Forbes—in partnership with the Sorenson Impact Center—is launching a new Forbes list to honor leaders sparking the equitable revitalization of distressed communities identified as Opportunity Zones:



The purpose of The Catalyst List is to showcase how investors, large and small, and rural and urban communities, alike, are pioneering dynamic approaches to equitably revitalize distressed communities.

Our hope is that The Catalyst list elevates the best examples of community-focused OZ work from around the country and provides positive models for others to emulate.

+ Who is eligible to apply?

Opportunity funds (large and small) and community organizations (rural and urban) are invited to submit applications.

+ When is the application period?

May 31 through August 31

+ How will fund applicants be evaluated?

Opportunity Funds will be evaluated on the quality of community engagement, equity, transparency, and measurement, and reporting that they incorporate into their investment practices based on The Opportunity Zones Reporting Framework developed by the US Impact Investing Alliance (USIIA) and the Beeck Center at Georgetown.

+ How will community applicants be evaluated?

Communities will be evaluated on the quality of citizen engagement, economic development strategy, and investor outreach displayed in their OZ efforts.

+ How many finalists will there be?

Sixteen finalists will be featured in the inaugural “The Catalysts: Top Opportunity Zones Visionaries” list:

  • 4 rural communities
  • 4 urban communities
  • 4 small funds
  • 4 large funds

+ Is there a prize?

  • All applicants will receive a complimentary—and completely confidential—OZ Impact Score, helping them to gauge their performance against their peers.
  • In addition to being featured on The Catalysts list, the 16 finalists will receive a confidential OZ Impact Report measuring their community impact in detail.
  • The four grand prize winners will be announced at Sorenson Impact Center’s Winter Innovation Summit in February 2020.
  • Each grand prize winner will be showcased with a Forbes’ film and article.





  • May 31

    Applications open

    Throw your hat in the ring—or someone else’s.

  • August 31

    Applications Close

    All applicants receive a confidential OZ Impact Score.

  • November 31

    Announcement of 16 finalists

    All 16 finalists will be featured on The Catalysts list as well as receive confidential OZ Impact Reports.

  • February 5

    Announcement of 4 Grand Prize Winners

    The Grand Prize Winners will be celebrated at the 2020 Winter Innovation Summit hosted by the Sorenson Impact Center.


By partnering with the Sorenson Impact Center on The Catalysts, we’re recognizing and rewarding the promising first-movers poised to mobilize significant investment towards distressed communities across the country. As a leading voice in entrepreneurship, investing, and responsible capitalism, Forbes’ aims to bring the clarity, community, and strategy needed to solve the pressing financial challenges in these areas and harness the incredible potential these Opportunity Zones have to offer.
— Steven Bertoni, OZ Summit Founder, Vice President & Senior Editor of Forbes
By launching The Catalysts, we hope to spur the types of community-centered, community-led investments needed to transform neighborhoods, that have historically been left behind or neglected, into thriving, economically-viable localities. I firmly believe the Opportunity Zones Incentive holds more transformative potential than any social policy we’ve seen in modern times, perhaps even more so than The New Deal.
— Jim Sorenson, Founder of the Sorenson Impact Center


Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 4.40.55 PM.png