Unlocking Blockchain for Business Leaders

Location: In person at the Center for Executive and Professional Education
Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Cost: $549

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About This Course
Blockchain is everywhere in the news today, from tech publications to business journals, industry blogs, and even mainstream news. But what is blockchain, and how will it impact organizations in the near future?

Join us to learn how blockchain technology has the potential to fundamentally change the way business is conducted and transform our economic, social, and political systems. Companies in many industries are just now beginning to understand how to apply blockchain solutions to solve business problems.

This one-day training event will delve into the world of blockchain technology and the promise it holds. Participants will learn about cryptocurrencies, the basic mechanics of blockchain protocol, and understand how blockchain technologies can both solve challenges and support goals. Business leaders will have the opportunity to develop a practical, fundamental understanding of blockchain technology and its potential application within their organizations.

“Job postings requiring blockchain skills ballooned by 200% in the first five months of this year, compared with the same period a year earlier.”  – Wired Magazine, 9/17/18

What You’ll Learn
We will explore the future of blockchain technology and examine its longer-term implications for business. This overview will include:

  • How blockchain and cryptocurrencies came into existence;
  • Debunking bitcoin myths/misunderstandings;
  • Introduction to the underlying distributed ledger technology;
  • Understanding the fundamental business problems solved by blockchain;
  • Discovering new business disruptions/opportunities;
  • Understanding the technology foundations of blockchain;
  • Application of blockchain to different industry segments:
    • Healthcare
    • Finance
    • Supply Chain
    • Energy
    • Media/Marketing
    • Start-ups

This training overview is designed for non-technical business leaders who are tasked with making business decisions about leveraging blockchain technology within their organization. No knowledge of technology or coding is required to attend.

The Learning Environment
This interactive course is held in person at PSU’s Center for Executive and Professional Education in downtown Portland and typically combines lecture, discussion, and individual and group activities.

Questions  Questions about this program or course? Contact us.

Custom Training  Interested in bringing this program to your organization? Contact us.


Ketan SampatKetan Sampat co-founded CafeGive Social, provider of a cause marketing SaaS platform for businesses and non-profits. Ketan is faculty at Portland State’s School of Business, where he teaches Business Strategy, International Business, and Data Analytics. Ketan was the founding President of TiE-Oregon and brings 25+ years of experience in e-commerce, Internet applications, semiconductors, and software development.

Alpen ShethAlpen Sheth, PhD, is Senior Technologist for Blockchain at Mercy Corps globally and is visiting faculty at Portland State University. He cofounded a blockchain R&D startup, the Economic Space Agency, and was Head of Product at Etherisc, a blockchain-based insurtech platform. Alpen advises several blockchain ventures in distributed energy, identity, and sustainability, and has worked as consultant for the World Bank, Harvard School of Public Health, Risk Management Solutions, and the Interuniversity Institute for Research and Development.


Jeff GausModerator Jeff Gaus is the Founder of the Oregon Blockchain Venture Studio (OBVS), which aims to establish Oregon’s prominence in this emerging technology. Jeff is a seasoned technology executive who served as the CEO of Prolifiq Software, VP Marketing for eFusion, and Executive Director Healthcare, Education, and Government for NEC. Additionally, Jeff serves as the Board Chair for Young Entrepreneurs Business Week.

Shamir KarkalShamir Karkal, a software engineer turned finance and banking expert, is the CEO of Sila, which provides a simple, secure, and accessible suite of open-source developer tools to help build the new financial world. Previously, he co-founded Simple, the pioneer of digital banking, that was acquired by BBVA in 2014 for $117 million, where he served as head of Open APIs at BBVA. At Sila he is now working to overhaul the financial service world by using advanced APIs and distributed ledger technology.

Kate MitselmakherKate Mitselmakher is the CEO, Founder, and General Partner of Bloccelerate VC, a venture capital fund deploying capital into blockchain-powered platforms, networks, and applications. Prior to starting Bloccelerate, Kate spent nearly 10 years with a global market research leader, Gartner, where she supported CIOs of Fortune 500 enterprises, mentored enterprise software start-ups, and advised venture capital and private equity firms. Kate is a renowned public speaker at global gatherings such as the World Economic Forum in Davos. She has also been featured on Forbes, GeekWire, and other publications. Kate graduated with honors from Harvard University.

Michael ReedMichael Reed is the director of the blockchain program within Intel’s Software and Solutions Group. In addition, Mike works with open source software consortiums like the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance to help accelerate blockchain adoption. Mike has worked for over 25 years building and delivering new computing technologies that range from consumer electronics to cloud software.

Sam TannahillSam Tannahill graduated with honors from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA and received a post graduate degree from University de Dijon. In 2001 Sam and his wife, Cheryl Francis, founded Francis Tannahill Wine Company and in 2002 they founded A to Z Wineworks with their partners Bill and Deb Hatcher. A to Z became the fastest growing winery in Oregon’s history, acquired REX HILL in 2007, and by 2012 was the largest winery in Oregon. A to Z has also lead in sustainability as one of the few LIVE certified wineries in the world, becoming in 2014 the world’s only Certified B Corp winery.