Portfolio of Companies

Native American Ventures

Locations: McKinley County (Carbon), Whatcom County (Logistics)

Census Tract:, 35031943902, 53073940000

Congressional Districts: NM-03 (Carbon), WA-01 (Logistics)

Investment Date: Q4 2019

Website: NAVF.net

Summary:

Native American Ventures works to develop, diversify, support, and expand the economic infrastructure of tribal nations. Through tools such as education, job training, leadership and mentorship, opportunity scouting, legislative advocacy, and financing, NAVF is helping pave the way for successful and sustainable tribal economies.

In addition, NAVF serves as the management organization to multiple tribal projects, helping promote each indigenous venture while supporting the economic ecosystem within tribal communities. Two of NAVF portfolio projects that are currently underway are Tribal Logistics and Carbon.

Tribal Carbon: Operating business working to reverse carbon emissions by generating carbon offsets through the management of tribal forests. The carbon credits are sold to companies to offset their carbon footprint in compliance with California carbon emissions regulations. By implementing carbon sequestration projects on Native American lands, NAVF aims to deliver carbon credits that will yield exponential profit while aligning with Native American cultural and environmental values.

Tribal Logistics: Operating business focused on establishing a network of free trade zones and facilities in rural Washington state operated by federally recognized Native American Tribes, creating trading opportunities for tribal nations and local businesses alike. The goals of the zones includes increased trade, increased investment, job creation and to increase overall economic development.

Verte OZ invested as a seed investor in the General Partnership; Native American Partners, which has revenue-sharing arrangements on these and other tribal projects.  A series of limited partnerships are now available for each of the respective projects, and Verte OZ is evaluating increasing its investments through these limited partnerships.

Galen Robotics

Location: 1100 Wicomico Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

Census Tract:  24510210100

Congressional District: MD-03

Investment Date: Q4 2019

Website:  GalenRobotics.com

Summary:

Galen Robotics is a qualified opportunity zone business that focuses on establishing a new surgical robotics platform for microsurgeries that combines robotics, AI, and data analytics, which could revolutionize minimally invasive surgeries.  The company recently moved from Silicon Valley to a Baltimore City Opportunity Zone.

Galen Robotics is expanding upon research conducted at the Laboratory of Computational Sensing and Robotics of Johns Hopkins University, which resulted in the Robotic ENT Microsurgical System (REMS) developed by Dr. Kevin Olds and Dr. Russel Taylor. The company’s robotic platform will assist surgeons in a variety of microsurgical procedures.

Galen Robotics’ new offices are located at 1100 Wicomico, which is also home to Harbor Designs & Manufacturing.  With this expansion, Galen Robotics plans to add 100 to 125 employees to their growing team of professionals.

Galen has been recognized by the FDA as the first company to establish a cooperative robot or Cobot.  The guidance they received from the FDA was permission to proceed under a 510 K De Novo that provides a clear path for FDA submission without requiring clinical data or studies at this time.

Verte Opportunity Fund’s bridge-round investment in Galen Robotics is one of the first instances of an Opportunity Zone Fund financing an operating business in the country. Galen is currently raising its Series A and Verte OZ is evaluating investing in this round.

Smith OZ

Location: 7761 Diamondback Drive, College Park, MD 20742

Census Tract:  24033807200

Congressional District: MD-05

Investment Date: Q4 2019

Website: SOZev.com

Summary:

Smith OZ is qualified Opportunity Zone business investing in electric vehicles and infrastructure. Smith OZ will build-out a collection of Opportunity Zone “hubs” that service and lease electric trucks and buses for municipal and commercial fleet operators.

The trends towards increasing electric vehicles in commercial sector are powerful: ever-decreasing battery prices and smaller vehicles due to urbanization and state and local restrictions.  In a recent study by Bloomberg, the electrification of the bus fleet is already well underway, and medium size commercial vans and trucks are set to accelerate.

Through establish hubs, Smith OZ will create jobs and economic improvement in OZ communities, promote clean energy and provide high-tech training and education, and contribute sustainable market value.

Smith OZ operates in partnership with Smith Electric Vehicles, an industry-leading, 100-year old electric vehicle manufacturing company.  Smith was the first medium-duty EV manufacturer in the United States beginning in 2010.  Through the partnership, Smith OZ will help to “recharge” Smith Electric Vehicles by purchasing electric trucks and buses.  Smith retains the long-term capital and servicing value of these vehicles which aligns well with the long-term investment horizon of the Verte Opportunity Fund.

The Verte Opportunity Fund is a founder of Smith OZ and provided the entire seed round of financing.  Smith OZ is now raising funds for its preferred offering and Verte OZ will also be participating in this round.

Fortress Media Storage

Location: 191 Peachtree St, NW Atlanta GA 30303

Census Tract: 13121011900

Congressional District: GA-05

Investment Date: Q4 2019

Website:  AccessOpt.com

Summary:

Fortress Media Storage is a 3-dimensional, next generation data storage device company that uses revolutionary and industry-disruptive crystal and holographic technology. The technology developed at Fortress Media Storage will be commercialized and is intended to outperform Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and FLASH technologies by scaling density of the non-volatile storage and Input/Output operations Per Second (IOPS) exponentially.

Fortress Media Storage is located in an Atlanta Opportunity Zone and in close proximity to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), along with other academic institutions. With establishment in this OZ community, Fortress Media Storage intends to create a large number of manufacturing, engineering, and science skilled jobs.

The data storage industry is forecasted by IDC to grow nearly 20% CAGR over the next decade. However, the existing chip-based technologies have reached their technical limit, known as “Moore’s Law.”  Verte Opportunity Fund’s investment in Fortress Media Storage will be utilized in the process of commercializing the company’s next-gen technology for data storage. Several major companies that need to store massive amounts of data have expressed their commercial interest for the prototype storage device that will be available this year.

CEO and Co-Founder of Fortress Media Storage, Glenn A. Gladney is a co-inventor of five patents awarded to AON (Fortress Media Storage’s parent company) by the United States Patent and Trademark Office related to Optical Networking and Data Storage Technology. AON has held numerous research and development contracts with organizations such as NASA, US Navy Air, and the Department of Defense.

Verte Opportunity Fund’s initial seed investment in Fortress is the first instance of an Opportunity Zone Fund financing an operating business in Atlanta. Fortress is currently raising its next round of financing and Verte OZ is evaluating investing in this round.

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