A word from Duality Director Ezunial (Eze) Burts III:

The quantum revolution is here. With increased government backing worldwide (including a $500 million budget proposal from the Illinois governor), accelerated migration of talent from big tech companies to startups, and private investors pouring over $3.5 billion into quantum startups in 2022 and 2023, the time to launch or join a quantum startup is now! Duality is now accepting applications for Cohort 4.

And if that doesn’t excite you, imagine graduating from Duality Cohort 4 in 2025 – exactly one century after the initial development of quantum mechanics. Numerous scientific organizations, academies, universities, industry leaders, investors, and governments will collectively celebrate the profound impacts of quantum science on technology, culture, and humanity’s understanding of the natural world. One hundred years of quantum is just the beginning… we are inviting you to shape the second century of quantum innovation.

A startup accelerator is only as strong as the caliber of founders in its programs. Duality Cohort 1, 2, and 3 Innovators continue to thrive, generate economic impact, and achieve commercial success in the marketplace. We also continue to evolve our outreach and awareness efforts, casting a wider net to attract more applicants from traditionally underrepresented communities. By deepening our collaboration with the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center we are encouraging college students and skilled engineering professionals to make the leap into quantum. Additionally, we are partnering with the UChicago Office of Civic Engagement to inspire high school students participating in the Youth Internship Program to reimagine STEM career pathways and prepare for growing opportunities in quantum.

We continue to enhance our entrepreneurial programming to enable Duality innovators to adjust to the realities of the private capital markets and successfully prepare for investor interactions. Our programming emphasizes collaborating with industry experts to deploy proven strategies and resources for capturing public funding (e.g. federal grant opportunities and state matching funds programs), creating robust go-to-market strategies, honing customer discovery and product-market fit, as well as creating financial projections that display revenue growth and paths to profitability.

Additionally, our Duality innovators were invited to an Investor Showcase this month, which served as a capstone to the Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium’s (COZC) technical assistance initiative and grant funding. Opportunity Zones spur long-term investments in low-income census tracks, with the greatest benefits going to investors who hold their investments for more than 10 years. Quantum innovators are especially suited to target this type of “patient capital” because of the longer investment return horizons that are typical of deep tech startup ventures.

We remain fully committed to enabling Duality innovators to realize their full potential through deepened engagement and immersion within the regional quantum ecosystem. In March, we will visit two of the region’s state-of-the-art quantum research and commercialization facilities: for the first time since we launched in 2021, our entire cohort of Duality innovators will visit the Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. We will also revisit Argonne National Laboratory to further explore synergies and facilitate increased interactions with leading quantum scientists and researchers. Additionally, we will engage with leaders at World Business Chicago headquarters, where we will connect our Duality innovators with strategic economic and business-building resources to accelerate their efforts to expand their businesses here in Chicago.

A limited number of slots are available for ecosystem stakeholders, supporters, and quantum innovators to join us for the abovementioned engagements. Important to note: all visitors and users must abide by all site entry requirements, and attain pre-authorization by each facility prior to entry. Please contact us via email expressing your interest, and we will accommodate participation requests on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Join us for an upcoming information session or schedule office hours with our Duality program staff to learn more about how we will cultivate your quantum venture to grow in this dynamic, fast-growing quantum ecosystem.

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