Startups

Meet the winners of the first Quantum World Congress’ $25K pitch competition

Six finalists from around the world competed at the inaugural quantum tech-focused convening for five-figure funding. Learn who took home the prize.

Maurice Benson (left), a POLARISqb senior software engineer, presents in front of judges. (Photo by Michaela Althouse)

This editorial article is a part of Technology of the Future Month 2022 in Technical.ly's editorial calendar. This month’s theme is underwritten by Verizon 5G. This story was independently reported and not reviewed by Verizon 5G before publication.

Quantum might be a relatively new technology, but some founders are already pushing — and trying to fund — ideas on how it can best be used.

Promising startup leaders came to the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in downtown DC  for the inaugural Quantum World Congress’ live pitch competition. Following a submission process, six startups from across the country and Europe were selected to compete for a $25,000 prize. Startups working in quantum science and tech for the life science, biotech and healthcare industries were eligible to compete. Judges Chris Monroe of IonQ, Yaakov Weinstein of MITRE and Christophe Jurczak of Quantonation determined the winners.

The six finalists were:

  • BEIT: A Polish startup that’s working on controlling quantum computers with algorithms.
  • Icosa Computing: A fintech company in New York City, New York using quantum for optimization in finance.
  • POLARISqb: A North Carolina-based company using quantum for drug discovery.
  • qBraid: A Chicago, Illinois startup building a cloud platform for quantum software development.
  • Quantum Data Center Corporation: The California company is developing hardware and software for high-performance quantum computing.
  • SylLab Systems: Based in Manassas, Virginia, this startup is using quantum for automated cybersecurity and compliance.

NoVa’s SylLab came in third and POLARISqb was second in the competition. Chicago’s qBraid took first place, winning $25,000 dollars.

“Please continue forward,” Weinstein said while presenting the award. “We want you to concentrate on your impression, we want you to concentrate on what you bring of value to people above Apple or Amazon or wherever else it is. But we look forward to joining you on this journey.”

The finalists and judges reflected the worldwide scope of the conference, which featured speakers from companies and government agencies as far away as Australia, Japan and South Korea. The Quantum World Congress also highlighted the DC area’s robust quantum scene, with talks and panels featuring leaders from such conference partners as Connected DMV (the main organizer), the University of MarylandGeorge Mason University and the aforementioned MITRE and IonQ.

Series: Technology of the Future Month 2022
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