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University of Chicago’s Duality Accelerator Program is Ready to Expand the Quantum Industry

The Duality Accelerator Program offered by the University of Chicago will help to support quantum-based startups in breaking into the quantum industry.
By Kenna Hughes-Castleberry posted 19 Jan 2023

This year marks the third year of the Duality accelerator program, an international program hosted by the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation with support from the Chicago Quantum Exchange, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Argonne National Laboratory, and P33. This acceleration program not only offers exclusive opportunities for start-up companies, such as mentorships and $50,000 in funding, but it also boasts success stories for several alumni companies.

What is the Duality Accelerator Program?

Started in 2021, the Duality Accelerator program focuses on assisting quantum-based startups with breaking into the quantum industry. In the past two years since its inception, Duality has helped 11 companies to achieve significant success. With corporate partners such as “Amazon Web Services, Caruso Ventures, Lathrop GPM, McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, Silicon Valley Bank, and Toptica Photonics” (according to the press release), this accelerator program offers unique opportunities for networking and partnerships for budding quantum-based companies

What are some of Duality’s Success Stories?

Even though this is the third year of Duality, it has already shown to be significantly helpful for many startup companies. According to the press release: “Last year, one Duality-supported startup, called Super.tech, was acquired by industry leader ColdQuanta(now Infleqtion). Another, qBraid, finished first place in the 2022 Quantum World Congress startup pitch competition.” These are just two of the many examples of previous Duality graduates finding successful acquisitions, funding, and partnerships in the growing quantum industry.

Who is in the Current (2nd) Duality Cohort?

Current participants in the Duality program include five companies, with three based in Europe. One of these companies, SCALINQ, has already found substantial support within the program. “We are taking part in an invaluable network, [receiving] industry insights and [participating in] relevant presentations held by some experienced individuals from both the tech side and also from the business perspective,” said SCALINQ CEO Zaid Saeed in the press release. “All this is having a direct, positive impact on our internal as well as external growth journey.”

Duality for its part is excited to help grow and enrichen the quantum industry by supporting up-and-coming quantum companies. “Duality offers a unique opportunity for startup companies looking to tackle the global quantum economy. In addition to $50k in non-dilutive funding, each startup will receive unprecedented access to business leaders and scientists in the quantum industry, while also gaining entrepreneurial training from faculty at the top-ranked Booth School of Business. It’s truly a unique accelerator program designed for next-generation quantum startups, and we look forward to helping propel a new cohort of founders to success with the opening of applications for our third cohort,” said Dan Sachs, Interim Director of Duality and Executive Director of Polsky Deep Tech Ventures at the University of Chicago.

Applications for this accelerator program are open until March 31st, 2023. All accepted applicants will be offered “mentorship, training, and resources, including $50,000 in funding, office and lab space in Chicago, access to state-of-the-art facilities and entrepreneurial training from faculty at the top-ranked Booth School of Business,” as well as other networking opportunities, according to the press release. To find out more and apply, click this link.

Kenna Hughes-Castleberry is a staff writer at Inside Quantum Technology and the Science Communicator at JILA (a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder and NIST). Her writing beats include deep tech, the metaverse, and quantum technology.

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