The Oregon Enterprise Blockchain Venture Studio announced its first class on Tuesday.
The new public-private program is designed to support startups developing blockchain products for businesses. R/GA Ventures, the investment arm of R/GA, an international advertising and marketing firm under the Interpublic Group of Companies umbrella, operates the studio, which is based at R/GA Portland’s Pearl District office.
The six participating companies aim to take advantage of blockchain technology and work in a variety of industries including healthcare, finance, education, and more. Here are the startups, with descriptions from each:
- Brave (San Francisco, Calif.): Brave software’s fast, privacy-oriented browser, combined with its blockchain-based digital advertising platform (Basic Attention Token), is resetting the web for users, publishers, and advertisers. Users get a better, less cluttered, and speedier web experience, publishers increase their revenue share, and advertisers receive better conversion.
- Chronicled (San Francisco, Calif.): Chronicled is pioneering enterprise solutions and networks powered by blockchain to improve the way supply chains operate.
- Concord (Portland, Ore.): Concord provides privacy-first data solutions that protect and reward brands and the people they engage with.
- Everest (San Diego, Calif.): Everest‘s platform solves for verifiable identity, secure value exchange, and transparent accounting – with a distributed ledger and storage system, mobile phone application, and administrative community management portal.
- qiibee (Zug, Switzerland): qiibee is the global standard for loyalty on the blockchain. Through qiibee’s plug-and-play solutions, businesses worldwide are running and operating loyalty programs on the blockchain in a few hours, while reducing costs and maximizing customer lifetime value.
- Patientory (Atlanta, Ga.): Patientory, Inc. empowers end-users globally with a secure platform to manage and transfer their health data to achieve actionable insights for improved health outcomes and well-being
Venture capital investment in blockchain-related companies has significantly declined this year, with a projected $1.6 billion invested across 454 deals. But CB Insights reported that Facebook’s Libra announcement and recent corporate interest — such as R/GA’s studio — “have given the space a second wind.”
Other partners of the studio include Moda, Umpqua Bank, Portland State University, Oregon Health & Science University, Business Oregon, ConsenSys and blockchain research firm Smith + Crown. Demo Day is slated for mid-October.
“Over the last few years, we have seen blockchain technology evolve from early and sometimes experimental uses to increased adoption at the enterprise level,” Stephen Plumlee, vice chairman of R/GA and managing partner of R/GA Ventures, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with our industry-leading partners and with these innovative startups to refine and implement new enterprise blockchain platforms and applications that have the potential to substantially impact multiple verticals.”
Technologists and government officials are 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.