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The new blockchain startup incubator will open in Portland’s Pearl District. (Flickr Photo / Randy Kashka)

An incubator designed to support startups developing blockchain products for businesses is launching in Portland this summer.

The Oregon Enterprise Blockchain Venture Studio will bring a cohort of startups together to identify business problems that could be addressed by the burgeoning technology. A team of mentors will advise the entrepreneurs as they develop their enterprise blockchain products before presenting them at a demo event in October.

Blockchain creates secure, decentralized records of transactions and investors are bullish on the technology’s possible applications in finance, retail, healthcare, and any business that requires record keeping. The new Portland incubator is a public-private partnership seeking to identify applications for blockchain that can be scaled by corporate partners.

The goal is “to build a blockchain-based ecosystem, and position Oregon’s businesses and institutions to further compete globally,” according to R/GA Ventures, the organization behind the new incubator. R/GA Ventures is the investment arm of R/GA, an international advertising and marketing firm under the Interpublic Group of Companies umbrella.

“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,” R/GA said in a statement.

The Oregon Enterprise Blockchain Venture Studio will launch July 29 and run through the October demo event. The incubator is currently accepting applications from startups.

Technologists and government officials are already working to make the Pacific Northwest a blockchain hub. In March, the Cascadia Blockchain Council launched to give blockchain organizations a unified voice around public policy and marketing, as well as to create community and share resources.

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