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Women of Quantum Technology: Mandy Peckham of BSR Consulting LLC and Qubits Ventures

Mandy Peckham, the CEO and President of BSR Consulting LLC, discusses her journey into the quantum industry.
By Kenna Hughes-Castleberry posted 12 Apr 2023

Upon first impression, the quantum industry can seem complicated or too technical, alienating many initial viewers. Give the industry another look and one finds a bustling community of curious and driven individuals. This is what happened to Mandy Peckham, the President and CEO of BSR Consulting LLC, a company connecting federal and industry clients with emerging technology businesses to meet needs and find solutions. While Peckham’s career has circled the technology sector, she was originally put off by the complexities of quantum and photonics. “Quantum initially seemed to be a field that was out of reach,” she stated. “But what finally got me into it was the realization of all the use cases between quantum and data analytics, particularly in the healthcare space.” As someone focused on data within the healthcare industry, Peckham understood how significant quantum technology could be in the future, and the impact it will have on complementary emerging technology sectors including artificial intelligence, Web3, the Metaverse, Internet of Things, wearables, and many others. “Around 30% of the world’s data is healthcare data,” Peckham explained. “Seeing how quantum and photonics can enable more secure storage and faster processing and data transfers was super inspiring. Quantum can also take traditional healthcare solutions such as an MRI or radiology machine, and make them more portable, improve imaging quality and enhance the viewing capabilities via sensitive and precise quantum sensors. So looking at use cases in telehealth, home care, military field hospitals, disaster recovery scenarios, and many others, hybrid classical and quantum healthcare solutions, can make all the difference in the world.”

With a foundation in Federal technology implementations, Peckham “jumped off the cliff,” (as she put it) and started solely focusing on her own company, BSR Consulting, in 2021. After taking this bold step, Peckham was connected to Qubits Ventures, a pre-seed venture fund focused on applying quantum and photonics technology to complex and big picture problems. Peckham initially started as a Limited Partner and Federal Advisor to Qubits Ventures, then in August of 2022 transitioned to become a Venture Partner, all while running her own company. “I’ve just been blown away by learning from these various small companies and seeing what they’re doing in the quantum space,” Peckham said.

When not partnering at Qubits Ventures, Peckham has a full schedule running her own company. “BSR Consulting works with early-stage companies,” she explained, “mainly in the analytics/ artificial intelligence/ machine learning, and clinical healthcare space- both software and hardware. We also work with a couple of companies that are a little more established, but brand new to the federal market.” As a consultant, Peckham helps hone in on specific business use cases and federal market strategies, as well as co-develop solutions for her many clients. Sometimes her clients at BSR Consulting overlap with those in Qubits Ventures and she’s able to nourish the partnerships and network even more between the two fields.

As a woman CEO and leader within multiple spaces, Peckham offers many insights into making the quantum industry more diverse. “I think there are a lot of folks like me who hear the word ‘quantum’ and say ‘oh I have no idea what that means; the science and technology behind quantum seems daunting to me,'” Peckham added. She highlighted the importance of non-science roles within the industry, hoping that would also attract more female participants. “If you’re not in a science role, that doesn’t mean the space is completely alienated from you,” she said. “I encourage people to dig into it and learn more about what quantum is enabling in your particular field..” Peckham also emphasized the importance of voicing and pursuing one’s own interests. She mentioned a story about talking to a clinician friend who was job searching, and, it turned out, was also interested in quantum. According to Peckham: “Had she not voiced her passion for physics, I would never have known. Now I can push her towards organizations that also have a quantum interest as well as a clinical practice. Speaking up and saying what you’re passionate about, especially while job searching and expanding your network, is helpful. I am learning to stretch my own boundaries in deep tech, and even if I don’t fully understand all of the science or technology behind these solutions- the use cases are limitless.”

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.

Categories: quantum computing

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