This year marked the inaugural Quantum World Congress, a three-day event organized by Connected DMV that brought together institutions and companies in the quantum space.

Held November 29-December 1 in Washington D.C., the event included keynote presentations by companies such as D-Wave Quantum Inc., QED-C, Cold Quanta, and IBM; bootcamps on teaching and implementing quantum computing technologies; and opportunities to network with other attendees.

Among the conference’s unique opportunities for startups were “exclusive access to the Maryland/DMW ecosystem” and spaces to “initiate conversations to work with companies and institution such as NIST, MITRE, [and] Connected DMW,” said Ricky Young, a software engineer at qBraid Co., regarding his takeaways from the event.

The conference also included a startup pitch competition presented by NEXT, the Potomac Quantum Innovation Center, and MIRE. Six finalists were selected to present their slide decks before a panel of judges, and of the six companies, two were associated with Duality Accelerator: qBraid (Cohort 1) and Icosa Computing (Cohort 2). qBraid, represented by co-founder Kanav Setia, took first place in the competition.

“We’re deeply honored to have been chosen amongst an amazing lineup of quantum computing startups and are committed to building the quantum software community,” said Young on his company’s success. “Winning the startup pitch competition is the culmination of the hard work which every individual on our team has contributed towards.”

With presentation workshopping and mentorship opportunities, Duality supports startups as they refine their pitch decks. “Duality was absolutely crucial in developing our pitch,” Young said. “The mentors that support the Duality startups and the Duality resources allowed qBraid to grow incredibly rapidly.”

First place at the startup pitch competition included $25,000 for the winning company. Young said the prize money will support the company as it continues to expand its cloud-based platform solutions for quantum developers.

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