Industry-Sponsored Research Week
University-Industry Engagement Advisor

Duality quantum accelerator lands first corporate supporters led by Amazon Web Services


By David Schwartz
Published: October 19th, 2021

Duality, the first U.S. accelerator focused exclusively on supporting quantum science and technology companies, has announced a powerful line-up of its initial corporate supporters, including Amazon Web Services (AWS). The University of Chicago-affiliated accelerator also landed corporate support from Caruso Ventures, Lathrop GPM LLP, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff (MBHB), Silicon Valley Bank, and Toptica Photonics to support its inaugural cohort of six start-ups.

Corporate supporters will provide financial support, mentorship, and other professional services and resources for Duality and its start-ups. The move extends the momentum behind Duality and quantum technologies themselves, and researchers and corporations continue looking for ways to collaborate more closely and narrow the gap between the laboratory and the marketplace.

“The rapidly evolving field of quantum information science can benefit enormously from strategic partnerships which bring together complementary expertise,” said Paul Alivisatos, president of the University of Chicago and the John D. MacArthur Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering. “Today’s announcement enhances the support for Duality companies and further strengthens Chicago — and the state of Illinois — as a global center for quantum innovation.”

“Quantum science and technology is a field that will transform multiple industries and launch entirely new ones,” said Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “I’m proud that one of the ways we’re demonstrating our leadership as the nation’s quantum hub is with Duality– the first accelerator in the U.S. dedicated to supporting innovative quantum startups. With these six new collaborations, we’re bringing together some of Illinois’ best minds and resources to help solve the most challenging problems in modern history.”

As the global leader in cloud computing, AWS will provide financial support for Duality and equip the Cohort 1 start-ups with tools and resources. AWS has more than 200 fully featured services, including Amazon Braket, a quantum computing service that provides researchers and developers with access to multiple quantum processors integrated in the AWS Cloud, the preferred cloud provider for Duality. Each start-up will be eligible to participate in AWS Activate, a program designed to help start-ups grow their businesses with free tools and resources, including credits to help cover costs of using the company’s services, including Amazon Braket. Additionally, AWS will provide each Duality start-up with training on AWS services and access to its top mentors with entrepreneurial experience.

“By bringing together academic research and business expertise, Duality offers quantum start-ups a great path for growth,” said Simone Severini, director of quantum computing at AWS. “We love start-ups at AWS, and the startups in Duality’s Cohort 1 show promise across a broad sector of the quantum landscape. We’re excited to be working closely with them as they develop their businesses and to help drive innovation for the quantum industry as a whole.”

Caruso Ventures is another major player to sing on with Duality. The investment firm was launched by its managing director Dan Caruso, a serial entrepreneur who is also an investor both Maybell Quantum Technologies and ColdQuanta, a Chicago Quantum Exchange corporate partner and a leader in cold atom quantum technology.

“We are excited to partner with Duality as it looks to accelerate the pace of innovation in quantum,” said Caruso. “At Caruso Ventures, we are focused on seismic trends and believe quantum is one of these life-changing spaces that is set to disrupt all industries.”

Other new partners include “in-kind sponsors” Lathrop GPM LLP and MBHB. The two law firms will offer the Duality start-ups education and legal services related to intellectual property and legal contracts, as well as other legal matters. On the financial side of things, Silicon Valley Bank will offer banking and advisory services.

Toptica Photonics, also a CQE corporate partner and developer of high-end laser systems for scientific and industrial applications, including quantum technologies, will offer equipment to each relevant start-up team in addition to mentoring and education.

“The financial sponsorship, market access, and business expertise provided by our corporate partners ensures that Duality has an accelerated impact on the success of the quantum start-ups and the broader ecosystem,” said Chuck Vallurupalli, Duality’s senior director. “We are looking forward to working with a diverse group of corporate partners and further building upon these early success stories.”

Source: Duality

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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