelson comes from philanthropic and entrepreneurial circles of Salt Lake… (She had previously been managing director for strategic partnerships at the Sorenson Impact Center, which is attached to the University of Utah’s business school.)”

May 29, 2019


Opportunity Zones' Biggest Myths


Sorenson Impact’s Kathryn Tokle demystifies the top three myths around opportunity zones.

“This era differs greatly from previous decades when many economic redevelopment initiatives were first piloted... social impact measurement and analysis has enjoyed a veritable revolution.”

May 29, 2019

Nonprofit Quarterly —

Opportunity Zones: Can Philanthropy Provide Accountability When the Law Does Not?


“Enter philanthropy…to the rescue? This week, the Rockefeller Foundation announced last week that it would be making $5.5 million available to help six US cities shape responsible strategy around opportunity zones.” 

“Additionally, Jim Sorenson, an entrepreneur, investor, and businessman based in Utah, has announced he is seeding a $150 million fund that will measure investment impact in these zones using a framework designed by US Impact Investing Alliance and the Beeck Center at Georgetown University.” 

May 23, 2019

Impact Alpha —

Empowering communities to take ownership of their own Opportunity Zones


“A common thread throughout the Forbes Opportunity Zones Summit in Newark this week: Ensuring those living and working in Opportunity Zones are empowered to use the tax incentive to take an ownership stake in their own neighborhoods.

“There are just as many bold innovators in Nashville, the Navajo Tribal Nation and Newark as there are in Silicon Valley,” said Jim Sorenson, who has put $10 million into an Opportunity Fund launched by his private equity firm, Catalyst.”

May 21, 2019

Impact Alpha —

Generation’s $1B sustainable solutions fund, Sorenson seeds Catalyst’s Opportunity Fund, getting to graduation, diversity in equity crowdfunding


Catalyst launches $150 million impact-focused Opportunity Fund. Catalyst, Utah billionaire Jim Sorenson’s private equity firm, is looking to raise $150 million in a tax-advantaged Opportunity Fund. Sorenson, an early proponent of Opportunity Zones, seeded the fund with $10 million of his own money, according to Bloomberg. Catalyst aims to invest in real estate projects that boost local residents’ access to quality jobs, healthcare, education and housing.”

May 21, 2019

Bloomberg Markets —

Rockefeller Foundation Aims to Make Trump Tax Perk Work for Poor


Jim Sorenson, a prominent impact investor, said this week he’s seeding a $150 million fund that will use a framework designed by U.S. Impact Investing Alliance and the Beeck Center at Georgetown University to measure the good it does in distressed areas.”

May 20, 2019


Not Just a Tax Break


“There’s a new opportunity fund in town. Jim Sorenson’s Catalyst, a private equity firm he helped found, is raising $150 million to invest in opportunity zones.”

“The group’s first fund, which Sorenson is seeding with $10 million, will focus on developing real estate with an eye toward delivering both market-rate returns and measurable social good, according to Bloomberg. “This is a great opportunity to generate a return and make a positive contribution to society,” he said in the article.”

May 20, 2019

PE Hub —

Catalyst launches first real estate Opportunity Zone fund


Renowned Impact Investors Jim Sorenson, Patrick McKenna, and Jeremy Keele Have Teamed up to Invest in Undercapitalized American Communities

Catalyst said May 20 that it is launching an inaugural real estate Opportunity Zone fund, which plans to raise $150 million. Catalyst, of Salt Lake City, has invested in more than $6 billion of real estate projects in the United States across various asset classes.”

May 19, 2019

Bloomberg Markets —

Sorenson Seeds $150 Million Fund to Invest in Overlooked America


Jim Sorenson, a prominent Utah entrepreneur, investor and businessman, plans to announce Monday that Catalyst, a private equity firm he helped found, is raising $150 million to invest in opportunity zones. The group’s first fund, which Sorenson is seeding with $10 million, will focus on developing real estate with an eye toward delivering both market-rate returns and measurable social good.”

April 24, 2019


New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson and Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka Join the Lineup For Forbes' Inaugural Opportunity Zones Summit


Forbes has formed an influential Board of Advisors to elevate the [Forbes Opportunity Zone Summit] agenda and has confirmed a world-class slate of speakers including Sean Parker, John Lettieri, Rise of the Rest’s J.D. Vance, hall-of-famer David Robinson, impact investors Jim Sorenson, Ray Chambers, Cheryl Dorsey and many more.

April 15, 2019


Why Billionaires, All-Star Athletes and Wall Street Leaders Are Joining the Forbes Opportunity Zones Summit


Forbes is launching the new Forbes Opportunity Zones Summit in Newark, New Jersey on May 21 with the theme, Investing for Impact. The investment summit of the year will feature “…top leaders driving the Opportunity Zone ecosystem and forging a new era of responsible capitalism… including Facebook’s first president and Napster founder Sean Parker, AOL founder Steve Case, impact investor Jim Sorenson and creative politicians like Senator Cory Booker, Senator Tim Scott and Stockton, California’s dynamic, young mayor Michael Tubbs.”

March 18, 2019

BUILDER Online —

How Change in Building Homes Can Happen, One House, One Community, One Process at a Time


In January 2019, Sorenson Impact Center and Ivory Foundation announced the top 25 finalists for the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability.

“Two examples, recognized among the Ivory Prize top 10 innovators for 2019, are Century Partners, which advanced as a finalist for its approach to revitalizing neighborhoods through rehab, workforce development, and community design in the Fitzgerald community in northwest Detroit, and Factory OS, which is vertically integrating 21st-century off-site building technologies, software operating systems, lean manufacturing, & progressive labor practices, specifically to drive costs down and impact housing affordability.

The Ivory Prize for Innovation will be announced April 10, at the National Press Club, in Washington, DC.”

February 20, 2019

New York Times —

Wall Street, Seeking Big Tax Breaks, Sets Sights on Distressed Main Streets


“Hedge funds, investment banks and money managers are trying to raise tens of billions of dollars this year for so-called opportunity funds, a creation of President Trump’s 2017 tax package meant to steer money to poor areas by offering potentially large tax breaks.”

[Jim] Sorenson, who hosts an annual gathering of impact investors in Salt Lake City, devoted much of this year’s meeting, in February, to discussing the potential benefits of the zones. He joined several groups in announcing an effort to create a “guiding set of principles” for making such investments.”

February 11, 2019

The Hill —

Stop Leaving Social Impact on the Table: A New Law Should Help


Janis Dubno, Managing Director at Sorenson Impact Center, explains how Pay for Success and the bipartisan law called the Social Impact Partnership to Pay for Results Act (SIPPRA) can help solve large-scale social problems.

“SIPPRA and Pay for Success experts gathered for a panel discussion at the 2019 Winter Innovation Summit in Salt Lake City, hosted by the Sorenson Impact Center on Feb. 6, to explore the opportunities available to state governments, local governments, and service providers.”

February 8, 2019

Deseret News —

Paying For Success: The Story of How Utah Became a Leader in Social Impact Investing


Launched in 2013, The Utah High Quality Preschool Program “helped inspire a groundbreaking piece of federal legislation called the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act. The act, and the pay-for-success programs its $100 million in federal funds could be used for, were hot topics at the Sorenson Impact Center’s annual Winter Innovation Summit in Salt Lake City, which ran Feb. 6-8.”

February 6, 2019

News Wise —

The Sorenson Impact Center Launches the Opportunity Zones Task Force and Upcoming Opportunity Zones Catalyst Challenge


“Announced at the opening of the Sorenson Impact Center’s 5th annual Winter Innovation Summit, the Opportunity Zones Task Force encourages social impact leaders – community activists, local and national government officials, investors, businesses, NGOs, think tanks, and foundations – to help create a unified vision of best practices and actively support Opportunity Zone efforts to ensure that the people who live and work in Opportunity Zone communities are the true beneficiaries of Opportunity Zone investments.”

January 24, 2019

BUILDER Online —

25 Finalists Selected for the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability


“Sorenson Impact, with support from the Ivory Foundation, has announced the top 25 finalists for the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability, a new prize that recognizes adoptable and innovative solutions to address housing affordability. Ideas focus on three particular areas including construction and design; finance; and public policy and regulatory reform. The selected finalists will advance to the final round of judging for the $200,000 award.”

January 23, 2019

FOX 13 News —

U of U Launches Financing Program to Help Students Finish their Degrees


“The University of Utah announced Wednesday that it is launching a program to help students pay education-related costs to help them complete their degrees. The pilot program, titled “Invest in U,” will offer students the option of an income share agreement, which would address financial barriers that would prevent a student from completing their degree and possibly lead to a student dropping out of college… The University of Utah, according to the press release, is the first major Western university to offer this type of program to students.” 

The year-long development has been a partnership between “the university’s Sorenson Impact Center and university leaders and students, as well as Vemo Education, which has partnered with Purdue University, Norwich University and Messiah College to create similar initiatives.”

January 8, 2019

Entrepreneur India —

Omnivore Partners’ Managing Partner Shares Why Agri and Food Startups are the Next Big Thing


“Omnivore backs early stage (ideally between seed to series B) startups that are developing solutions for sectors like agriculture, food and rural economy… This would just improve the farm output and make lives easier for our farmers, but also solve the food problems among the growing population… In early 2018, Omnivore closed the first round of its second fund at USD 46 million with investors like SIDBI, RBL Bank, Sorenson Impact Foundation, among others on board.”

December 18, 2018


Utah Opportunity Zones benefit from new consultant


“We are excited to partner with GOED and UAC, lend our experience, and help use this innovative new financing program to create a positive social and economic impact for rural Utah,” said our CEO Hewson Baltzell on Opportunity Zones.

December 13, 2018

Eccles Experience —

Riding the Wave: Using Data for Professional Growth


“Data is everywhere. We are drowning in it,” says Daniel Hadley, the Sorenson Impact Center’s Chief Data Scientist. “While there are other organizations using data for social good, Sorenson Impact is unique in having an embedded data-science team. One of the first things you notice in communicating with them is that you don't feel like you’re talking to your stereotypical data scientists.” Hadley adds, “Knowing what data are useful to analyze, is what will always separate humans from ‘the bots.’”

November 27, 2018

BUILDER Online —

Ivory Homes Spearheading $200,000 Contest


“To build the framework of the contest, Ivory tapped his network which includes the David Eccles School of business at the University of Utah, the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkley, and the Sorenson Impact Center, also at the University of Utah. In mid-September the team launched a call for entries in the first Ivory Prize in Housing Affordability, which will include a $200,000 award from the Ivory Foundation. Deadline for submissions is Dec. 15.”

November 20, 2018


The Gap in the GOP’s Economic Plan


“The regulations, as they are right now, don’t include any of the data fields we were hoping for,” said Nick Fritz, an official at the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah, which focuses on improving the social impact of investing. Fritz is optimistic about Opportunity Zones but worries that the lack of data will make it hard to know whether the program actually succeeds.

Sep 18, 2018

The Salt Lake Tribune —

Having trouble finding a place to live in Salt Lake City? This online tool offers rents and other data by neighborhood — and it explains how hard it is out there


“So, what is this dashboard and what does it do? An online clearinghouse and dynamic policy document, it is meant to push out key findings, numbers and trends that inform the city’s approach and frame its housing problems, often in stark terms.”

Aug 8, 2018

Federal Reserve Bank of New York —

Opportunity Zones: Moving Toward a Shared Impact Framework


"Nick Fritz, Senior Associate for Sorenson Impact, suggested that a best practice may be to establish “impact measurement” milestones at the five-, seven-, and 10-year marks, tracking progress by reporting on specific yearly data points, while also recording and reporting on specific metrics each year. These metrics could build off of transaction-level data (location of investments, investment size, type of project or enterprise, etc.) to determine alignment with community needs and with an Opportunity Fund’s investment thesis."

July 23, 2018

ImpactAlpha —

Alzheimer’s startup accelerator, Chance the Publisher, Blavity ramps up, Sorenson Impact Center’s new CEO


"Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Hewson Baltzell is the new CEO of the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business… Jasmine Richards joins Cambridge Associates as a senior investment director to identify women- and minority-owned investment managers… Jane Ambachtsheer joins BNP Paribas Asset Management as global head of sustainability."

July 18, 2018

Forbes —

An Unlikely Group Of Billionaires And Politicians Has Created The Most Unbelievable Tax Break Ever


"The great thing about this legislation is it can bring together sectors that may not have worked together before," says Jim Sorenson, a Utah-based entrepreneur and impact investor who was an early part of Parker's coalition. "There can be a great collaboration between state and local entities to add more incentives to further sweeten the pot." 

Sorenson says philanthropy can play an important role in prepping an O-zone for growth, providing initial capital to secure real estate loans or launching job-training programs to create a large supply of local talent ready to work. "We can come in first, solve problems and de-risk projects to make them more feasible for investors," Sorenson says. "Then you tap into the institutional markets—that's where the big money is."

July 6, 2018

The Daily Astorian —

North Coast preschool advocates prepare for pilot study


"The study was led by Dan Gaffney, a retired educator from Seaside, and researchers with Social Finance, a nonprofit focused on social issues. Way to Wellville, a community wellness challenge, secured a grant to bring in data scientists from the Sorenson Impact Center to look at connections between preschool and future academic success."

May 31, 2018

Forbes —

Forbes' Seventh Annual Forbes 400 Summit On Philanthropy Bridges Worlds Of Social Good And Entrepreneurship


"Forbes yesterday hosted its seventh annual Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy under the theme “Thinking Big...and Proving It,” bringing together 150 of the world’s leading philanthropists, social entrepreneurs and business leaders to discuss how best to address and solve some of the world’s most intractable problems. ... The day’s speakers included Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway; Billy Beane, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, Oakland Athletics; ... Jim Sorenson, President, Sorenson Impact Foundation ... among many others."

May 18, 2018


Kent County joins child development initiative


"The Sorenson Impact Center, housed at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, is working with PCI and the partner organizations to manage the initiative.

Kent County is working on the project with the Center for the Study of Social Policy, a national organization based in Washington, D.C. The national partner organizations working with other communities are the National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, National Institute for Children’s Health Quality and StriveTogether."

May 5, 2018

Entrepreneur —

Why Startups Focused on Solving Social Problems Are Attracting Investors


"Sorenson Impact also has lots of resources that can help entrepreneurs navigate the path between business success and doing good. Ultimately, companies should look to work with organizations that have verifiable social impact success and share a commitment to the values underpinning social impact-focused work."

April 12, 2018

Bloomberg Markets —

The Family Office World Grapples With How to Confront Big Corporation


"As an entrepreneur, I made my living generating, testing and collaborating on good ideas. As an investor and philanthropist, I now spend my days seeking, evaluating and collaborating with others on ventures, and I have been surprised at finding great ideas in unexpected places — outside Silicon Valley, outside Wall Street, and even outside the private sector."

March 14, 2018

The Hill —

Investors, mine for diamonds in your own backyard


"As an entrepreneur, I made my living generating, testing and collaborating on good ideas. As an investor and philanthropist, I now spend my days seeking, evaluating and collaborating with others on ventures, and I have been surprised at finding great ideas in unexpected places — outside Silicon Valley, outside Wall Street, and even outside the private sector."

March 6, 2018

Can Utah Make Justice Reform Work? —

Growing the Pipeline of Pay-for-Success Project


"The number of people living in Rio Grande grew rapidly and, by 2015, the number of drug crimes spiked, thanks to the use and sale of heroin and amphetamines, according to an analysis by the Sorenson Impact Center, a think tank at the University of Utah. But police patrolling the area felt like their hands were tied."

February 2018

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond —

Growing the Pipeline of Pay-for-Success Projects


"The Sorenson Impact Center, housed at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, is a “think-and-do tank that marshals capital for social good, empowers data-driven programs, breaks down silos across sectors and equips the next generation of leaders with social purpose.” With social impact financing, the Sorenson Impact Center acts as a connector between “leading academic research regarding ‘what works’ in social policy with programmatic design, execution and rigorous evaluation” of proposed project feasibility. They also provide competitive grants to PFS projects."

February 14, 2018

ImpactAlpha —

‘Can investors revive the American Dream?’ and other weighty questions of the day


"Impact investors have cheered The Economist’s interest as a British-accented signal that the new investment approach is ready for prime time. Thursday’s speakers, including James Lee Sorenson of the Sorenson Impact Foundation, Debra Schwartz of the MacArthur Foundation, Jean Case of the Case Foundation and Audrey Choi of Morgan Stanley all are eager to move beyond the question of whether to move capital markets toward social impact, and get to how and how fast."