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.”