A chance to become the hub of Blockchain innovation: Oregon Enterprise Blockchain Venture Studio

If you know me, you know that I’m a firm believer that the accelerator model is far from played out. I see it as an educational platform that you can point at companies, people, institutions… practically anything can be “accelerated” through a combination of peer and expert mentorship. That’s why I was super excited to see that a venture studio — which has a lot in common with the accelerator model — that I’ve been eagerly awaiting is now open for business and taking startup applications. Meet the Oregon Enterprise Blockchain Venture Studio (OEBVS).

In my head, I’m calling it “obvs.” Because to me, it’s obvious. It’s an obvious opportunity in the industry. An obvious opportunity for partners. And an obvious opportunity for Oregon.

Just like the early days of the Web, Open Source, and Mobile, Portland has the opportunity to become the de facto hub of a technology market. Not the leader in applications or products. Not an expert in particular language or component. Not the leader in venture capital invested. Other cities and regions are likely better positioned to dominate those specific areas of the industry.

Rather, in true collaborative Oregon fashion, we have an opportunity to be at the epicenter of all of those things as Blockchain matures, to collaborate across industries to aggregate the understanding, knowledge, and support for a platform that will likely permeate not only one industry, but all industry.

And gladly, folks are actually capitalizing on that potential opportunity in expedient fashion. Who exactly are those folks? Well, it’s Business Oregon, Moda, Portland State, R/GA, Smith + Crown, and Umpqua Bank, for now. There will likely be more.

Bringing together private enterprise, education institutions, and the public and nonprofit sectors with commercial interests in agriculture, manufactured products, healthcare, finance, energy, transportation, technology, sports, and global trade, creates an ideal environment to test and launch blockchain applications with viable use cases. The intersection of the state’s technology workforce and commercial interests provides an opportunity for Oregon to be one of the first state sponsors of a public-private partnership to embrace blockchain technologies, potentially transforming how we live, work, play, learn, and govern.

So what’s the focus of the Blockchain venture studio?

Designed to drive blockchain-led innovation, cross-industry, OEBVS will focus on developing startup-led products, services, and tools that can help Studio partners realize the full potential of blockchain technologies — from decentralized, organizational constructs to new ways of using data to drive business.

Over the course of the program, the Studio will work with selected companies to identify strategic market opportunities, and provide them with the guidance and partnerships to spark momentum and sustain ongoing growth.

Not familiar with Blockchain? Or maybe not falling for my hype? I think it has potential. But I think it’s in its infancy. In kind of a crypto is to Blockchain as email is the Internet sort of infancy. But it has the potential to be so much more.

Blockchain technology is an emerging technology with a robust and rapidly evolving developer ecosystem. Blockchain technology provides a secure way to encode transactions between parties, creating irreversible, immutable chains of information. This technology has implications for any organization that keeps records, tracks supply chains, creates intellectual property, or deals with sensitive data. It has the potential to enable new decentralized organizational constructs that could disrupt existing data-driven businesses. With use cases ranging from health care and logistics to data security and financial infrastructure, Blockchain technology presents a new frontier of exploration and innovation for forward-thinking enterprises.

If that sounds interesting to you as a founder, applications for startups are currently open. They’ll close on June 16, 2019.

For more information or to apply, visit Oregon Enterprise Blockchain Venture Studio.