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first_imgThere are 75 port districts scattered across the state of Washington. Though they are disparate in their goals and assets, a scrappy local tech company wants to tie them together.Ridgefield-based startup PortEngine proposes to build a new platform that would operate a bit like the real estate site Zillow.com. But it would shine a spotlight on port-owned properties rather than residences.Besides tapping into a potentially large market, it could bring the evolution that port officials say their real estate marketing needs.Founded six months ago, PortEngine has netted close to $150,000 in private investment capital and attracted a handful of clients. Its creation came about in part because Port of Ridgefield CEO Brent Grening said he was tired of spending tens of thousands of dollars on real estate brokers.“The world doesn’t see me. There are millions of properties and we’re just one, just a commodity,” he said. “When (brokers) aren’t talking to me, are they doing anything for me? Are they just sitting and waiting?”Grening had vented his thoughts to John Laine, a Vancouver entrepreneur, who took that idea and founded PortEngine. Grening is not an investor but the Port of Ridgefield was PortEngine’s first client.last_img read more