Duality Quantum Accelerator Announces Startups Selected for Cohort 2

CHICAGO–()–Duality, the country’s first accelerator exclusively for quantum companies, has accepted five startups from around the world into the second cohort of the year-long accelerator, based in Chicago, IL.

duality is led by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago and the Chicago Quantum Exchange (CQE)together with the founding partners, the University of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignNational Laboratory Argonneand P33

“Illinois is proud to welcome the second cohort of quantum startups to the nation’s preeminent research corridor in the field, yet another testament to the University of Chicago and University of Illinois leadership in this industry,” said Governor JB Pritzker “Quantum will be the defining characteristic of the 21st technological advances of the century, and I’ve spent $200 million in state funding to facilitate Illinois’ global leadership in the quantum race. I would also like to thank our powerful universities, as well as our national labs and private sector partners for enabling that leadership – as demonstrated by Duality’s first cohort, success is just beginning.”

Launched April 2021Duality is a first-of-its-kind accelerator aimed at supporting next-generation startups focused on quantum science and technology. The 12-month program provides world-class business and entrepreneurship training from its partner institutions and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Duality Cohort 1 startups have secured themselves over $8.5 million in financing; grew from an average of 4.3 employees at the start of the program to an average of 7.6 employees, with many expecting exponential growth over the next two years. All startups will remain in Chicago.

“The inaugural cohort has experienced incredible growth and has connected with dozens of mentors, building relationships that have led to several new business opportunities. We are excited to continue this momentum with the selection of five new startups developing quantum technologies for a range of applications,” said Eric Ginsburg, interim director of Duality and senior director of intellectual property and technology development at the Polsky Center.

Duality Cohort 2:

  • Icosa computers // A US-based startup building quantum computing and physics-enhanced optimizers for financial institutions
  • memQ // A US-based startup building components for the quantum internet
  • QuantFi USA // A France-US-based quantum computer software startup that has created a quantum emulator platform
  • SCALINQ // A Sweden-based startup developing unique packaging solutions for superconducting quantum chips
  • Wave photonics // A UK-based startup using computational techniques to accelerate integrated photonics design

The selected companies were chosen from a competitive pool of applicants from around the world, vetted through an internal review process and approved by Duality’s Board of Directors

“We are at such an exciting time in the development of quantum technologies, and the breadth of start-ups in the second cohort underscores the state’s global appeal as a hotbed of quantum innovation,” said Susan Martinis, vice chancellor for research and innovation at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. “From homegrown enterprises to European startups, we’re building a quantum-powered future in Illinois — and the world is taking note.”

Through Duality, each startup receives $50,000 in unlimited funding and mentorship from top quantum experts. Selected startups will have the opportunity to explore partnerships and access some of the region’s state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for advanced computing, nanofabrication, atomic-scale measurement, quantum testbeds and other leading resources.

“It’s exciting to see the Chicago area driving the future of quantum information science and engineering,” said Paul Kearns, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, one of the founders of Duality. “Our scientific leadership provides early stage startups with the expertise and facilities they need to bring transformative quantum innovations to market. Together we accelerate science and technology for prosperity and security in the US.”

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